Just like humans, dogs need good quality sleep and sufficient hours of sleep every night to ensure a healthy body and mind. Without enough sleep, your dog can be irritable, destructive, anti-social, and can develop a range of medical problems. The challenge is that most pet owners don’t understand how their general behavior impacts the quality of sleep their dog is getting.
Just like humans, the kind of experiences your dog has throughout the day have a direct impact on the quality of his or her sleep. Ensuring that your dog is getting enough sleep is a bit more challenging than it sounds because there are a lot of factors that can influence how well a dog sleeps. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Implement a Routine
One of the best things you can do for your dogs’ overall well-being is to give them a regular routine. This means that waking up, going to bed, eating meals, exercising and all other things happen at the same time every day. Having a routine has numerous benefits for your dog including reducing stress levels and improving their quality of sleep. This will also make it much easier to manage things for you as a pet parent. Giving your dog meals at the same time every day will help in establishing a consistent routine.
If you are the only caregiver for your pet then this is easier to implement. However, even if there are multiple people taking care of the animal make sure everyone knows when things are supposed to be done in the pet’s schedule. Being a little off schedule for a couple of days won’t do much harm. The idea is to have a general routine that is roughly around the same time every day. Dogs are creatures of habit and the better you can address this need the happier your dog will be.
Facilitate Stress-free Living
Dogs can be affected by stress just like humans. They feel fear, anxiety, depression, and a range of other emotions too. Generally, dogs exhibit their mental discomfort through their behavior. For instance, if you find your dog constantly tearing up furniture, digging, and clawing at things, you can be sure that he or she is bored and needs more exercise or needs something to do. However, what is more dangerous is the mental impact of stress on dogs.
They can face many different problems including depression and even develop different phobias. These mental problems can have an impact on their health, especially their cardiovascular health. If your dog is under a period of stress or any kind of mental discomfort then melatonin for dogs can be a useful supplement to try. This can help calm them down and make it easier to manage them. It also makes it a lot easier for them to relax before bedtime. Use melatonin in the right doses to give your dog the best treatment possible. Try to keep your dog busy with different activities throughout the day to prevent boredom which can also contribute to them feeling stressed.
Provide Comfortable Bedding
Dogs can go to sleep on just about any surface, but that doesn’t mean they will always get good quality sleep. Some pet parents are inclined to have their pets sleep in the same bed as them. While it might be comforting to have a pet in your bed, it isn’t the best solution for the pet. As you move around in bed at night you are disturbing your dog and compromising their sleep quality. Moreover, the dog is confined to the bed and doesn’t always have room to adjust the surroundings according to his or her preferences.
Ideally, your dog should have their own couch or bed. You can experiment with different settings to see what suits your dog the best. If he or she has a certain place in the house where they like to sleep, try to replicate that scenario in their dedicated sleeping area. Understand the kind of temperature it is comfortable and the amount of space he or she needs when designing a sleeping area. This way, they will develop a habit of, and familiarity with, sleeping in the same spot every night. This will drastically improve their quality of sleep.
Exercise And Diet
Dogs have a very high energy level and they need the right fuel and the right amount of exertion to keep things in balance. If you are feeding your dog too much, it can lead to obesity and a range of other problems that stem from being overweight. If you live in an apartment, or if your dog spends most of the day alone, you need to make a point of taking them out in the evening to get enough exercise. If you don’t want to walk them, let them out to go and explore things on their own and exert themselves. They will sleep much better when they have depleted all their excess energy.
For their diet pay extra attention to how many calories you are feeding them in the form of snacks. Dogs are excellent when it comes to begging for an extra snack. You might be tempted to give in to their whims out of love, but over time the calories add up drastically. This is particularly important for pets that are also prone to sleep-related problems such as sleep apnea. Being overweight or going to bed directly have a big meal can worsen these medical problems. Make sure you are giving them the right amount of calories and also feeding your dog at the right time of day so that he or she has enough time to process the food.
Before you close the doors and prepare for bed, give your dog some time to relieve themselves. This is especially important if you have trained your dog to only use the bathroom in a certain place of the home that they won’t have access to during the night. Ideally, they should have some place indoors where they can relieve themselves during the night as well. With all these things covered, you can ensure that your dog gets the best quality sleep possible.