Routine to dogs is everything. The importance of it should never be underestimated. When having a late night, you probably notice that your dog will generally retreat to their bed at the same time as usual. Dogs simply thrive on routine, that is why we have put together a list of the top routines to calm anxious dogs at bedtime.
Feeding time, outside walks, playtime, and bedtime make all makeup part of your dog’s all-so-important routine. Any disruption to the schedule of daily events can dramatically throw your dog’s behavior out of balance. They may become anxious, fearful, or naughty as a result.
Notable disruptions to your dog’s routine may come about due to your traveling, entertaining unusual visitors, or going away. Environmental factors such as thunderstorms and other loud noises also play their part and can have a huge effect on your dog.
So, what kinds of positive routines can be implemented at bedtime for a calming effect?
10 Routines To Calm Dogs Before Going To Bed At Night
Did you know that dogs do suffer from stress and anxiety just humans do? Although the symptoms may not be easy to pick, dogs are intelligent and will show you they are anxious. Here are ten routines to calm anxious dogs.
1. The use of scents
Some scents have a calming effect on us, and the same is true of our dogs! A calming blend of essential oils can work wonders for your pooch if sprayed on their bed or bedtime toys. The anxiety that has been built up during the day will simply fade away.
Use scents such as lavender and chamomile to get your dog ready to sleep. Remember, though that a dog’s sense of smell is infinitely more powerful than ours. Therefore, apply the scent of your choice sparingly.
2. Introduce a favorite cuddle toy
As a child, you may remember how snuggly and safe you felt when cuddling your special toy. The sense of security coming from a toy you have bonded with can be immense. For your fellow tail-wagging friend, a toy can help ease anxiety and help them off to sleep.
The chosen toy must be fitting to the circumstance; therefore, one that is not used during daily playtime. It may be an idea to treat your dog to something completely new and introduce it as a bedtime toy only.
You will want to avoid toys with squeakers as this may well wind your dog up and get them in the mood to play! Soft and soothing materials are the order of the day here. Active dogs tend to fall asleep during their bedtime routine.
3. A nice tasty bedtime treat
A bedtime snack, or perhaps a drink in the case of us humans, is a great way to unwind and prepare the mind and body for rest. You can employ the same tactics for your furry friend too!
Giving them a special treat at bedtime gives them something nice to associate with going to bed. As this routine cements, you may even find that your dog eventually asks you for his bedtime snack as he grows tired and is ready for bed.
The range of snacks that is available for dogs nowadays is immense. We recommend feeding all-natural ingredient products before bed that are fairly light on the stomach. For instance, rye-flour and oat bran snacks, you can get these combined with chamomile for a further calming effect.
4. Providing a secure place to sleep
Your dog probably sleeps in the same place every night! What is important is that we make sure that this spot is as comfy and cozy as possible. Calming Dog Beds like those from Bobby Bed have been designed specifically with this in mind.
The materials used mimic Moms fur when they were a pup. The donut shape also creates an enclosed effect similar to cuddling, which many dogs respond well to. Currently available in three sizes to give that snugly effect to any size of a dog.
Super soft filling offers joint & muscle relief while creating deep crevices that allow your pet to burrow and have a deep restful night’s sleep. This can work to improve your pet’s overall behavior & overall dog health.
What’s more, these beds are antibacterial, dust mite, mold-resistant, and the covers are conveniently removed for a machine wash!
5. Exercise your pooch
You can soothe your dog’s anxiety through physical exercises. When dogs are active, their stress levels tremendously drop. Adopting a regular schedule of either outdoor or indoor exercises can help keep your dog calm.
Enjoyable games can help your dog associate situations that are typically stressful with positive emotions, such as a new home, a car ride, and others. A lack of exercise could be a result of a restless dog at night.
Almost all dog breeds need some daily exercise to maintain a happy and healthy life. A behavior and training session could also help to get your pooch in shape while teaching him or her some training commands.
