Ever wonder why it seems our pooches might have dog insomnia? Is it because they are restless? Depressed? Or ill? Could be a health issue? What could it be?

We often ask a lot of questions about dogs—but the topic of a dog’s sleep patterns is not something we read about every day, but recently there are more cases of dog owners asking their vets the reasons behind so called “dog insomnia.”

We are also left worried at night when we hear them barking, pacing, whining, or breathing heavily. The ending—we tend to lose sleep as well. We often lie in bed worrying about why our dogs refuse to sleep.

Why Do Dogs Have Insomnia?


Just like humans, dogs tend to be sleepless when they are anxious. Puppies that are relocated to a new home often go through “youthful anxiety” when they experience a huge change in their life.

Imagine the stress they go through when they get separated from their mothers and litter, and for the first time live in a strange, new environment with a bunch of humans they do not know. This is the reason why they often cry and whine at night.

Always remember this thought: nighttime is probably a great time to bond with your dog but you can do away with bringing your puppy into bed with you. Take note: they are too young to sleep in your bed with you. Maybe you could find a way where you can bond and at the same time give him or her the space he needs. After all, he needs to learn to be independent as part of his or her adjustment to his or her new home.

Your Dog is Feeling Itchy

Your dog is probably sleepless because of discomfort. Do you often hear your dog scratch the night away? He or she may be infected by some form of allergies. Your dog probably has dry skin too, another itchy skin condition that may keep him awake at night. The constant scratching and pacing at night is also what’s causing the dog owners to stay awake at night.

There are different forms of allergies. They can be contact allergies, food allergies, or allergies from the surroundings (air, etc.). Dogs’ skin and fur can also get irritated by the type of laundry soap you use in washing his bedding. Make sure you use dye- and fragrance-free detergents to avoid triggering further allergies.

As for dry skin, you can use moisturizing dog shampoo and a humidifier i(f you have one at home).

If the following simply won’t cut it, you can consult your pet’s veterinarian for medication.

Your Dog Is In Pain

Another reason for a dog’s restlessness is pain. Obviously, your dog is going through some tough times, hence, his or her inability to fall asleep. Check for signs and symptoms: your dog might be suffering painful medical conditions such as arthritis among others.

A restless dog is also an indication that he or she may be enduring a canine heart disease. Dogs with canine heart diseases usually have enlarged hearts. This is the reason why they are having a hard time finding the perfect sleeping position. Pacing, along with restlessness and coughing are signs of canine heart diseases. Best if you consult your vet right away.

Your Dog Might Be Experiencing Dementia

Experts have agreed upon another reason why dogs are restless and sleepless. Some senior dogs who suffer from dementia tend to stay awake at night. For dogs, this condition is called the Canine Cognitive Dysfunction of CCD. Your aging dog might be experiencing CCD if he or she has shifts in sleeping habits. If you observe this with your dogs, you may also consult your vets about medication.

You have the biggest contribution in fixing your dog’s sleep cycle and resolving dog insomnia. Now, knowing the reasons why our dogs can’t sleep, we can now find ways to help to get the rest they need and deserve.

Also read: Identifying And Resolving Dog Boredom

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What causes dog insomnia