Does your pooch often disrupt your sweet sleep moments especially in the early hours of the day or midnight? You’re not alone, a lot of dog owners share in this unpleasant experience.
Well, unfortunately your alarm clock may not work on your canine. In fact, for a determined pooch, their owner stops sleeping the moment they are awake — that’s their chief mission every morning.
Although it can be pleasant starting your day with a lick from your four-legged friend, but not when it happens too early. As a deep sleeper, your dog’s early-morning hijacks could ruin your rest and even the rest of your day.
So the question is, “how can you prevent your dog from waking you up?” Don’t despair, your pooch can actually learn to respect your treasured sleep-in.
In this article, we’ll discuss the measures you can put in place to nip this problem in the bud so you can enjoy a good night rest daily.
But don’t you care to know why your furry friend wakes you up so early. Let’s clarify that first. I believe it would help you understand your pooch’s behavior better.
Why do dogs wake their owners up very early?
You might first be surprised because you feel dogs are independent in nature. Well, maybe nature betrays them when they need care and entertainment from their loved one or owner.
Basically, there are three main reasons why your furry friend would want to wake you up in the early hours of the day. It may be because:
- They are hungry
- They need to use the bathroom
- They want to play or stay near you
Remember, your dog can’t feed itself, so when they wake you up in the night, it might simply be a call for a re-fill of their bowl.
Sometimes, waking you up at night means they need to go relieve themselves outside and they need you to open the door, especially when you don’t have a doggy door.
Also, your dog might simply be bored and needs another session of play. Not so cool about dogs, but they do not care about the time sometimes, they just want to be entertained and enjoy your company.
So when you notice that they are full of energy after waking you up in the middle of the night, know what they are well rested and need someone to catch some fun with.
Although these are the most common reasons why most dogs wake their owners up so early, other times, it can be hard to determine what your dog really wants.
If you understand the problem, you can quickly fix it, but you don’t have to go through this every day.
So we’ve put together the best ways for you to stop this behavior from becoming a habit in your pooch.
How to prevent your dog from waking you up
Without further ado, here are the best measures you can put in place to help your dog wake up around the time you’re also waking up so you both feel well rested:
Make your room conducive for sleeping
You need to ensure that your dog’s room is very conducive for sleeping when it is bedtime. Dogs generally have an internal clock that wakes up with the sun. So if there is too much light or sun rays in your dog’s room or your room (if your dog sleeps in your room), you need to adjust it to turn the room into a sleepy environment.
You can invest in some room darkening curtains and draw them closed at night. This way, the curtain will block out the amount of sunlight that gain access into the room, which will help your dog stay in bed for a longer period.
So when you wake up, you can open the curtain to let allow light come in. This will help your dog know it is time to wake up.
If your dog sleeps in a crate, you can drape a blanket over the crate to get the same effect. When it is morning, you can remove the blanket and they’ll wake up almost immediately.
However, you should always ensure that your dog gets a comfortable and warm place to sleep. Remove all food and toys from the room where they sleep. You don’t want to encourage eating and playtime when it is time to sleep.
Make sure your dog is not sick
If your dog wasn’t used to waking up very early, but has recently started, it could mean they are sick. But it may be hard to determine the specific illness that is causing your dog to wake up too early. Factors such as infection, old age, or just a general discomfort may be disrupting your dog’s sleep cycle.
But it might be hard to pinpoint sickness as the reason why your dog is waking you up early. You should check closely for other behavioral changes and signs that show that your dog is sick. This might include decreased activity level or a change or loss in appetite.
Note that dogs, especially the older ones, suffer dementia, just like humans do. But this condition can cause changes in their sleep cycle, causing them to wake you up early.
Your dog may also be suffering from separation anxiety. Yeah, just a few hours and they might start feeling anxious to see you again.
Put your dog on a schedule
Dogs can actually operate on their own schedule and internal clock. You can train them to follow the same schedule every day. This can help to alter their internal clock to sleep longer and stop waking you up.
It is best to put your dog on a schedule right from when they are a puppy. This does not rule out the possibility of establishing a routine with older dogs. You just need to be consistent and in no time, your pooch will adjust. You can schedule their playtime, feedings, and bedtime this way.
To maintain a routine, you should feed your dog at the same time each day and keep their playtime consistent — schedule a playtime for morning and evening before bedtime. This way, your dog will enjoy a nap in the middle of the day and tire out again before bedtime.
You should also try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Let your dog use the bathroom right before bed
Even if you just enjoyed some play session outside with your dog some 30 minutes ago, ensure you take them outside to use the bathroom more time before heading to bed. Otherwise, your dog may have to go use the bathroom during the night and they may deem it fit to wake you up.
Stand your ground when they try waking you very early
This may seem simple but it is the hardest way to stop your dog from waking you up early. You can try this if you’ve observed that your dog intentionally wakes you up all the time to play.
Once you’ve decided on a time to wake up daily, say 6:30 am, don’t get out of bed sooner. Even if your dog bark, whine, tug at the blanket, or leap on the bed, stay put and ignore them.
But note that this might oppose every instinct you possess as a loving dog owner. However, it will teach your dog to also wake up at 6:30 am — and not any moment earlier.
If your dog wakes you up at night all the time, you can correct this behavior by making a few adjustments like we’ve discussed above. However, if they persist after trying all these measures, you may need to talk to your veterinarian to figure out the problem and how to resolve it