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Does your dog struggle to relax? Then you’re probably looking for tips to make a dog go to sleep.
Some dogs are just hyper throughout the day. But other seem to be fine in general, but then get the zoomies when it’s time for bed.
That can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re tired yourself and simply don’t have the energy to play another round with your dog.
Well, luckily that isn’t what you should do, anyway. Instead, it’s much more useful to make sure you have a routine in place where your pup gets lots of exercise and engagement throughout the day.
In this article you’ll learn the 10 best tips to make your dog go to sleep super easily. My dog Baloo used to be hyper 24/7. But with these tips I got him to not only calm down during the day, but being super relaxed when it’s time for bed.
Why Won’t My Dog Sleep?
You love your dog so much—that is, until it’s bedtime and he suddenly turns into a nightmare. Maybe your dog only seems to get zoomies when you’re preparing to go to sleep. Or maybe he just won’t stop crying.
If you’re having trouble getting your dog to sleep, there are a few reasons why he might be resisting.
He’s Got Too Much Energy
Your dog won’t want to go to sleep if he’s got too much energy. It’s really important to make sure you give your dog enough exercise during the day, otherwise he’ll act out at night!
Zoomies can be cute and fun during the day, but they’re much less amusing when you’re trying to put your dog to sleep at night.
If your dog is running around your house, refusing to settle down at night, you probably haven’t exercised him enough during the day.
He Doesn’t Know How to Relax
It might seem weird, but one reason why your dog might be having trouble settling down for the night is because he doesn’t know how!
You’ve probably met people who seem to be moving all the time, and can never relax. The same can be true for dogs. Some dogs tend to be higher energy than others, and it’s possible your dog just never learned how to settle down.
Baloo was 100% like that in the beginning. And even now he has twice to three times as much energy than other dogs…
He Wants Attention
A major reason why dogs act out during the night or during the day is because they want your attention. Dogs are a lot like kids that way!
If you have kids, or you know someone with kids, then you know that when kids aren’t getting the attention they want, they’ll start acting out. Dogs will do the same thing. If your dog doesn’t think he’s getting the attention he deserves from you, he might refuse to go to sleep to try and get you to interact with him.
He Needs to Go Potty
If your dog seems antsy and is crying, barking, or won’t leave you alone, he might need to go potty. That might be even more obvious if he goes to stand by the door while you’re trying to get him to sleep.
You should also consider when the last time you fed and gave him water was. If it was fairly recent, it make sense that he needs to go outside.
10 Tips to Make a Dog Go to Sleep
So you know the reasons why your dog might be refusing to go to sleep. But how are you supposed to help him?
If you’re wondering how to put a dog to sleep fast, here are 10 tips to help you out.
1. Have a Daily Routine
Dogs tend to thrive when they have a routine. Having a daily routine for your dog will help your dog have an easier time settling down at night. It will also help you make sure that your dog is getting everything he needs!
When your dog has a routine, he knows what to expect and when. He’ll know when it’s time to play, and when it’s time to relax.
If you’re just starting to implement a routine into your dog’s life, it might take him a few days or weeks to adjust. But once he does, you’ll find that he has a much easier time settling down at night. This is because your routine is making sure that he’s getting all the activity he needs!
It also means that now he knows when it’s play time, and when it’s time to settle down for the night.
Make sure to download my free guide for a calm dog which has an example routine and other tips in it.
2. Always Take Him Out Once More Right Before Bedtime
Even if you took your dog out recently, you should make sure to let him outside one last time before you both head to bed. This will give him the chance to relieve himself, and will make sure that he doesn’t bother you for a potty break while you’re trying to sleep!
If your dog tends to need to go out late at night even after you’ve let him out right before bedtime, try restricting his access to food and water about an hour before you go to bed. This will help make sure he isn’t putting anything more into his body that needs to come back out later!
This is especially true for puppies. If your dog is still you, here are a few related articles:
- How much does an 8-week old puppy sleep?
