Senior Dog Anxiety At Night; Symptoms and 6 easy Solutions

Golden Retriever

When everything settles down at night, no one wants to hear barking sounds, pacing, and whining. Your dog’s anxiety doesn’t only disrupt your sleep, but your dog doesn’t get the rest he needs. When your dog gets old, you’ll see the increased frequency of these behaviors. Here we’ll discuss the reasons for senior dog anxiety at night and how to improve the situation.

Senior Dog Panting at Night

Panting is common in dogs because it allows dogs to show that they’re tired of exercising. Excessive panting, on the other hand, is a sign of health issues. Dogs have higher temperatures than humans, so they pant to regulate their body temperature. Also, excessive panting shows signs of fear and anxiety.

If your senior dog is randomly panting in the middle of the night in your tranquil home, what could cause this behavior? The most common reasons for panting when there is not an apparent temperature-related cause are from fear or pain, anxiety, and disease-related panting such as heart failure or any lung ailments, to name a few.

Why Is my Dog Freaking Out at Night?

Nighttime restlessness can cause loss of sleep for your dog and all family members. There can be several reasons for dog freaking throughout the night, such as separation anxiety, lack of safe space, the need to go, changes in routine, and excessive energy.

Puppies get restless at night if there are any changes in their sleeping arrangement. However, if there is any medical condition such as body discomfort, poor eyesight, stress, etc., that can cause them to freak out at night. The best way to rule out any medical issues is to consult with your vet.

Moreover, other causes for senior dogs can be aging, weather changes, fear of loud noises such as thunders, and underlying medical issues, which can cause discomfort.

Also for older dogs, if he’s suddenly scared at night, that can be the first symptom of canine dementia. 

Create an environment that is quiet and somewhat dark.

How to Help Older Dog Sleep Through the Night?

Now that we ruled out any medical conditions with your senior dog, try these simple and effective remedies to help it have a better night sleep:

  • Buy an orthopedic dog bed: Ensure that your dog can get in and out of bed quickly. Moreover, it’s a practical option for older joints and back pain or arthritis. Make sure the bed is in a well-ventilated area, not too cold or too warm. Your dog should feel comfortable.
  • Standard bedtime routine: Set a normal waking and sleeping time. Dogs love routine. If your sleeping and waking time is different every day, try to have your dog sleep in a side room with no distractions.
  • Quiet relaxing music: You’ll see many videos on YouTube about dogs falling asleep to the sound of soft, soothing music. It helps. Recent studies from Science Direct proved that soft music helped with more relaxed behavior in dogs. Music therapy is a natural anxiety remedy to help with a sleep disorder.
  • Attachment: If your dog is anxious and can’t sleep, it’s because you’re away from him probably. Comfort your dog by sitting with him and massaging his back until he calms down. He might not fall asleep, but at least he’ll be relaxed comfortably knowing you’re beside him.
  • Supplements: Off-the-shelf calming chews or supplements can help relieve stress from thunderstorms, fireworks, separation anxiety, and any other situation that may cause your dog’s anxiousness. They’re an easy-to-use solution to help senior dogs manage stress.
  • Vet prescribed diet: Nutrition can make a big difference in how healthy dogs remain as they age. A proper veterinary prescribed diet can help our dogs stay active and vibrant well into their senior years. The more engaged they are in the day, the better they sleep at night.
Sleepy dog's eyes wide open

How Do You Relieve a Senior Dog Panting at Night?

As mentioned earlier, there can be many reasons for your senior dog’s discomfort, so you have to try different things to calm an anxious dog at night. When a dog’s routine changes, it makes the dog nervous and fearful.

Follow these calming bedtime routines for anxious dogs:

  • A comfortable and secure place to sleep

Most dogs sleep at the same place every night, so it helps to provide them a comfortable bed. You can provide your dog an anxiety dog bed or a self-warming dog bed to enjoy a restful night’s sleep. Moreover, these beds offer security, comfort, and joints support. The best thing about these beds is that they can be easily washed in a washing machine.

  • A bedtime scent

Before turning to medications, try some natural remedies like using a bedtime scent. Some scents have amazing calming effects and can quickly calm your anxious dog.

  • Cuddle toys

Dogs feel comfortable when you provide them with cuddle toys. Don’t offer toys that will get them too excited. Buy toys that are specifically designed for bedtime and can promote a good night’s sleep.

Final Words

When dogs get older, they need more attention and care because they suffer from different health problems. Among those problems are their sleep restlessness and awakening at night. Identify the reasons for their anxiousness and then provide solutions accordingly. We hope this article helped you figure out the leading causes for your senior dog anxiety at night and find the right calming answers for your anxious pup.



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