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Sleeping Through The Night


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We adopted a two-year-old girl in January. She's been wonderful so far and we love her, but she's recently had a change in her sleep pattern that is causing difficulties. For the first month and a half, she slept soundly through the night. For the last two weeks, she's woken up once each night between 2 am and 5 am, whining or sticking her nose in your face to ask to go out. If you ignore her, she'll bark until someone takes her out. She sleeps in our upstairs bedroom, so when she wakes us up, we always take her straight downstairs and to the door, and she goes outside for 3-5 minutes, then almost always comes right back upstairs with us and goes right to sleep. We both work during the day, so we can't keep waking up in the middle of the night, and we are at a loss for what is causing her to do this. Nothing has really changed in her routine. She seems to *only* want to go outside, not to play or eat, so it seems like a bad idea to just ignore her.

 

So far, we've tried making sure the curtains are fully closed, taking her out multiple times before bed, and going out with her to make sure she isn't eating something that will upset her stomach. I've read online that waking up can be a sign that they are hungry, but she's a grazer and there's food in her bowl almost at all times -- it's not like she wakes up and instantly wants to scarf down some breakfast, or finishes dinner at 6 and doesn't eat again for 12+ hours. I don't *think* it's a medical issue, because she's crated for 9-10 hours while we are at work and she hasn't had an accident since her first week with us. (And she's not typically anxious/impatient when we check in on her camera -- she seems happy to nap in her crate for that amount of time). It's way too cold to go for actual walks right now, but we do play with her in the yard and she does zoomies every day until she gets cold, plus we encourage her to play with her toys indoors as well.

 

She is being treated by her vet for a minor ear infection (ear drops) plus hookworms (pyrantel), and the waking up did start within about 3 days of giving her the hookworm treatment, but I don't see that listed as a side effect anywhere. We're going to ask him about it when we go for her followup visit in a couple days, just to make sure it's not medical, but I wanted to see if anyone else has experienced a weird change in sleep patterns with a young dog, or if anyone has any ideas about how we can correct it.

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Edited because I didn't read the whole post and what I wrote was redundant!

 

Since she is going right back to sleep, I'm assuming that she's not waking up due to being cold, You could try covering her with a blanket at bedtime or putting a lightweight housecoat on her just to rule it out though. Some dogs will wake up due to being cold and may decide it's time to go out because that's what they do when they wake up, not because they necessarily have to.

Edited by Time4ANap
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What time is her last turn out? Maybe try pushing it to as late as you can? It doesn't sound she she's waking up starving, I've got one of those and you definitely know it when that's what they want. :riphair

 

Does she tend to eat or drink right before bed? Or maybe even get up while you're sleeping for a midnight snack? One nice thing about having a regular eater is you can anticipate bathroom times a lot better. You might put the food bowl up after a certain time of night, could probably limit water, if there's no medical issue, for the last two hours before bed.

 

New treats or food that are moving through her at a different pace? We've definitely noticed that when we change things up.

 

It definitely could be her waking up for some other reason - new neighbor who leaves really early? Furnace kicking on?

Pjs did help our guy somewhat (but not when he's dying of hunger). And they are darn cute.

 

Depending on where you are, you might get a helping hand with a clock reset this weekend. In most of the US, at least, we 'Spring ahead' on Sat night/Sun morning.

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We had some sleeping issues during the first 2 or 3 months with our hound, for us it seems to be tied to hookworms/medication (particularly panacur). He can be restless during/a day or two after treatment. As we continue treatments he's been sleeping better, not sure if that's because he's getting used to the medication or there are less worms. Sometimes he'd wake up with a really grumbly stomach, so we'd give him a few dog biscuits or half a cup of kibble and he would go back to sleep. Generally speaking I think the issues are related to the worms and as time has gone on he's gotten better.

 

We also upped the walking and he now gets two walks a day- usually around a mile for each one, depending on the weather.
He also sleeps in a fleece coat, but not sure if that helps or not.

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Hookworm meds can definitely cause restlessness for the first few days. My first thought is to just rule out a UTI by taking in a sample from her first pee of the morning. Then you can go on to other reasons with a clear conscience! ;)

 

My other thought has to do with her free feeding. Lots of people with only one dog do it and there's not really a downside until you co e to something like this - you don't really know how much or when shes eating and drinking, so it's not clear if she needs intervention food-wise. In the absence of any medical cause I would probably pick up her food and water after a certain time each night.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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If adding jammies does not help and you are absolutely certain there is no medical reason that she needs to go out (UTI,etc) then this may have just become a habit for her.

Perhaps once or twice she really did need to 'go'. And then that was 'fun'...she got some attention! Then the habit of getting up has started even when she doesn't have to go.

This can also happen with hounds who think that morning wake-up time is 4am.

If this is 'just' a habit she has gotten into then the only thing to do is not reward the behaviour.

 

You'll have to not respond to her barking at all.

Do not tell her to go lay down or to be quiet. Just ignore her. Totally.

Don't move. Don't speak.

