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How To Get Your Dog To Sleep Through The Night (13 Tips)

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If you are here it’s likely your dog has been keeping you up the past few nights and you are fed up.

Why is your dog not sleeping through the night? What can you do to help them sleep through the entire night without waking up?

How To Get Your Dog To Sleep Through The Night:

The best way to get your dog to sleep through the night is to first identify what is keeping them up. Then you can plan ahead to resolve the problem. These could be things like needing to potty, feeling lonely, experiencing pain, environment stresses, sleep disrupters, or they aren’t tired yet. Once you know what’s keeping them up you can work to solve the root problem.

In this article we will discuss:

  • The 7 things that stop your dog from sleeping
  • 13 ways to get your dog sleeping all night
  • What to do to get older dogs to sleep through the night

And more…

7 Things Preventing Your Dog From Sleeping Through The Night

There are 7 things that stop your dog from fully being able to sleep through the night. These things include, not being tired, being lonely, in pain, needing to potty, environment changes, disruptors, and health issues. 

Let’s look into each of these things in more detail.

1.) They’re Not Tired

When a dog is full of energy and has not been properly exercised they will have a much harder time sleeping through the night.

The same reason it’s hard for us humans to fall asleep if we had a nap at 4pm. By the time bed time comes around we are not tired!

So if you want to get your dog to sleep through the night make sure you’ve physically and mentally stimulated them throughout the day.

2.) They’re Lonely

Some dogs get lonely when they are separated or put into a crate for bedtime. This is especially true for ‘velcro’ dogs who constantly want to be by your side.

3.) They’re In Pain or Have Discomfort

When a dog is uncomfortable it will be harder to sleep. This can be from being too warm or cold, having an injury, not liking the bed they are sleeping on, etc.

Any form of discomfort can affect how well your dog will sleep at night.

So to get your dog sleeping through the night make sure they are comfortable and nothing is bothering them.

My dog Enzo get’s hot at night and likes to move around to cold spots on the floor. When we locked him in a crate at night he couldn’t move around. This made it very uncomfortable for him. So to solve the issue we got him a cooling mat!

4.) They Need To Potty

Puppies will typically need a few months alive before they can fully hold their bladder throughout the night.

When puppies reach 3-4 months is when they can begin holding their bladder throughout the entire night.

So in order to prevent your dog from waking up in the middle of the night make sure they have an empty bladder!

You can do this buy taking them out before right before bed. You can also reduce their water intake 1-2 hours before bedtime so they won’t need to potty throughout the night.

In addition, older dogs struggling to sleep through the night can develop Incontinence which means they forget how to hold their bladder.

5.) Environmental Changes

Anytime you change your dog’s environment it can influence their behavior. For example, if you move houses, get another pet, have a baby, etc. 

These things can all keep your dog up and give them anxiety. So if something has recently changed in your dog’s environment this can affect their quality of sleep.

6.) Disrupters 

Disrupters are things your dog’s bed might be located near that are keeping them up and bugging them.

Perhaps they are by an air vent causing fluctuations in temperature and making them uncomfortable.

This could also be lights flickering, fans blowing too much air on them, loud neighbors, etc. This list goes on as there are many disruptors.

7.) Health And Medical Problems

The last thing that can keep dogs up at night is something we would never wish upon any dog, medical problems.

These can sometimes be hard to identify on your own and can go un-noticed. So if your dog is no sleeping like normal they could be experiencing a medical or health issue which may wake them up periodically through the night.

13 Ways To Get Your Dog To Sleep All Night

It’s important to remember that dogs are different. So why one dog is crying at night and not sleeping might be different from dog to dog.

So while going through this list look for indicators that remind you of your situation dog. That way you can apply these tips specifically for your dogs personality.

Here is an overview of how to get a dog to go to sleep at night:

  1. Make Their Bed Inviting
  2. Establish A Routine
  3. Remove Disruptors
  4. Avoid Punishment
  5. Don’t Cave To Their Cuteness
  6. Exercise & Mentally Stimulate Them
  7. Take Them Out To Pee Before Bed
  8. Slow Things Down Before Bed
  9. Crate Train Or Move Their Crate
  10. Use Treats & Rewards
  11. Use Alternative Sleep Aids
  12. Be Patient And Consistent
  13. Resolve Medical Issue

1.) Make Their Bed Inviting

Every dog is unique and has certain preferences. Some dogs are always warm and would prefer bare minimal bedding.

