How to help your dog sleep well

Posted by Betty. March 10th 2015.

Just like their owners, dogs need good quality sleep – and plenty of it! Unfortunately, our canine companions can also be surprisingly fussy which can cause difficulty settling down for the night.

Sleeping Jack Russell

There are a few things you can do to ensure your beloved pet gets a great night of dog sleep – and in the process, you too!

Sufficient exercise

One of the most common causes of doggy insomnia is a lack of exercise, leading to pent up energy. The amount of run around time your dog needs is dependent on its breed and age but it’s absolutely vital you know this – the health impacts of insufficient physical activity go beyond just the inability to sleep.

A nice walk a few hours before bedtime is a good idea to make sure they’re nice and worn out and ready for a kip around the same time you normally hit the hay.


It’s important to provide a clean and fresh supply of water during the night. Heavy drinkers in particular may become distressed or uncomfortable if they wake for a quick slurp only to find they are unable to quench their thirst.

You can use ice cubes to ensure a steady supply of water throughout the night and also to add some interest and fun when they’re left alone. Be sure not to leave to much water or ice though, as you don’t want them to fill their bladders too quickly.

On the subject of toilet breaks, make “last call” as late in the evening as you can.

Keep them well fed

Going to bed with a rumbly tummy is just as disturbing for dogs as it is humans. It’s uncomfortable and far from ideal conditions for dropping off easily.

You’ll probably find yourself waking up and making a trip to the kitchen for a bite to eat halfway through the night. A dog doesn’t have this option, so always make sure you’re feeding them enough and not too early on in the evening. Going to sleep with a happy belly will really help.

Provide a radio

Some dogs suffer from anxiety if their environment becomes too quiet. Leave a radio on nearby and choose a station that has mostly discussions, news or weather rather than music. The familiar sound of voices could be all your pet needs to drift off.


It may sound strange, but a little massaging can do wonders for dogs struggling to snooze. Give them a nice rub before you head upstairs and they’ll become so relaxed and sleepy, they’ll be knocked out in no time.

The right dog bed

There are hundreds of dog beds out there to choose from, so you’ll have to find the one that suits your companion – and your style, of course. In order to create the best sleeping conditions possible, we need to tend to a dog’s evolutionary needs. This means a comfortable and safe sleeping area that replicates the dens and caves that ancestors would have inhibited – as much as you can, anyway!

Once you’ve found a suitable material and size for the bed place it in a location that is free from draughts and which offers a little privacy.

Hopefully with these tips your pooch will be super comfortable and have no trouble at all catching his forty winks!

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