9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Restless At Night + 9 Tips

If you used to sleep soundly at night and suddenly your dog begins being restless, you might be wondering what could be behind the restlessness. 


Even though your dog’s restlessness could be making you worried, don’t fret. This post will give you an insight into what might be going on with your furry friend. 


Continue reading this article to find out:


  • The signs and causes of anxiety in fidos.
  • If pests are contributing to your dog’s strange behaviour.
  • If life changes are making your fido act out.
  • How mental exercises can ease your fido’s restlessness.

Why Is My Fido Suddenly Restless At Night?

Sudden life changes and pests can be contributing factors. Digestive tract issues or other medical conditions could be behind your fido’s sudden restlessness. Other problems such as the inability to control their bladder and headaches can make dogs restless. 


Specific Scenarios: Scenario 1: Why Is My Aging Fido Restless At Night?

Your aging furry friend can become suddenly restless due to dementia or arthritis. If your dog’s restlessness is due to dementia, you’ll notice other signs such as panting. 

Scenario 2: Why does Panting accompany my Fido’s Restlessness At Night?

Anxiety could be behind your fido’s panting and restlessness. Stress can come about from general fear, separation or noise sensitivity. If your dog is old, it could be because of arthritis or dementia. 

Scenario 3: Why Is My Dog Crying And Restless At Night?

Your fido’s whining and restlessness could be as a result of loneliness, being separated from their litter, pain, wanting to relieve themselves, or they could be having a new toy and they don’t know what to do with it.

9 Reasons Why Your Fido Is Suddenly Restless At Night

1: Dementia/Cognitive Dysfunction 

Veterinarians can detect dementia in fidos by carrying out cognitive tests. 


A dog with cognitive dysfunction usually wakes up disoriented, making them fearful of its environs. 


According to research, most fidos aged 16 years and over have cognitive dysfunction. Studies show that most dogs start displaying signs of dementia when they reach ten years of age.  


In the early stages of dementia, the physical sign of the disease is discomfort.


2: Anxiety

Your fido could be having noise sensitivity—a condition that is triggered by particular sounds at night. Fireworks or thunder can make your dog pant and become restless suddenly.


Research suggests that fear, separation anxiety and noise sensitivity are among the most common stressors in dogs. 


Other signs of stress in fidos are:


  • Whining.
  • Barking.
  • Increased salivation.
  • Trembling.
  • Inability to control their bladder.


3: Lack Of Physical Activity

If your pooch has been alone for most of the day, they’ve likely been sleeping all day. Therefore, they look forward to more than just food and a walk when you get home. 


Inactivity leads to a buildup of energy, which makes your fido restless. 


If you can’t interact with your dog, they become bored and might start coming up with fun activities to occupy themselves. 


The only problem in such a scenario is that your fido’s idea of fun might differ from yours. Therefore, you might have a problem with the “solution” your pooch has come up with. 


4: Pain

Does your pooch nap and wake up suddenly?


If this is the case, they could be in pain. 


A dog in pain is characterised by: 


  • Panting.
  • Pacing.
  • Licking where it hurts.
  • Vocalising. 
  • Restlessness.


All this can occur at night due to headache, spinal, joint or muscle pain.


Arthritis can also make your dog pant and become restless because finding a comfortable position to sleep can be challenging. The pain they endure during this process makes them pant. 


If your dog is licking its lips, is restless, and drooling, it could indicate that it has problems with its digestive tract. 

5: A Change In Your Fido’s Life

Like humans, life changes such as moving homes, the death of a loved one, a newborn, partners or a new pet can affect your pooch in a significant way.    


Let’s look at moving homes as an example. You might think it’s insignificant. Mainly if it isn’t the first time, you are moving. 


Moving takes a lot of time and effort. However, once you’re settled in, the stress is over.


Nevertheless, for your furry friend, the feeling could be the opposite. Since it’s a new environment, your dog may need some time to adjust to feel safe. 


For your dog, many things have changed, not just where they live. They have to get accustomed to their new walking routine, especially if your move is rushed.  