Others get cold easily and could benefit from big comfy duvets, beddings, and pillows.

Our goal is to make our pups bed as inviting as possible. That way at night they are comfortable and happy.

So first off, know your dog’s preferred temperature and bedding. This might take some trial and error to see what they prefer.

Some dogs love old t-shirts with your smell to make them feel less lonely. Others would rather just sleep on the ground.

2.) Establish A Routine

One of the best ways to get your dog sleeping through the night is to create a schedule. Whenever it’s almost time for bed, have a consistent wind down, potty, and sleep plan in place.

A schedule will help build a habit for sleeping and overtime will help them sleep through the night.

Leading up to bedtime make sure you are calm and relaxed. Then before you get them ready for bed, take them out for one last potty and let them sniff around.

Next step is to bring them to bed. Before you go to bed, take time to calmly stroke them for a few minutes. Then say “good night” and go to bed. 

In the morning do the same thing, saying “good morning” instead. This builds a routine and reassures them you’ll always be back in the morning.

If you are looking for a more guided system for training your dog check out our post reviewing some of the best online dog training options on the market.

3.) Remove Disruptors

Make sure there is nothing around that could be preventing them from sleeping. 

For example, if your dog’s bed is set up near a loud furnace that turns on and off, or next to a wall or window with noisy neighbors, these things could disrupt your dog’s sleep. 

If a vent is nearby and pumping cold or hot air onto them, this could be very disruptive as well.

Look for disrupters in their room that could be keeping them up and remove them. 

4.) Avoid Punishment

When you punish your dog for whining or waking you up at night it can often make things worse. Take it from their perspective. 

They might be whining because of a serious problem. This could be for needing to potty, being lonely, etc.

If you are punishing them for whining when there is a problem, you are encouraging them not to let you know something is wrong.

This could end up with you having a dog that pee’s their bed all the time since they think letting you know they have to go is bad.

Reward-based training is always the better approach and leads to much better results with all forms of training.

Anytime your dog is quiet when you approach their bed, praise them, and reward them.

This leads me into our next tip.

5.) Don’t Cave To Their Cuteness

The worst thing to do is cave to your dogs whining and barking. As soon as you give in and give them what they want, you reinforce the behavior.

If you are in a situation where you want to let them out, wait for them to stop before going over to their crate.

Otherwise, give them the cold shoulder. You want to reinforce that if they are quiet, that’s when you will come to them.

6.) Exercise & Mentally Stimulate Them More

Dogs need attention and when they are lacking in this department putting them to bed can make them lonely, upset, or simply not sleepy.

Making sure your dog is properly exercised, mentally stimulated, and given the attention they need will help them sleep better.

When you stimulate your dog throughout the day, the probability of them sleeping through the night is much higher.

7.) Take Them Out To Pee Before Bed

Dogs and especially puppies will wake up in the middle of the night because they have to pee.

So in order to make sure this does not happen, take them out right before bed.

You can also remove their water 1-2 hours before bed to try and reduce bladder build up. However, you do not want your dog becoming dehydrated, this can keep them awake.

If you are going to take their water away before bed just make sure they have had adequate water intake throughout the day. Dehydration can also cause dogs to wake up in the night so keep that in mind.

8.) Slow Things Down Before Bed

This follows the same idea for humans. It’s much harder to get to bed after a workout and much easier when we have time to wind down. For dogs this approach also works.

Make sure they get plenty of activity throughout the day and when evening approaches start to wind things down. If you calm down and start relaxing they will likely follow suit.

Another tip is when you are taking them out for their final pee, allow them to sniff around a bit. This is not exercise or play time, but let them have some time to pee and poop.

9.) Crate Train Them Or Move Their Crate

Training your dog to sleep in a comfortable crate will deter them from getting up and wandering the house.

Many dog owners prefer their dog to sleep with them, but crate training can help you and them sleep better.

Some dogs hate being away from their owners so you can simply put their crate beside your bed. That way they can see you and not feel lonely.

Crate training will help your dog eliminate bad habits with sleep and can be something they grow to love. The key here is to make the crate a sanctuary to them. Never use it for punishment or this will make it a dungeon rather than a happy place for rest.

If your dog is crate trained but still having problems sleeping through the night you can try moving their crate.

Dogs that experience separation anxiety or loneliness maybe benefit from this. When dogs wake up in the middle of the night and you are not there, it might trigger whining or barking.

