5 Ways to Help Your Pet Sleep Better
Did you know cats can snooze 15 to 20 hours a day? Like their wild counterparts, who hunt at night when prey is easiest to catch, house cats might find their sleep habits tied to that evolution. This may explain why your cat sometimes races up and down the hallway in the middle of the night, or as one owner says, “my cats turn into manic, meth-head demons at night.”
While dogs may not have quite the nocturnal reputation, Dogster reports they log 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily, depending on age and activity level. Their sleep isn’t always at night.
Why Your Pet Won’t Sleep at Night
- They stand guard, so every little noise triggers their meowing or barking
- They’re elderly and may be confused at night, similar to how people with dementia experience an increase in behavioral problems that begin at dusk
- They’ve developed bad sleep habits like needing to go out or eat in the middle of the night
- They’re lonely
5 Tips to Help Your Pet Sleep Better:
- If you’ve got a guard dog or cat, your pet sees or hears noises you don’t, like the deer nibbling your daisies. A pet can’t discern whether every car door slam is cause for alarm, and so it alerts you to everything. To help your pet, close the blinds so your inside animal can’t see critters outside. Play soft music where a cat or dog sleeps, or try a white noise machine to drown out things going thump in the night.
- Consider a vet check. Dogs can suffer with narcolepsy, an extreme tendency to fall asleep when relaxed. Likewise, pets can develop conditions that prevent them from sleeping well at night, including a type of dementia as well as sleep/wake cycle changes. A vet may find a medical reason for the insomnia, and offer some solutions, like medication.
- If your pet wakes you too early, don’t give in to their demands for play or food. As hard as it is, ignore them. Otherwise you’re enforcing the bad habit — if you keep feeding them on demand, they’ll keep waking you.
- If you suspect your pet is lonely, include extra cuddle time before bed. Make sure they have a warm, inviting spot, a favorite blanket or toy, and a good night pat before sending them to sleep.
- Provide active playtime in the evening. A good play session, a walk and a little late-night nibble might help your furry friends bed down easier and sleep sweeter.
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