If your dog doesn’t sleep well, you may be wondering if there are any safe sleep aids for dogs. Some sleep medicines and herbal remedies are indeed safe for dogs, but giving any of them requires approval from a vet. First, let’s see what may be the reason for insomnia in dogs and then – what a vet could prescribe for that.
Sleep Disturbances in Dogs
Sleep problems in dogs can result from an altered sleep pattern, anxiety, fear of the dark, pain (e.g., arthritis, stiff joints, or muscle strain), discomfort (e.g., being cold or hot), some health conditions (e.g., “doggie dementia”, heart condition), and other issues.
The first thing to do is ensure that the dog is comfortable and not cold or hot. Inspect the dog’s bed and if it’s too hard, consider trying a softer/fluffier bed. If the dog is hot, you can try putting a fan on her. If she is cold, you can provide her with a blanket. You can also try using a night light, offering a bedtime snack, playing soft music, or taking the dog for a walk some time before bedtime.
If the dog sleeps all day long, this may be another reason that she is unable to fall asleep at night. Try keeping her occupied during the day, and she should start sleeping better at night.
If the dog is in pain, a vet will need to determine the condition and start giving the med, such as something for pain/inflammation. Insomnia may also be the sign of an allergy. In this case, Benadryl for dogs is commonly prescribed by vets.
Older dogs may be unable to sleep at night due to irregular sleep pattern, just like some people as they get older.
There are other reasons as to why the dog may have troubles sleeping, and the first thing to do is determine the culprit. Consider taking the animal to the vet for a full blood test, so they can determine what’s wrong and what to prescribe.
Car Ride Intolerance
To help the dog get through a car ride, a vet may recommend giving Benadryl for dogs. Benadryl is considered a safe anxiety and sleep aid for traveling. Also, you can try to get the animal tired by exercising her before the trip. A nice cushioned crate should also help – the dog should feel safe and sleepy in a dark crate, with her favorite blanket or soft toy inside. It’s a great idea to get the animal used to being in the crate before the trip.
Sleep Aids for Dogs
The sleep aids that are generally considered safe for pets include: melatonin, Benadryl, Valium, Rescue Remedy, and Comfort Zone. Melatonin is a natural and non-addictive medication that can help relieve anxiety and insomnia, as well as help pets with noise phobias. Benadryl and Valium are human meds that can be used in dogs to calm them down and help them sleep during a move. Rescue Remedy is a flower essence that can calm a dog down. Some people use Comfort Zone – a bottle with a substance that gives off something similar to animal pheromones that help animals calm down.
As you can see, there are several good options. Contact your vet, and they will tell you the sleep drug to use (either prescription or over the counter), and prescribe the dosage.