How do I get my dog to settle in its bed?

As dog owners, we all want the best for our pets, and nothing is more upsetting than seeing them struggle. Whether you have a new pup that is still adjusting to its environment or your dog is suddenly finding it hard to settle in its bed, we’ve put together some advice and support on helping them (and you) get a good night’s rest.

Below you’ll find some of the most common reasons that a dog won’t settle in its bed. Read on to troubleshoot your situation and find a solution that might work for you.

The Dog Bed Is Too Small/Large

Choosing the right size dog bed can make a big difference to how well your furry friend settles at the end of a long day. Too small or too large and your dog will likely opt for the floor over their bed, or try to climb under the covers with you! 

Many pet owners make the mistake of buying a bed that fits their puppy, not taking into account how quickly dogs grow.  We recommend buying a bed that will fit your dog when it’s fully grown, and adding a cushion or blanket to the bed to make it cosier and to take up the excess space in the short-term.

For more information on choosing the right size dog bed for your pet, take a look at our Sizing Guide.

The Dog Bed Is The Wrong Shape

Choosing a dog bed that your four-legged friend wants to sleep in can be helped by considering their size and sleeping habits. 

Nest beds have box-style walls, so are great for dogs that like to curl up or for younger dogs that need help feeling secure. Because they’re more enclosed, nest beds are also better for anxious dogs or for breeds that need a little extra help to stay warm at night. Dog Mattresses are a better choice for larger breeds who prefer to stretch out and are ideal for naps as a day bed. 

The Bed Is In A Bad Location

If your dog is refusing to settle in it’s bed, consider whether it’s located in a spot that is conducive to sleep. Maybe your dog's bed could be placed in a more peaceful area of the house, or pets and family members could be encouraged to be quieter indoors. The less commotion there is, the more likely it is your dog will feel content in it’s bed.

We recommend putting the main bed (typically a Nest Bed) in the room your dog is in overnight. Then, place the more portable Dog Mattress in the area where you and your family spend the most of your time, so your dog can enjoy your company while relaxing or sleeping in their bed.

It’s Too Hot/Cold For Your Dog

Your pup can be just as sensitive to temperature as you are, so keep this in mind during particularly hot or cold weather and move their bed accordingly to ensure they’re kept comfortable The ideal place for a dog bed is somewhere warm and draught-free. 

Keep in mind too that overly fluffy, plush beds can make it more difficult for your dog to regulate its temperature, which is why you’ll find that premium dog beds are made of tighter knit and solid materials.

Your Dog Is Anxious About Being Left

Anxiety can be difficult to detect in your dog, especially because many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, which means it is at its worst when you are not present to observe it. If your dog seems fine throughout the day, but struggles to settle when its time to say goodnight, it may be caused by anxiety. 

It's crucial to understand that punishment, especially yelling, will simply increase your dog's tension and worsen the behaviour. Instead, the anxiety needs to be addressed and eliminated if possible - you may want to speak to your local dog trainer for support.

Your Dog Has Underlying Health Issues

If your dog was previously settling well and now isn’t, it could be due to any number of treatable health conditions. For puppies, it could be as simple as teething, which, like babies, can make them more uncomfortable at bedtime. Or, perhaps your dog has a bladder infection that is causing them discomfort. 

If you’ve seen changes in the behaviour of a dog that was previously settling well, be vigilant for any signs of pain or discomfort and act accordingly.

Whatever the reason your fur baby is struggling to settle, with trust, understanding and patience, you and your dog will soon be sleeping soundly.

Looking for more advice for pet owners? Try Why Does My Dog Wee On His Bed?

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