Moving will have you preoccupied. So much so that you might fail to notice how much the move is affecting your pooch. Your dog will be clueless about what moving entails. All they see is that their walks are shorter or delayed, which stresses them. Consequently, they can become very restless at night.  

6: Nature Call 

While this reason might seem obvious, that doesn’t render it invalid. Waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom is very common.


I mean, if it was you, would you be able to continue sleeping soundly and ignore your need to go to the bathroom?


However, if this often happens with your pooch, it could indicate an underlying condition. 


The diseases that can make your fido urinate frequently include:


  • Hormonal illnesses(like Cushing’s disease or diabetes ).
  • Gastrointestinal disease.
  • Kidney disease.
  • UTI (Urinary Tract Infections).
  • Neuro-muscular conditions.

Contact your vet for more information. They’ll carry out urine and blood tests to determine the cause. 

7: Loneliness

If you’ve recently got a puppy, there are some things you need to take into consideration. 


The puppy could be missing their littermates or mum. Therefore, they could be feeling lonely as they don’t have anyone to comfort them. 


Dogs are likely to be scared if left alone in a room. Additionally, if you’ve placed the puppy in a crate, they might feel isolated. In any case, fidos are social creatures. 


Consequently, the puppy will try to get your attention by scratching, barking or whining. When they do this, they’re trying to tell you not to leave them all alone. 

8: Critter Alert 

Many dog owners are usually baffled when they see their fidos barking at nothing. The truth is, dogs don’t bark without reason. Dogs can hear what humans can’t.


However, this isn’t to say that dogs can see supernatural things like ghosts. Your dog could be hearing possums or cats wandering around.


Or, your house could be having pests. The noises produced by pests are usually noticeable at night since nights are generally quieter. 


The sounds could be agitating your fido since they can’t hunt the creatures down. Or, it could be that the critter is outside while your fido is in. Or, the pests could be in your cellar or attic. 


Examples of creatures that might be living in your home are:


  • Opossums.
  • Squirrels.
  • Bats.
  • Raccoons.
  • Mice/Rats.


9: It Could Be The New Toy You Bought For Your Dog

If you’ve recently given your fido a new chew toy or bone, it could be what’s making it restless.  


Dogs can sometimes have a favourite toy they want to do something special. 


 There are several things your dog can do with the toy:



Your dog will carry the toy around and whine if they’re unsure where to hide it. If your fido has never hidden toys before, they can find it very confusing.


They could also be confused because they know they ought to do something with the toy. 

Bonus: It Could Be A Medication Side Effect

If your fido is under medication, it could be what’s causing it to be so restless.


For example, if your pooch is on steroids, the steroids can make your dog take more water and urinate often.


Be sure always to check the side effects of any medication that your dog may be taking. Keep an eye out for incontinence, restlessness, or insomnia. 

9 Tips To Calm A Restless Dog At Night 

1: Get Your Fido The Most Comfortable Bed You Can

A comfortable bed is a must-have, especially for a dog that’s gone through surgery or one that’s aging. 


Arthritis is a common old-age disease in dogs. And, dogs that have undergone surgery because of arthritis require a comfortable bed where they can recuperate without disturbance. 


You can get comfortable beds on Amazon, such as the orthopedic memory foam PetFusion Mattress.


The mattress is equipped with memory foam that adjusts depending on your fido’s posture and pillows for head support—fun fact: dogs like sleeping with their heads raised. 


It’s important to note that even for a dog with a clean bill of health, a good bed is still essential.


2: Do This Before Making A Trip To The Vet

If your dog is suddenly restless, you’ll first want to rule out any diseases. 


However, before you book an appointment with your vet, start recording any patterns you notice in your fido in a journal. 


Pay attention to:


  • The time the restlessness occurs.
  • How long the restlessness persists.
  • Are there any recurring events that you notice before the onset of the restlessness? What your fido does when they’re restless—do they whine, bark or pant?


If you have the answer to these queries beforehand, it might help your vet know what could be the cause of your dog’s restlessness faster. 

3: Give Your FidoSome Calming Aids

If your fido gets stressed at night, you can try giving them relaxing aids such as:


  • Hemp oil.
  • L-theanine.
  • L-tryptophan.
  • Chamomile.
  • Valerian.


