A Good Night’s Sleep for Your Dog … and for You

Ah! A good night’s sleep with your loyal companion … four-legged companion, that is. We have already written about the surprising benefits of sleeping with your pet right here. For single people, it can even bring comfort and joy and become a cure for loneliness. It does happen, though, that nighttime with your dog isn’t as restful as anticipated whether they share your bed or not! Fortunately, a few simple solutions can make bedtime peaceful and quiet again.

Establish a Routine

Like kids (and even adults), having a well-established daytime routine can truly make bedtime easier. It’s simple; you want your pooch to understand that it’s time to go to bed. You don’t want your dog to choose that moment of the day to insist on playing fetch or catch-me-if-you-can. What does a good routine look like? Scheduling meals and walks at regular hours are a great place to start! Ideally, your pup should get two walks or more a day to get the exercise he needs. You should also try to feed your dog a few hours before bed. Finally, plan at least 60 minutes of quiet, down time before bedtime. This will encourage a smoother transition towards a peaceful night.

Provide a Cozy Place to Sleep

Whether your dog shares your bed or not, it is important for him to have a cozy, safe, comforting … and designated place to sleep. If you adopt a puppy, train him right from the start to go to this set area for the night. Even when he looks at you with those big puppy eyes, resist the urge to let him join you under the blankets right away. The same is true of any new furry member of the family no matter their age. Even though co-sleeping strengthens the bond between the two of you, it is also important to make sure he is OK with snoozing somewhere else. When training your dog, make sure you lead him to his sleeping quarters using treats and positive reinforcement. Never carry him there or force him by scolding him. He would see this as a punishment and would want to avoid that space afterwards. Unless you are hoping for long, sleepless hours having to listen to the heartbreaking crying of a terrified puppy, getting impatient won’t get you anywhere. Once your dog is well trained, invite him gradually into your bedroom … or bed for if you wish to. Time to cuddle up!

Schedule Daily Physical Activity

A dog that does not exercise enough during the day will most likely get up during the night ready to play, run or go for a walk. Be ready for wet kisses, scratching against the front door and the sound of his leash being dragged around. Dogs can be very creative when it comes to convincing their owners that it’s time to get up, get up, GET UP! Do you really want to be interrupted in the middle of a perfect dream starring Bradley Cooper by the smell of dog breath? Didn’t think so. All this to say, walks and regular exercise are essential for your animal as well as to ensure restful nights for you and your pet. A long stroll after dinner, a short run in the morning, playtime in the park, many options are available, just pick your favourite! After all, staying active is as beneficial to you as it is to your dog, so it’s a win-win situation. A bored dog during the day will also become a rambunctious dog at night. Why? Because his main activity while you are away will be … sleeping. Of course, you can’t monitor when and if your pooch sleeps during the day, but you can use these ideas to make sure he keeps busy andis  not taking a 6-hour nap!

Make a Habit Out of This Simple Step

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar. It’s 3 a.m., Rex is using all his best tricks to wake you up, from licking your face to walking over you. Your dear friend needs a bathroom break, and fast. Once totally disrupted from deep sleep, you tumble down the stairs, grumble against how cold the floor is, sigh as you open the door for your pooch and are hit by a wind gust that leaves you covered in fluffy snow. While you are patiently waiting for your four-legged brat to do his business, he’s just wagging his tail happily and rolling around in snow. He finds his secret hiding spot, digs up a lost tennis ball and sends it your way. Yes, my friend, nap time is over because doggie is ready to party! Don’t even think about going back to dreamland.

How can you stop getting caught into that crazy early morning pattern? Easy as 1,2,3. As we mentioned before, don’t feed him right before bed, but most importantly, don’t forget to let him out before you hit the sack. A simple step, right? Lastly, too much water before calling it a day is a big no-no!

Finally, if you want every member of the family to enjoy a good night, rules are pretty similar for everyone! Therefore, they shouldn’t be too difficult to remember. Whether you are young or old, human or pet, routines, physical activity, a safe place to sleep and a quick bathroom break before bed are all pretty basic rules to start with. Good night, sleep tight!

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