Yes...she will keep on barking!

Yes..I know how hard this will be for you. BTDT.

It will take a few nights of this new routine. You will lose sleep, but in the end it will be worth it

Edited by BatterseaBrindl

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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I'd suggest a nice long brisk walk or vigorous play session in the evening. If you have a place for her to run - do it. A 2 year old grey is a puppy, and puppies need LOT of exercise. The ONLY 2 year old grey I've had in my home was my Diana, and I swore I'd never do it again. Up side - I lost 20 lb's in the first few months we had her from walking, running, playing with her. Puppies need to MOVE. I'm not surprised that it took a month for her to change. Some Greys go into a kind of shock when they're first adopted. They're basically perfect zombies for a month or 2. Then - they get comfortable, and you have to deal with stuff.

 

More exercise, for her body, and her brain. If she's crated, she has a TON of energy to expend!!! A tired puppy is a happy puppy (and a happy human, because you then get to sleep).

 

Not a criticism at all.... just experience. I never took another foster under the age of 4 after Diana. One 2 year old was more than enough for me.

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We tried leaving her sweater on overnight in case she was cold (easiest suggestion to start with). I didn't think she was cold, because she has blankets but always ignores them, and she doesn't seem to get cold outside even in what I'd consider chilly outside weather (she'll go lay in the yard even when it's 40 degrees out). But!! She slept through the night successfully! I'm not sure if she was truly cold for the last two weeks, or if she just was calmed by having the sweater on, but either way -- thank you to everyone who suggested pajamas!!

 

We will definitely be patient with her while she deals with hookworm treatment. It's good to know she's not the only greyhound to get restless after taking her medicine. Poor girl...it sounds very uncomfortable. Thanks to everyone who shared advice!

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What time is her last turn out? Maybe try pushing it to as late as you can? It doesn't sound she she's waking up starving, I've got one of those and you definitely know it when that's what they want. :riphair

 

Does she tend to eat or drink right before bed? Or maybe even get up while you're sleeping for a midnight snack? One nice thing about having a regular eater is you can anticipate bathroom times a lot better. You might put the food bowl up after a certain time of night, could probably limit water, if there's no medical issue, for the last two hours before bed.

 

New treats or food that are moving through her at a different pace? We've definitely noticed that when we change things up.

 

It definitely could be her waking up for some other reason - new neighbor who leaves really early? Furnace kicking on?

Pjs did help our guy somewhat (but not when he's dying of hunger). And they are darn cute.

 

Depending on where you are, you might get a helping hand with a clock reset this weekend. In most of the US, at least, we 'Spring ahead' on Sat night/Sun morning.

 

Yes, I've never looked forward to Daylight Savings Time day before, but I'm thinking that will help her a lot! The sweater did seem to make a difference, but I think we are also going to try to force her to eat a bit more regularly like you suggested. Her last trip outside is already around 11:00 or so, moments before we go upstairs for bed, so it would be hard to push that further back... Thank you so much for all the ideas -- we're going to experiment with them over the weekend and hopefully figure this out!

Edited by greyhoundqs
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I'd suggest a nice long brisk walk or vigorous play session in the evening. If you have a place for her to run - do it. A 2 year old grey is a puppy, and puppies need LOT of exercise. The ONLY 2 year old grey I've had in my home was my Diana, and I swore I'd never do it again. Up side - I lost 20 lb's in the first few months we had her from walking, running, playing with her. Puppies need to MOVE. I'm not surprised that it took a month for her to change. Some Greys go into a kind of shock when they're first adopted. They're basically perfect zombies for a month or 2. Then - they get comfortable, and you have to deal with stuff.

 

More exercise, for her body, and her brain. If she's crated, she has a TON of energy to expend!!! A tired puppy is a happy puppy (and a happy human, because you then get to sleep).

 

Not a criticism at all.... just experience. I never took another foster under the age of 4 after Diana. One 2 year old was more than enough for me.

 

Yes, she's definitely a puppy! We kind of expected that going in, but she's been well-behaved so far -- just energetic and loves to run. She has plenty of toys -- plush toys and puzzle toys and "fetch" toys -- so I think she's using a good amount of mental and physical energy indoors and in the yard, given that its been below freezing basically the entire time we've had her. We have a big enough yard for her to get up to speed and tire herself out -- usually 4 or 5 laps and then it's nap time. I think she's lazier than most 2-year-olds, but still certainly more energetic than an older dog! Once it warms up and she can be comfortable on walks again, we will definitely do more of those. Thanks for the advice!

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My girl Cooper would go through cycles with me...getting me up to let her out...for years. Was not fun but I did it. She never did the inside stairs in the six years we had her and any attempts at retraining caused us both stress, so I let it go even though I am sure had she slept with us in the bedroom things would have been better. Once outside she would PLAY, run around digging holes and looking for squirrels, getting me to go out after her in my pajamas to get her back inside. It wasn't fun but I did it. We lost Cooper a month ago today to osteo at the age of nine. I wouldn't mind being woken up for a play session now.

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