10.) Use Treats 

Another great strategy to get your dog sleeping all night is to make their bed associated with their favorite thing…food! You can make a dog’s bed more appealing by simply giving them treats while they are on their bed.

The more they enjoy their bed the better they feel when sleeping.

A great strategy to really embed positive associations is to feed your dog by hand while they sit in their bed.

This works especially well for puppies as it not only builds a bond with you but it will make them love their bed.

11.) Use Alternative Sleep Aids (CBD, melatonin, music etc.)

If all else fails and your dog is still having troubles sleeping through the night there are some things you can give your dog to help them sleep.

Here are some alternative sleep aids that you can give your dog to help them sleep through the night:

Soothing Scents:

Calming Sounds:

CBD Sleep Aids:

Calming Toys:

Calming Chews:

12.) Be Patient And Consistent

It can be hard to keep doing the same thing over and over again without the results changing.

When it comes to getting dogs to sleep through the entire night, this will take time, consistency, and patience.

Puppies will likely need to go to the washroom in the middle of the night for the first few months when you get them. Be patient and stay consistent and your dog will adapt. The only time you should change things is if it’s around something you feel is bothering them.

Be that the location of their crate, their bedding, etc. Just remember, anytime you change something they will have an adjustment period to get used to the new arrangement.

If you are dealing with an older dog or an adopted dog, it can sometimes take longer to break their bad habits and reconstruct new ones.

With older dogs you have to remove a habit and only then can you develop a new one.

13.) Resolve Medical Issue

If you feel like you have tried everything to solve your dog’s sleeping problem then there might be something else at play here.

Be that anxiety related issues or other more serious medical conditions, it’s best to consult your vet about your dog’s sleep problems.

There might be something flying under the radar you would not be able to tell was a problem. Thus, the only solution is to get an expert’s help.

How To Get Older Dogs To Sleep Through The Night?

When it comes to older dogs things might all of a sudden change one day. They were sleeping all night and now they are not.

To get your older dog to sleep through the night you first need to identify what is keeping them up. This could be related to discomfort, loneliness, environment change, needing to potty, or medical issues. Once identified you can adjust to help them sleep through the night again.

Here are a few tips you can use to get your older dog sleeping through the night:

  • Leave your bedroom door open
  • Get them an orthopedic bed
  • Allow them to sleep with a full stomach
  • Treat their pain (if any)
  • Supplement your dog’s diet
  • Consult your vet

Where Should Your Dog Sleep At Night?

The most ideal place for your dog to sleep is in a crate. A crate has the most benefits for owners and dogs. It gives your dog a den-like feeling that can help them feel safe and secure. It also helps to prevent unwanted behaviors like chewing on furniture or getting into the things.

I recommend crate training your dog for the first few months so they can get used to sleeping in their own space. It also trains your dog to be more submissive. Giving them this much freedom in their puppyhood is never a good idea.

If your puppy is crying in the crate because of separation anxiety you can move the crate beside your bed.

FAQs About How To Get A Dog To Sleep

What Can I Give My Dog To Sleep At Night?

There are a few things you can give your dog to help them sleep at night. You can use soothing scents, calming sounds, sleep aids, calming toys, or calming chews.

Why Does My Dog Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night?

There are many reasons why dogs wake up in the middle of the night. It could be they need to potty, they are experiencing anxiety, they are too hot or cold, they heard a noise, or they aren’t tired yet.

At What Age Do Dogs Sleep Through The Night?

Most dogs will sleep through the night by the time they are four months old. However, if the reason they are waking up is not resolved, they may continue to wake up. So make sure you are addressing the underlying cause of their sleeplessness.

If it’s because thye are young and cannot hold their bladder, by around 4 months they should be able to make it through the night.

Should I Ignore My Dog Crying At Night?

The answer to this depends on why they are crying. If thye are a puppy and are crying to get your attention, then yes, you should ignore their crying. However, if they need to potty or are experiencing anxiety, you will want to address the problem.

Final Thougths

There are a variety of things that can keep your dog up at night. However, by identifying the root of the problem you can help them sleep through the entire night.

Make sure your dog has a comfortable place to sleep, is on a regular potty schedule, and address any underlying causes of their sleeplessness.

If you do all of these things, you and your dog will be getting a good night’s sleep in no time!

Other posts you may find interesting:

13 Tips To Get Your Dog To Stop Biting (#7 Is Surprising)

11 Ways To Get Your Dog To Stop Digging (#6 Is Hilarious)

7 Simple Steps To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking


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