A well slept dog can make a great family pet. Meanwhile a sleep deprive dog can prove a nightmare, and at worst even a dangerous one. Hence, ensuring your dog can get a good night’s sleep matters. With that in mind, here are three tips to ensuring your pooch can rest easy.
Doggy Psychology and Pack Mentality
Dogs are territorial and social animals. They are also pack animals, as explored and explained in more detail via the Caesar’s Way website, a site run by TV personality and dog training expert Caesar Millan.
The combination of these factors means that dogs require a place they can mark out as their own within the family home. It also means that where a dog routinely sleeps informs your pooch as to their ‘rank’ within a pack. Then, a dog permitted free reign of a house and allowed to climb the furniture, curl up in your bed and steal your favourite spot on the sofa, for example (and that is to do so unchallenged), will understand its rank as far higher than a dog which is kept from the furniture and allocated a specific area in which to sleep.
Consequently, devising an area and purchasing an appropriate dog bed in which you then train your pooch to go kip will help to settle your dog and communicate to your furry friend his place within the family dynamic. In fact, this will not only help your dog to sleep soundly, but also minimise the chances of your dog developing problematic, territorial and possessive behaviour which is often associated with and caused by an owner’s inability or failure to set boundaries and successfully communicate with their dog, and results in their pooch taking control for them; a dog being unable to assert their dominance verbally, instead resorts to doing so with their behaviour – which includes invading your bed, bedroom or favourite armchair.
Give Your Pooch Some Space
As already advised, it is important to set aside a space and area which your dog can consider his or her own. A good space is one in a communal area where the family relax in the evenings as dogs are social creatures and when wild would most normally curl up with their pack of an evening. Further, this is a good tip when introducing a new puppy into the home, and discussed in more detail via the Dog’s Best Life website, as puppies are accustomed to being comforted as they nod off by their litter and mother. Hence, consigning a puppy to sleep in a separate room is sure to cause problems and result in a sleep deprived household for everyone.
Then, and ideally from day one, choose a quiet space in which you have adequate room to place an appropriately sized dog bed and introduce them to the idea that this is their bed by coaxing them to use it via the use of treats and rewards. Never force a dog into a bed or place a bed in an isolate space or shut off room as this will send the message that their bed is a place of punishment and create negative associations for your pooch.
Finally, for those reluctant to have the dog bed plonked in their lounge, visit the Pet Luxury website. UK luxury dog bed manufacturers, Pet Luxury not only create stylish, retro, vintage and modern dog bed options to suit all homes, they also go as far as to create cushions and furnishings to mix and match up with their dog beds to make creating a dog friendly sleeping space that is also relaxing for the rest of the family a cinch.
How to Avoid Making a Dog’s Dinner of Bedtimes
The relationship your dog has with food is much like that of a human; a hungry dog will not sleep well and is likely instead to be restless, stressed out, anxious and irritable. Hence, it is important to never send a dog to bed on an empty stomach and to ensure they have both water and have been taken out to do their business before being sent to bed.
In turn, a dog that is too well fed and / or too little exercised is likely to face even bigger problems in the long run. Dog obesity, which is on the rise in the UK according to figures published by the Guardian Newspaper in 2015, places pooches at an elevated risk of developing sleep apnea.
A condition more often associated with overweight adult people, sleep apnea happens when airways become restricted during sleep, most often due to surplus fat a dog is carrying that can weigh on a dog and restrict their ability to get their breath. Consequently, overweight dogs often wake frequently as becoming relaxed causes their airways to narrow, leaving them literally panting and gasping for breath. Then, those unable to meet the physical demands of owning a dog, which includes regular walking and exercise should never get a dog. Meanwhile, those who fear their dog might be experiencing weight related sleep apnea or gaining too much weight should seek advice from their vet asap.