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What Do Dogs Do At Night? A Pooch's Point of View!

Written by Adaptil, published on April 18, 2023

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There are three things I love doing: eating, going for a walk, and sleeping! My human knows just how to make me feel happy she feeds me very well, and makes sure that I eat the right things for my doggy diet, she takes me on some fabulous walks, and she makes sure I have the comfiest bed!

Just like humans, sleep is important for a dog's wellbeing. We can be described as social sleepers because we match our sleep patterns with the people around us when everyone in the house goes to bed, so do we, usually!

So what do dogs do at night?

Well this really depends on what sort of day we've had.

yellow lab asleep in owners lap


Routine is just as important to dogs as it is to humans. Although I can't tell the time, I know my day is starting when I hear my human's alarm go off in the morning. I always go and sit at the bottom of the stairs until she comes down and lets me go outside for a pee.

Then the day starts:

  • She gives me my breakfast and she has a shower.
  • She makes sure the kids are out of bed and are getting ready for school. It's always chaos at that time of the morning with lots of rushing around.
  • I keep myself to myself during this mad half hour, because I know when it calms down, it's my turn!
  • My human takes me for a walk. We always go to the field in the morning because she needs to go to work and I stay at home alone. That's fine, because I do keep myself busy.
  • When she comes home early in the afternoon, we go for my most favourite walk to the woods! There's always something different to sniff and chase when we go to the woods and we often play hide and seek, which is great fun. We did a lot of scent training so that we could play this game!
  • After dinner, the whole family sits down to relax and they often groom me to make sure I stay in tip top condition. And, if it's been snowy and cold outside, they always check my feet to make sure they are nice and dry and I haven't stood on anything that is hidden in the snow.
  • Then, when I hear my humans stop watching things in the evening, I know it's time to go outside for another pee and then everyone is off to bed.

Now, if my day goes according to plan and I've had lots of exercise, I sleep very well!

dog asleep

Reasons for not sleeping well at night

However, there are sometimes occasions when dogs don't sleep very well.

Outside noises

There's a cat that sometimes prowls around my garden at night, grrrh! And although cats are very good climbers, this tabby sometimes knocks things over when she's chasing a mouse and that disturbs my sleep, so I have to get up and wander around to investigate.

Also, our neighbours next door have a new baby and it certainly doesn't have a good night's sleep! Dogs have very good hearing and I can hear that baby's cry very clearly. I bet its parents will be glad when it starts to sleep through the night and so will I!

Blame my ancestors!

Although my human has given me the best bed, sometimes I find myself circling and digging my bed and that's because it's what my ancestors used to do. In the wild, it was natural for them to paw their bed to make sure there were no bugs or rodents that could annoy them during the night, and they circled around to face the wind to make sure they could smell any predators approaching.

terrier dog sleeping in owners lap

We don't like being alone

I am used to spending time home alone because my human goes out to work every day. After lockdown, she spent a lot of time helping me to readjust, but my cousin Fifi, a French Bulldog, doesn't like to be left alone. She loves to play and spend time with her humans during the day, but she doesn't like being alone at night. Her human has put one of her T-shirts in her bed and that seems to make her feel better because it has her scent on it. Her human has also plugged an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser close to Fifi's bed and that gives her a lot of comfort.

Puppies pee a lot

Did you know that a puppy should be able to hold their bladder for the same number of hours as their age in months? So when you bring a puppy home when they are about 2 months old, they should be able to hold their bladder for about 2 hrs. That's just one of the reasons why puppies don't sleep through the night.

Old age happens

Just like humans, a senior dog's joints and senses can be impacted by age, which can mean they get restless at night, so you might hear them wandering around the house trying to get comfortable. They may even need to go outside for a pee more often.

dog asleep on owners lap

How my human helps me settle at night

As I said before, we have a good routine, and:

  • I get lots of exercise during the day, both physically and mentally. My human has just fitted an activity tracker on my collar, so that she can keep a track of how much exercise I've had during the day.
  • My bed is in the corner of the room, away from draughts, noises and distractions. My human even lays a blanket over the top of my crate so that I feel cosy, especially in the winter.
  • My bed is just the right size, not too large and not too small.
  • I've got all of my favourite toys in my bed, as well as my favourite blanket that my human uses to snuggle on the sofa it smells just the same as she does.
  • She lets me outside to empty my bladder before we settle down for the night.
  • She plugs in an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser next to my bed to make sure I feel relaxed and comfortable.puppy asleep in red bed

I know that if, for any reason, I don't sleep well at night, my human will double check all of these things, and if I don't settle she will get the vet to check me out. She looks after me very well!


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