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When you’re ready for bed, you don’t want anything or anyone to get in your way. That includes your beloved dog, no matter how much you love him. Your dog may be restless for one reason or another while you are trying to get some sleep, even to the point of loud barking that annoys the neighbours.
Dogs are generally very playful and energetic beings, but we know you aren’t trying to lose sleep over your furry friend. Sometimes stress and anxiety can cause a dog to get crazy right before bedtime. However, your dog may just be bored and looking for attention. Learn the best ways to calm your dog before bedtime by reading the following eight steps.
Go for long walks in the early evening
One of the best things about owning a dog is that you both get the exercise you need. A dog that has a lot of energy may cause issues at bedtime, so let them release it by going for long walks in the early evening. This allows them to get their pent-up energy out during a walk, and you will see how much calmer they will be when it is time to hit the hay. If you have an enclosed yard, go outside with them and let them run loose.
Provide them with a comfortable place to sleep
We all love a comfortable bed and soft blankets, right? So does your dog! Make sure they have their own place to sleep at night if they don’t sleep on the bed with you. This includes a dog bed that is large enough for them to get comfortable on and some warm, comfortable blankets. If you have an older dog with achy joints, consider a dog bed with a built-in heater. Find the best dog beds for your pooch and make sure the beddings are always clean.
Play games during the day
Dogs get bored just as much as we do, but they can’t just switch on Netflix and get lost in a new series. Make sure your pet has plenty of toys to play with during the day, as well as safe chew toys and bones to work on. You should also provide them with mentally stimulating games, such as fetch and tug-of-war. The more they play during the day, the calmer they will be at night.
Give your dog calming supplements
Your dog may be anxious and nervous at night because of outdoor noises, such as fireworks or traffic. Or, they may just be a nervous dog, to begin with. Talk to your vet about giving your dog a calming supplement before bedtime. There are a few common ingredients that can be found in products for dogs, such as valerian root, chamomile, L-tryptophan, and L- theanine, so look for supplements with these ingredients. Many people also use a CBD product as a calming agent for their dog. You can ask your vet for a recommendation if you aren’t sure of what to buy.
Use a calming coat
Dogs that suffer from anxiety may keep you awake at night with their restlessness. Consider purchasing a calming coat, also known as a thunder shirt or anxiety wrap. A calming coat wraps around your dog, gently but firmly. The pressure of the coat calms and soothes the dog, especially if they are experiencing a stressful situation. There are multiple brands available for dogs of every size. Find one made from a lightweight, breathable fabric that exerts a gentle pressure on your pooch.
Give your dog some physical attention
What dog doesn’t love to be petted and rubbed? Take some time right before bedtime to sit down with your dog and rub their chest gently. Go in a circular motion while talking calmly to them. Make sure you are not applying too much pressure – your dog should be relaxed by your touch.
Giving your dog an ear massage right before bed is another way to make them feel more relaxed. The ears of your dog actually contain a number of nerve endings. When they are massaged, endorphins are released into your dog’s body. Using a circular motion, massage from the base of his ear outwards. Always talk to your dog softly as you give him the attention he loves so much.
Offer a tasty treat right before bed
Start a new routine right before you go to bed by offering your dog a treat at bedtime. Your pup will begin to associate snacks with sleep, which can make him feel better about going to bed. If you are already giving your dog calming supplements, this could be a great time to proceed. Just make sure your vet approves the brand before your dog starts begging for them every night!
Offer a favourite toy
Young children aren’t the only ones who enjoy sleeping with a favourite stuffed animal or toy. Your dog likely has his own toy that he favours over others, so begin bringing it with you when you are ready for bed. Get your dog comfortable in his own bed by letting him snuggle up with his toy. He will feel safe and secure as he falls asleep with it. For best results, choose a toy that you don’t normally play with, such as a ball you throw during a game of fetch. It should also not be a squeaky toy that makes noise. Soon, your pup will realize that it’s time for bed when you grab that particular item.
Hopefully, these calming ideas will help your dog relax at night so you can both get a good night’s sleep. Remember, it is important to speak with your vet about any issues you are having when it comes to your four-legged friend!