If you’re struggling to stay awake during the day because you were woken up early by your little canine alarm clock, you’ll be wondering how to get your dog to sleep later in the morning so you can enjoy a bit more shut eye.
The good news for dog owners is that it’s actually not as difficult as it seems to encourage your pups to have a lie in. The trick is to identify why your dog is waking as this will help determine what measures you need to take to help you and your dog rest more thoroughly, and more effectively.
2. Rule out medical problems
Some common canine medical problems don’t always produce obvious symptoms that are easy to recognise, but instead display themselves very subtly, such as early waking. Therefore one of the first things to take into account is whether your dog is waking due to an underlying medical condition.
Research indicates that urinary tract infections affect roughly 14 percent of the canine population, and this is a very common reason for dogs waking early in the morning. A urinary tract infection in dogs is very similar to the condition in humans, and it causes suprapubic pressure. This pressure around the pelvis presses on the bladder and makes your dog feel like he needs to urinate, even if he has an empty bladder. It can make your dog very uncomfortable and he may begin waking early thinking he needs to use the toilet.
Fortunately, urinary tract infections in dogs are very easy to treat, although they may recur sporadically. For very severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics. The conditions can usually be treated through increasing your dog’s water intake and giving natural treatments such as cranberry which encourage the kidneys to flush out toxins.
Ruling out underlying medical conditions could be the first step towards discovering how to get your dog to sleep later in the morning.
3. Increase exercise & daytime activity
Media sources are reporting that approximately one in five dog owners aren’t exercising their dogs enough, which is leading to a significant rise in canine obesity. Around the world, obesity levels in dogs are hovering between 20 and 40 percent. While this can have detrimental effects on your dog’s overall health and wellbeing, it can also be associated with another problem – early waking.
If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, chances are he’s simply not tiring himself out enough to enable him to sleep much past dawn. Depending on the size and age of your dog, he most likely requires between 30 and 60 minutes exercise each and every day to ensure he’s tired by the end of the day.
Dogs often taken their cues from light levels, and will begin to stir once the sun begins to rise. If you’re not tiring your dog out you can generally expect him to wake whenever it becomes light outside. Sadly, many dog owners don’t realize that they’re not exercising their pups enough. If you’re wondering how to get your dog to sleep later in the morning, it’s worth thinking about your walking schedule and routine, and seeing if it needs tweeking.
4. Is your dog really awake?
If you tend to get up out of bed the first time your canine alarm clock sounds, here’s something that may surprise you. Although he’s barking, your dog may not actually be awake. You may not have to wonder how to get your dog to sleep later in the morning, he may simply do it all by himself if he’s given the chance to do so.
Just like humans, dogs have sleep/wake cycles during the night, which means that they drift in and out of consciousness. They also go through many different states of the sleep within the sleep/wake cycle itself. Studies on canine sleep have discovered that the average dog spends roughly 12 percent of the night in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is when he dreams. Around 23 percent of the night is spent in slow wave sleep (also known as deep sleep), and 21 percent of the night is spent in a drowsy state of wakefulness. However the majority of the night, roughly 44 percent, is spent in what’s known as ‘alert wakefulness’. This is when your dog is still within the sleep/wake cycle but is aware of what’s going on around him.
During alert wakefulness, some dogs may bark. This can be misinterpreted as being fully awake, especially if the timing coincides with early morning. Barking doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is ready to get out of bed. It could just be a part of their sleep/wake cycle. Although it’s difficult to ignore a barking dog, try leaving him for just a few minutes and see if he shows signs of settling and going back to sleep. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to drift back off too!
The key to ‘how to get your dog to sleep later’
As you can see, there are many different reasons why a dog may wake earlier than you’d like. Identifying the reason why is an important step in rectifying the issue.
The reason for your dog waking will ultimately determine the methods and techniques you use when it comes to figuring out how to get your dog to sleep later in the morning, so identification really is key.