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My dog definitely has no trouble sleeping, especially when it’s cloudy, rainy, or cold. If your dog ever does, read on for Jimmy Aki’s remedies…
Jimmy Aki is a professional writer who lives with his partner and Oscar, his cat. You can find his articles at Medium.com as well as answers on pet-related issues on Quora.com. He also crafts content strategies for websites he manages.
Sleep Disorders in Dogs and What to Do About Them by Jimmy Aki
There might be times when your dog finds it hard to sleep and it is quite noticeable when this happens. An adult dog sleeps about 8 to 14 hours daily – this combines naptime during the day and sleeps at night. Sleep is very key to your dog’s overall health as it keeps them refreshed and energetic to get on with the next day.
No one wants a canine that whines, becomes disoriented during the day, or disturbs you through the night. Sleep deprivation is a big problem in dogs and due to how easy it is for their stress hormones to build up when they are deprived of sleep, you might start noticing a change in behavior from your dog as time goes on.
Here are some common types of sleep disorders in dogs and ways you can nip it in the bud when it occurs.
1. Canine Insomnia
This is more common in older dogs and while dogs don’t suffer from it too often, it is normal to find your dog getting sleepless nights from time to time but when this trend continues for several days, then you need to check your dog as he could be suffering from insomnia. Visiting a veterinarian will help you identify the underlying problem for insomnia as it often underlines a bigger problem that you’re probably not aware of. Problems such as pent-up energy, itchy skin caused by fleas or even arthritis. Some proven methods of relieving insomnia include changing diet, acupuncture, and aromatherapy. The first stage, however, is to find out what the underlying problem is before deciding on the best solution for your dog.
2. Sleep Apnea
If your dog is constantly being overfed, there is a possibility that it could suffer from sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is common in obese dogs such as pugs and bulldogs. With sleep apnea, the excessive fat that has been stored up in the body narrows the airway, temporarily which ends up keeping the dog wide awake during the night. These constant interruptions could be mild and sometimes, it could be really severe. When it becomes severe, you will notice tiredness and chronic snoring from your dog. Treating this is important as if left untreated, it could lead to loss of life. One easy way of treating sleep apnea in dogs is through a weight loss program. These include creating a weight loss diet for your dog, limit in access to current food or in the quantity being feed, reduction in treats and table scraps. The first step here, however, is a veterinary examination. Medical examination ensures your dog is checked for any underlying cause or if there are other medical conditions that might hinder weight reduction.
This sleep disorder affects younger dogs and it is a nervous sleep disorder. Just as it is in humans, narcolepsy occurs when a dog suffers from excessive lack of energy and daytime sleepiness. If your dog suddenly collapses on its side and falls asleep during the day, you might have a dog that is suffering from narcolepsy. Check the muscles; are they slacking? If your dog also appears to fall into a deep sleep with rapid eye movement during this period, it’s time for you to visit the vet. As with most sleep disorders, narcolepsy has an underlying problem which is muscle paralysis otherwise known as cataplexy. Currently, this sleep disorder is not curable but it can be managed to reduce the severity and the number of narcoleptic episodes your dog suffers from.
Do your pets have problems sleeping?