- Why is my puppy so hyper? 4 tips for a calm puppy
- Can a 10-week old puppy sleep through the night
3. Provide Enough Mental Stimulation
Exercise isn’t only physical! You need to make sure you’re exercising your dog’s brain too. Otherwise his boredom might make him act out in the evenings.
There are lots of ways you can give your dog mental stimulation. If you need some ideas, here are 10 brain games for dogs to play at home!
Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!
4. Provide Enough Physical Stimulation
Of course, physical exercise is important too. To help prevent those dreaded evening zoomies, make sure you giving your dog physical stimulation during the day.
This can be things like going for more walks, jogging, hiking, or some extra play time during the day. As you help your dog burn more energy, you’ll find he has an easier time settling down at night!
5. Teach Him to Relax
Some dogs just don’t know how to settle down. If that’s the case with your dog, don’t worry—you can teach him!
The best way to do this is to first ignore your dog’s antics. As hard as it is, you need to discourage this behavior, and ignoring it is the best way. Then, you’ll want to reward his calm behaviors. When your dog is acting calm, give him treats or affection.
Here’s a good example:
6. Ignore the Attention Seeking Behavior
As annoying as attention seeking behavior is, the best way to discourage it is by ignoring it.
When your dog is acting out for your attention, even telling them “no” will reinforce the behavior. You’re still giving them what they want when you do this. After all, even negative attention is still attention!
It will take time and consistency, but your dog will learn that acting out isn’t the way to get him attention. Just make sure that during the day when he’s being calm and respectful, you do give him some attention! This will help him feel less attention-starved at night.
7. Give Him Something to Chew or Lick
If your dog has a hard time settling down, especially in his crate, giving him something to do with his mouth might help.
Dogs experience a lot of the world through their mouths, and licking also releases endorphins in your dog’s brain. These pleasurable feelings will help your dog relax.
For something long-lasting, try stuffing a Kong toy with peanut butter or treats. Then put it in your freezer for a few hours before giving it to your dog. That will keep his mouth busy for a while!
8. Give Him a Massage
Is there anything more relaxing than a massage? Having someone work on your tense muscles feels so nice, and if you’ve ever had one you know how fast a good massage makes you sleepy!
Well, your dog likes massages too! As a bonus, it’s super easy to give your dog a massage yourself. Here are some great ways you can massage your dog and help him settle down.
Here’s one example:
9. Put on Some Relaxing Music or White Noise
While relaxing music or white noise probably won’t fix all your problems, it might help make it easier for your dog to relax.
It’s also really easy to set up some calming music for your dog to listen to at bedtime. Just searching “calming music for dogs” on YouTube pulls up tons of videos you can play for your dog at night. Plus, it might help you relax too!
Here’s one example:
10. For Super Hyper Dogs: Let Him Sleep in a Crate
If you’re the lucky owner of a really hyper dog, getting him to sleep in a crate could help him settle down.
Your dog’s crate should be a place where your dog goes to relax. As long as you train your dog to see the crate in this way, it’ll be a really helpful tool to help him sleep at night.
Crate training takes time and consistency, but you’ll be shocked at how much it helps you and your dog! If you’re looking for a starting point, here is how to crate train a dog easily.
Here are a few other related articles:
- 6 best crates for dogs to sleep in
- How to crate train an older dog
- 7 tips to stop your dog from whining in the crate
- How to crate train a dog with separation anxiety
- My dog won’t go in his crate – what can I do?
Even though you might be having a hard time getting your dog to settle down at night, don’t despair!
There are plenty of ways you can get your dog to go to sleep. So make sure that your dog is getting enough mental and physical stimulation, help him learn to relax, and work on crate training your dog along with the rest of the above tips.
In time, your dog will start having an easier time going to sleep—and so will you!
P.s.: Don’t forget to check out Braintraining4dogs if you want to take your dog training game to the next level. It offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.