How to Get Your Dog to Sleep Through the Night

5 Min Read | By Jessica Kadel

Last Modified 9 July 2024   First Added 3 July 2017

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Dogs are incredibly loving – they are truly man’s best friend. However, their need for attention at night can sometimes disrupt our sleep. Getting a good night’s rest is hard enough without your dog crying into the early hours. To help you and your furry friend enjoy a peaceful night, here are some tips and tricks to get your dog to sleep through the night.

image of alarm clock being held by an arm outstretched from a hole to show morning routine

1. Set up a routine

Keeping things consistent day-to-day helps your dog recognise when it’s time for bed. Establishing a routine makes a big difference. Try to take them on a walk at the same time each day, preferably before and after work, to provide them with regular exercise and a sense of predictability.

The same goes for meals. Feeding your dog a few hours before bedtime will help them digest comfortably and settle down for the night. Consistent mealtimes can also help regulate their bathroom schedule, reducing nighttime disturbances. While it might be a bit harder to stick to this routine on weekends, try to keep it as close as possible. A little flexibility is okay, but maintaining a familiar schedule helps your dog feel secure and understand when it’s time to wind down.

Person walking white dog along a pavement

2. Make sure your pet has taken a bathroom break

Ensuring your pet takes a bathroom break before settling in for the night is essential for their comfort and well-being. This simple addition to their routine helps your dog sleep longer and more peacefully, which means better rest for you too.

Person training their dog outdoors on a field

3. Exercise and stimulate your dog

Much like tiring out energetic children, exercising your dog throughout the day can lead to a night of uninterrupted sleep. Depending on their breed or size, your dog should exercise for 30-90 minutes daily. Generally, the bigger the dog, the more exercise they’ll need. A long walk a few hours before bed is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep for both of you.

Exercise isn’t the only way to help your dog feel tired. Mental stimulation can also tire them out and lead to more fulfilling days. You can engage your dog’s mind by teaching them new tricks and giving them puzzle toys to play with.

Dog with chew toy to help sleep through the night

4. Provide a chew toy to help soothe your dog at night

Offering your dog a chew toy at night helps release endorphins and reduce stress. It relaxes them, preventing boredom and keeping them content before bedtime. If your dog tends to feel unsettled at night, consider choosing a toy that can be coated with dog-friendly peanut butter to entice them to settle down. After all, what pet can resist a tasty treat?

small dog wrapped in white bedding

5. Sleep in separate beds

Similar to consistency with dinner time, it’s beneficial for your dog to have the same bedtime routine every night, including going to the same bed. This helps them recognise when it’s time to sleep. While it may be tempting to bring your furry friend to bed with you (who can resist a cuddle, after all?), sharing your bed with your pet could negatively impact your sleep quality, especially if they are loud snorers or fidgety sleepers. In fact, studies show that 63% of pet owners who share their bed with their four-legged friend experience poor sleep.

Besides the disturbances caused by their movements and occasional barking, co-sleeping with your dog can heighten the risk of skin infections and exacerbate conditions like asthma or allergies due to pet dander and fur. It’s also more difficult for your dog to sleep if you’re tossing and turning throughout the night. He or she most likely will be, as well.

A brown dog in a white bed with a yellow dog teddy

6. Consider your dog's sleeping environment

Besides making sure they’re not napping on your sheets, it’s great to create a cosy spot just for them to sleep. A comfy dog bed with a warm blanket works wonders. You can also play calming music or gentle sounds nearby, like a ticking clock or soft radio white noise. Additionally, try to minimise loud outside noises and keep the lighting dim in their sleeping area.

Small pug wearing a cone and looking up

7. Make sure your dog is in tip top health

If your dog still has trouble snoozing, it might be worth a trip to the vet to check for any underlying medical conditions. Don’t hesitate to mention any changes you’ve noticed in their behaviour, appetite, movement, or sleeping patterns. Your vet can provide expert guidance and tips to ensure your furry friend stays happy and healthy.

How long do dogs sleep at night?

Like most animals, dogs have a polyphasic sleep cycle – meaning they sleep multiple times throughout the day, as you’ve probably noticed from their many daytime naps. According to Petful, adult dogs typically sleep 12-14 hours a day on average. So, if you find them napping a lot during the day, they’ll unlikely sleep straight through the night for the 8 hours you do.

Just like us humans, a dog’s sleeping patterns can be unpredictable. As pet owners, while we can’t completely control how long or if they sleep through the night, we can follow the tips above and aim to improve their sleep quality. Regular bathroom breaks, plenty of exercise throughout the day, and comforting chew toys can all contribute to ensuring your precious dog is comfortable and relaxed.

Do your dogs snore while they snooze?

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