Why sleep routines are important for dogs

Whether you have owned dogs for many years or you’re just starting out with a new puppy, it’s important to realise how dogs, just like humans, benefit from a restful nights sleep or a day time nap.  After all, you wouldn’t expect to be functioning at your best after a bad nights sleep and over prolonged periods of poor sleep it starts to take its toll. Dogs are no different and a proper sleep routine is imperative for their happiness and your own.

There is a great #SleepForDogs campaign from Lords and Labradors that provides some great tips and insight into how to care for your dog and enhance their health and wellbeing.

Here are a couple of tips to help your pooch have a restful sleep:

Provide a designated place to sleep

A dog bed might seem obvious but it’s often about the location of the sleeping spot too.  Our bedrooms are often our sanctuaries and a place of calm for us to get our heads down. Popping a dog bed down in the heart of the kitchen might not be the best place for your dog to catch five winks. Think about finding them a spot that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the house and a place that they know is a space for them to rest.

It might be tempting to have your dog in your bedroom or even in your bed with you, but you’re likely to get a better nights sleep if you sleep separately. Tossing and turning happens with humans and dogs alike, so setting some boundaries for your own beds can work wonders.

Make their sleeping place as comforting as possible, with favourite blankets and comforters. If they prefer the sofa or your bed, then it’s probably because it’s softer and more inviting! Dogs can often turn their noises up at dog beds, so be prepared to add extras like cushions and extra comforts to make the area more appealing.

Exercise is key

It goes without saying that keeping active is part and parcel of owning a dog, but have you thought about the timings for exercise? You should be walking your dog for at least half an hour each day and the larger the dog, the longer the walk will need to be to, as there will be more energy that will need to be expelled. By going for a longer walk later in the day, you’re going to help encourage a restful nights sleep for your dog and likely for yourself too! Try to vary your walks too where possible to make the routine less ordinary.

Once home, make sure that you’re creating an environment that is conducive for sleep.  Include a quick toilet trip to lessen the chance of them waking you up during the night and ensure that you keep the noise down, much like you would do with helping a baby go to sleep. Perhaps dim the lights so that your dog knows that it’s heading towards bedtime for them or both of you and instil some routines that they come to recognise and react to.

Nb. Collaborative post.