Most overweight health issues in dogs are caused by the lack of exercise and a high carbohydrate diet. As dog owners, we need to provide positive reinforcement when it comes to daily exercising and daily playing time.
6. Use Music Therapy
Like humans, dogs feel calm and relaxed when they listen to certain kinds of music. Dogs prefer soft rock, reggae, and classical music. In case you are still in lots of doubt, you can check out this scientific article from a study done on shelter dogs.
Playing some music for your dog when it is or has been in a stressful environment is a great way to help it relax. Using music therapy on rescue dogs has proven to be an effective method to reduce the separation of anxiety.
7. Bonding time
Your pooch loves physical contact, and your touch can help reduce their anxiety. Pick them up or cuddle on the couch with them. Sharing some quality time is a great way to calm your dog down. Most dogs have a bedtime routine.
Alternatively, you can turn those petting sessions or playing time into amazing bonding sessions. Make them longer and let your companion know that you are there for them. Crate training or puppy training is a great method to create bonding time with your pooch.
8. Calming supplements
There are several calming supplements on the market today. You can pick up the supplements from a pet store to help calm your dog. More and more people are using natural calming aids, which can be an excellent place to start.
However, you will need to be extremely careful with any supplements that you give your dog. Always ensure you consult your vet before you use the natural remedies. The anxiety issues could be because of a serious medical condition.
9. Create a distraction
Distraction techniques can help with separation anxiety. You can use toys, TV, or radio before leaving your home. When they are preoccupied, their response to you leaving is less severe. Additionally, always leave a piece of clothing that has your scent where it spends time. It will calm it down as it will feel you are not too far.
Dog parenting can be stressful, especially when you cannot identify why your dog is restless and anxious at night. You can also try a loose leash walk to create positive reinforcement. If you can’t find a solution, you can consult a dog sleep advisor to guide you through the process.
10. Control noise phobia
Find out if there are any strange sounds causing your dog to get anxious. Your dog wont sleep at night if he or she keeps hearing your neighbors cat yawning or odd siren sounds of cars driving down the road. Also, sometimes dogs like sleeping in your bedroom when there’s thunderstorms just to feel protected.
Eliminating weird noises would calm any restless and anxious dog, helping him or her sleep better at night. On average, the dogs sleeping cycles are from 10 to 15 hours during the whole 24 hours of the day. If you notice a brake of this cycle due to pet anxiety, it is not a bad idea to visit your veterinarian.
Signs That You Need to See a Vet
A combination of anxiety at night with the abnormal response could mean that your pooch is suffering from a cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS. Also, if your pooch appears to be lost or confused during his or her daily routine and has difficulty performing a task that he or she already knows, you should visit a dog care center. Here are other things to look for:
- Sleepless nights combined abnormal behavior
- Reduced activity levels
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty finding the door
There are some special memory foam dog beds that can reduce anxiety in dogs. Making your pooch feeling comfortable as a pet owner should be your priority. Your furry family deserves the best, and that includes having a happy and healthy dog. Also, try playing fetch with a bully stick once a day with your loved one. A good round of daily exercise will get your senior dog sleeping through the night like a baby.
Pro tip: You can use a dog training collar to control barking aggression due to food.
Being observant can help you recognize when your dog is anxious. You can then use the above routines to help calm it down. As you can see, keeping your dog relaxed and happy isn’t that hard. To make sure your dog sleeps at night, try a combination of the above mention routines. Every pet owner should apply these tips to improve their dog behaviour when they are acting restless and anxious.
Using the above routines, you will surely notice a great positive calming effect on your dog at bedtime. You can, of course, combine all of the techniques introduced for greater benefit to your dog. You and your dog should indeed reap the rewards from removing this anxiety from their daily life. A well-rested dog is a happy dog! For more house training tips, visit our dog trainer section, also check our dog supplies and dog food recommendations.