Volume 13 of The Whole Dog Journal recently came out with an article called “Sleeping in Is Sweet.” It explains five things to do if your dog is waking you up early and how to get those precious minutes of sleep back. Here are their suggestions:
1. Rule out medical conditions – Get your dog checked to rule out diseases or infections that may cause a sleepless pooch. Sleepless pooches with poor elimination infections can be a nightmare for you and your sleep.
2. Tire him out the night before – Exercise your dog the night before so that the energy that would normally go towards waking you up is gone. Exercise also releases endorphins, the bodies own endogenous opiate, reducing anxiety and helping doggies get a full nights rest.
3. Feed him earlier/ better; make the “last call later” – Feed your dog earlier so there is more time between his last meal and his last potty break. A bad habit can form quickly when its 5:00 am and your pooch has succeeded in getting you up as well as had the first meal of the day. High quality diets reduce elimination because they digest in your dog’s intestine more quickly.
4. Reduce stimuli in the bedroom – Turn off the television and play soft music. If he is crate trained, put a blanket over his crate. If he is a nighttime wonderer, put a baby gate across the door.
5. Train him to sleep in – Hopefully several of these ideas work for you. If these ideas don’t work for you, here is a simple idea that may help. If you condition your dog by setting your alarm forward five minutes eventually your dog will be in sync with your wake up time. As long as you have a quiet house, this is an easy idea that hopefully will solve your pooch’s problem.