How to Help Your Pets Get Better Sleep

March is sleep awareness month, and while many of us are conscientious about the quality and quantity of our own sleep, it’s not always a natural jump to consider the Zzz’s our pets catch every night! As is the case for us, our pets benefit greatly from sleeping well, too. The below tips, tricks, and products will help ensure your fur friend has sweet dreams on the regular.

Wear ‘Em Out with Fun Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Our furry friends rely on us for more than food, water, and cuddles! As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure they’re getting the mental stimulation they require, as well as plenty of physical exercise. The amount your pet needs to feel sated depends on their age, breed, and sometimes their personality. When they meet their daily mental/physical needs, they’ll be much more tuckered out in the evening and ready to sleep!

Shoppables:
1. Frisco Bird Teaser with Feathers Cat Toy, $2.98
2. Frisco Plush, Teaser, Ball & Tri-Tunnel Cat Toy with Catnip, $19.98
3. KONG Puppy Dog Toy, $6.99
4. Frisco Hide and Seek Plush Trash Can Puzzle Dog Toy, $10.98

 

 

Follow the Same Routine Every Evening

In the same way we humans benefit from creating a nightly regimen and going to bed/waking up at the same time, pets require consistency around their bedtimes. (P.S. When you have a consistent routine, your pet will, too. Make it a team effort.) 

Maybe this involves a yummy treat before crawling into their crate or their bed, or maybe it’s 10 minutes of play before you shut your bedroom door.

Speaking from personal experience, my own kitties are very thrown off when we alter this bedtime regimen, especially if it’s a few days at a time. They’re more likely to sleep through the and be wide awake (and very loud) at night, which affects our sleep. 

In these cases, it helps to gently wake our cats up during the day and to play with them more in the daylight, that way they’ll more quickly re-adjust to our usual regimen!

Shoppables:
1. American Journey Peanut Butter Recipe Grain-Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats, $3.14
2. Higgins Sunburst Treats True Fruits Dried Exotic Fruits Bird Treats, $3.99
3. Greenies Feline Catnip Flavor Adult Dental Cat Treats, $8.49

Ensure They’ve Got Comfy, Safe Sleeping Quarters

Just like you, pets sleep better when they’re in a comfortable bed and feel secure and safe in their space. You don’t have to go out and buy an expensive new bed, of course. My cats personally enjoy sleeping in baskets, and even when I’ve tried to put cushy blankets inside the basket they say, “No, thanks!” Cats like spaces where they feel contained, such as the aforementioned basked, a hideaway compartment, or even a simple cardboard box.

Dogs also appreciate feeling safe. Some pet parents have success with using a large crate at night (sometimes even leaving the door open so their pup can come in and out). Some dogs don’t like this, however, so it’s really a matter of trial and error. Some do just fine on a comfy dog bed or folded blankets. 

A designated sleeping spot will help create more routine for your pup, and as a bonus, it’ll keep them off the furniture.

One way to lure them into this designated spot is to put an article of your clothing in the area so they have your calming scent nearby! This is especially handy if you do not want your pet sleeping in the bed (not ideal for either of you) or even the bedroom. It lessens that feeling of separation anxiety.

 

 

 

Shoppables:
1. Frisco Plush Orthopedic Front Bolster Cat & Dog Bed w/Removable Cover, $79.99
2. PupRug Faux Fur Curve Orthopedic Pillow Dog Bed w/Removable Cover, $148
3. Prevue Pet Products Good Night Bird Cage Cover, $23.54
4. Litter Robot Cat Side Table, $149

Consider Some Calming Clothing  

Dogs, specifically, can benefit from wearing calming clothing, such as a Thundershirt, in the evening. This is a garment that fits snugly to apply light pressure, which in turn helps reduce anxiety while having a lulling effect. It’s the same idea as swaddling a baby. Even if your pet doesn’t wear one every night, it can come in handy in situations where they may feel especially anxious. This includes holidays with fireworks, hearing ambulance sirens, going to the vet or groomers, or spending a day or two away from you.

Shoppables:
1. ThunderShirt Anxiety & Calming Aid for Dogs, $44.95
2. ThunderShirt Anxiety & Calming Aid for Cats, $39.95

 

If your pet seems to be experiencing discomfort, pain, or for some reason isn’t getting proper sleep, a trip to the vet is in order. Your veterinarian can help assess and treat the issue so your entire family can rest more easily (literally)!

Purrch is powered by a team of ultra-passionate pet peeps, adoption advocates, and fellow pet nerds who believe that animals big and smol make us—and the world—better. We can’t wait to see your heckin’ cute pets, watch your Tails, and build friendships along the way. You can download the Purrch app here