What medicine can I give my dog to make him sleep? Tips and Tricks

At What Point Should I Call the Vet?

Now that you’ve read about multiple options to help remedy sleepless nights, there are plenty of ways to troubleshoot your dog not sleeping. If home remedies are not working, it is time to discuss this concern with your veterinarian. Any dog displaying signs of pain, excessive urination, diarrhea, excessive thirst, or abnormal cognitive function, should be evaluated by a veterinarian right away.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Anxious?

Some symptoms of fear, nervousness, or anxiety in dogs are obvious, while others are subtle. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Attempts to escape. This could mean anything from turning away at the door of the vet hospital to full-blown panic and destructive behaviors.
  • Ears pulled back.
  • Crouching or making themselves as small as possible.
  • Tail tucked between the legs.
  • “Whale eyes,” which means eyes that are open very wide. The whites of the eyes may be more prominent than usual.
  • Panting.
  • Pacing.
  • Trembling.
  • Tense muscles.
  • Bathroom accidents or anal gland release.
  • Barking excessively.
  • Sometimes, growling, showing teeth, or other signs of aggression, as aggressive behaviors are often rooted in fear or anxiety in an otherwise friendly dog.
  • Affected dogs may show just 1-2 symptoms or several. A pup’s symptoms can help guide diagnosis and treatment. So try to observe as much as possible.

    Since some of the above symptoms can also indicate a medical condition, your dog’s veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing such as blood work prior to using a sedative.

    How Is Anxiety In Dogs Treated?

    Behavior modification (training a dog to be less fearful and respond to stressful stimuli in healthier ways) is always indicated for dogs with anxiety.

    Behavioral modification and medications often work well together. Medications allow a dog to be calm enough so that training is effective. Meanwhile, training addresses the root cause, which may allow a dog to eventually discontinue their anxiety medications (or at least use them less often or at a lower dose).

    Behavior modification is crucial for separation anxiety and other long-term issues. But it can also help in short-term situations.

    For example, if a pup is nervous about grooming visits, it may help to briefly stop by the groomer’s office and give the dog a treat. When this is repeated over time, a dog may grow to think of the groomer’s office as a fun place rather than a scary place. This is actually why we install treat bars at the front of each of our clinics and encourage our clinics to stop by for a treat — we want the pups to associate us with something enjoyable.

    Behavior modification done properly can change a dog and pet parent’s life for the better. But, done improperly, it can reinforce anxious behaviors.

    Therefore, behavior modification should always be done under the guidance of a professional — your veterinarian, a veterinary behaviorist, or a dog trainer with a lot of knowledge in experience in anxiety issues.

    What medicine can I give my dog to put him to sleep?