Always ensure you consult your vet before you buy supplements for your dog. If your fido suffers from extreme anxiety, talk to your vet to determine the best course of action to help it deal with stress.

4: Ensure Your Dog Exercises Regularly

Dogs require regular exercise. Ensure you meet your fido’s exercise requirements. Exercise needs differ depending on your fido’s personality, size and age. Just ensure that your pooch gets at least 30 mins of exercise daily. 


Mental exercises can help prevent undesirable behaviours such as chewing furniture and barking. Mental activities are just as important as physical exercises. Therefore, ensure that your fido exercises their minds from time to time. 


Bearing this in mind, you can get your fido:


A Dog Sitter/Walker:

If you can’t spend a lot of time with your fido, look for someone who can, such as a dog walker or a pet sitter. 


Alternatively, you can ask your friend or relative to pet sit. 


If you have a tight schedule and cannot take your dog for routine walks, you can request your dog-loving friend to take your dog for a walk and play with them. 


Your dog will get used to your friend or your sitter with time. Therefore, when you’re busy, you are assured that you can still take your fido for their regular walks, which will free up time for you to do other things and give the dog the exercise they need. 

Interactive Treat Dispenser:

Getting your fido interactive treat dispensers such as LC dolida would be a great way to keep them entertained throughout the day.

Mental Puzzles: 

Puzzles, too, can keep your dog entertained all day. Your dog’s highlight would be getting a treat once they’ve completed the puzzle. 

Stuffed Kong:

Vets and dog trainers highly recommend this toy.  


It assists fidos to deal with:


  • Boredom.
  • Barking. 
  • Anxiety.

Snuffle Mat:

The rug has a unique make. An interactive feeder mat such as AWOOF would be great for your dog. To top it off, the rug is foldable, and you can store it once your fido is done with it.  


The snuffle mat has excellent reviews from all dog owners. It’s the ideal toy if you want something to keep your dog engaged all day. 


Some owners buy this mat as a birthday gift for their furry friends. The goal is to keep your dog entertained while busy with work. The mat is also ideal if your dog suffers from anxiety. 

Teeth Cleaning Ball:

You can also get your fido a two-in-one tooth cleaner like idepet, which doubles up as a toy.  


Your dog will go crazy over this toy, and all you have to do is throw it, and your dog will fetch it. 

5: Try To Recreate A Litter Environment For The New Pup

While this might sound difficult —it’s not.

Option 1

All you require is warm water in a container banded in a rug and a watch.  


The method probably sounds strange, but it will be helpful in due time.


The watch will serve as a heartbeat, while the warm water in a container will serve as another puppy’s body. 

Option 2 

You can also try buying a pet companion such as SmartPetLove. This toy will come in handy when you are away and at night. 


The toy is warm and comes equipped with a heartbeat function—just what your puppy needs.


Either of these two options will help your pup adjust to its new life without its littermates. 

6: Start A Bedtime Routine 

Developing a routine is very important for fidos. This means that your dog should have a sleeping, feeding and walking pattern. 


Fidos are fond of having a routine. A routine is also beneficial for you.


Once you establish a walking, sleeping and feeding schedule for your furry friend, you’ll be well versed with their habits and won’t have to constantly wonder if it’s time for them to sleep or potty.

7: Get Your Fido An Anxiety Reducing Wrap

If your fido suffers from anxiety, you can get them a calming anxiety cover. This is a practical and popular approach when dealing with an anxious fido. 


The wrap also offers comfort during:


  • Barking.
  • Crating.
  • Thunderstorms.
  • Fireworks.


You can also use the wrap when travelling with your furry friend.

8: Call an Exterminator

Call an exterminator and have your home checked if you think your dog’s restlessness could be because of pests. 

9: Put The Puppy Crate In Your Bedroom

If your pup has recently been separated from its littermates, it may have difficulty adjusting to a new environment. 


Have them sleep in your bedroom so that they don’t get anxious. For their safety, leave them inside their crates. Even though the crates are closed, they can still feel your presence. This will reassure them. You can start moving the crate after a few nights. However, ensure you don’t hasten this process.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *