Although canine insomnia is not common, when it happens it can make your life and your dog’s life difficult. Take a moment to learn about some simple home remedies recommended by vets and owners to help your dog sleep
Your dog’s inability to fall asleep could be due to things such as illness, pain, stress or old age, but to find the real cause takes time.
What will stop your dog falling asleep?
Of a healthy dog that isn’t suffering from one of the health problems outlined below, the reason for her not being able to fall asleep is likely to be related to stress. Unfortunately the majority of a dog’s stressing is down to its human counterpart, namely: you.
You may be experiencing relationship problems or struggling at work, or you may even be sick. The behaviour you manifest will bring about doggy stress.
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Dogs are also incredibly sensitive to changes of weather, routine and their living quarters, meeting new people and new dogs, and loud or sudden noises. Just one of these factors can trigger anxiety and insomnia.
Other causes may be
Lack of exercise
Dogs love to run and play; they also love to interact with others. If for whatever reason they are denied these valuable pastimes, they may not be able to sleep due to their unspent energy. Days which are demanding both physically and mentally should sufficiently wear out a healthy dog.
Some vets suggest a dog may not be able to sleep because she is poorly. The following are possible culprits of canine insomnia:
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Urinary tract infection
A thorough investigation of your dog’s health may be called for. Using blood and urine tests your vet will be able to determine whether your dog is suffering from one of these conditions.
With all other diseases and conditions ruled out you may need to consider the possibility that your dog has some sort of brain injury, encephalopathy or tumorous growth. A vet would be able to rule out such conditions by examining your dog with a CT scanner.
An elderly dog is more likely to be restless at night than a younger dog. Old dogs are prone to debilitating conditions such as arthritis and cataracts (ironically, not being able to see very well could cause your old dog to be afraid of the dark).
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome should also be considered as a cause of an old dog’s insomnia.
Home remedies to help your dog fall asleep
Until the causes of your dog's insomnia are determined, there is no harm in trying to help your dog to sleep. These different sleep remedies are recommended, but they are not solutions (with the exception of remedies of stress) to the underlying problems.
Here are 5 home remedies suggested by pet owners and vets:
Products that are premixed with anti-anxiety herbs such as Bach flower, passionflower and valerian are said to be effective remedies of sleeplessness. They are easy to administer (you would usually add one or two drops of the remedy to your dog’s water or food).
Some oils diffused with medicinal herbs such as lavender, marjoram and chamomile are also thought to calm down your dog when lightly dropped onto her bed. If you are reluctant to add oil to her bed you may consider adding some drops to nearby furniture and carpets.
Plenty of exercise is good for a dog and not just because it burns off their excess energy. Dogs with painful joints and muscles gain the benefit of looser limbs, and exercise can reduce the pain of illnesses like arthritis. You may even consider giving your dog a massage after her walk.
4. Orthopaedic bed
The bed your dog sleeps on should be big enough, comfortable and padded. For dogs with arthritis, orthopaedic beds are good because they are designed to support a dog's weight. Where you put her bed is also important: a bed that is too near to draughts or heat sources will cause your dog to lose sleep.
5. Relaxing music
If relaxing music works on a person why wouldn’t it work on a dog? After all, we don’t need to know what a piece of music is called or who it was written by to appreciate it. Music therapy is, according to some owners and veterinarian hospitals, one of the best ways to reduce an animal’s stress. Of course, it needs to be the right sort of music. Some research shows that heavy rock and pop music is not as soothing as classic music.
Canine insomnia can be difficult to cope with but these remedies may just make things a little easier. Try holistic remedies for a week or so and if there is no improvement in your dogs’ sleeping take her to the local vet for a check-up. At least by doing so you should be able to get the bottom of what is causing her insomnia.
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