You have probably noticed that when you have a late-night, your dog will generally go off to their bed at the same time as usual. Routine is of the utmost importance to our canine friends; they thrive upon it. Walk time, feeding time, playtime & bedtime are all crucial parts of your dog’s routine.
Any adjustment to this routine can throw your dog’s behavior out of balance. It doesn’t take a significant disruption to your dog’s regular schedule of events to make them anxious, naughty, or fearful. If you travel or go away, your dog may also experience additional separation anxiety, which can cause significant disruption to your dog’s routine and well-being. Besides, factors such as thunderstorms, parties, and other loud noises can have a massive effect on your dog. So, how can we reduce the amount of anxiety your dog experiences at bedtime, specifically?
Calming Routines for Dogs at Bedtime:
1 Introduce a toy to cuddle
As a child, you may remember the sense of comfort you got when cuddling your favorite toy at bedtime. Well, the same can work to comfort your four-legged friend. However, you must select a new toy that your dog does not associate with playtime, as this could encourage play at the wrong time. Soft plush calming toys are the order of the day here,
2 The use of scents
Calming scents that humans use can also work well for your pooch! A blend of essential oils can work wonders to relieve the anxiety that has been built up throughout the day. A little scent can be applied to their cuddle toy. Use calming scents such as chamomile or lavender, but on the application, be mindful that a dog’s sense of smell is infinitely more powerful than ours. Therefore, apply the scent sparingly.
3 A nice tasty bedtime treat
A snack or drink at bedtime is something we humans do to unwind and release the stress of the day. We can do the same for our dogs, getting them used to something nice and associate this with going to bed. As this routine becomes firmly ingrained, your dog may eventually even ask you for the treat as they become tired and are ready for bed. All-natural ingredient snacks are our recommendation as you want something reasonably light on the stomach. Examples of this type of snack may be oat bran or rye flour snacks.
4 Increase in exercise
Getting your dog to take more exercise is a great way to help them to shut down at night. When dogs are active, their stress levels tremendously drop. Using a regular schedule of outdoor or indoor exercises can help keep your dog calm.
5 Music therapy
Like humans, dogs can find specific types of music profoundly relaxing to the point that they can aid them in slumber. As you would expect, soft and gentle music is best fitting to this situation and can work a treat!
6 A secure place to sleep
Providing a secure, safe, and cozy place for your dog to sleep is a highly effective way to ease bedtime anxiety. Therapists have designed calming Dog Beds like those from Bobby Bed with exactly that in mind. The shag materials used have been specially selected to mimic the soothing nature of mothers’ fur from when they were pups. The shape of the bed is also ingenious. Formed like a donut with bolsters around the outer edge, this enables your pup to nestle right down into the plush fabric. This provides a calming sense, similar to being cuddled.
Therefore, try out these tried and tested routines to help manage your dog’s anxiety during this most complicated of years, and fingers crossed your dog will feel less anxious and rested at bedtime.