Sleeping with your fur babies can be either really comfortable and relaxing or a bit of a struggle. If you have a big dog or a cat that likes to pounce on your face in the middle of the night, it can create stress and frustration for all involved.
So how can you sleep better with your pets without locking them out of your room? Here are some helpful tips to get everyone resting easy.
Get Them a High-Quality Pet Bed
Getting your pets a high-quality pet bed is an effective compromise that will help everyone sleep a little easier. You get a bit more room to stretch out, and they still feel included.
According to KittyCatter, there are a few qualities that you’ll want to consider when purchasing a pet bed. The materials used to create the bed and whether or not it has a machine-washable cover are important considerations. Additionally, consider your type of animal and if they have any special needs, such as a large dog with potential hip and joint issues.
It might take time to transition them into using a pet bed. Using training protocols with treats and positive reinforcement can help. Also, putting a t-shirt with your scent and rubbing the bed on their fur so their scent transfers can also help.
Get Lots of Exercise
Getting plenty of exercise doesn’t just help you rest easier, it also helps your animals. If Fido has a lot of excess energy before bedtime, there’s a good chance he’s not going to settle easily. While cats are nocturnal, indoor cats often have energy to burn at the end of the day. Spending some time having them run around can help tire them out.
If you have a dog, try to plan an evening walk after supper to expend some energy. If you have a cat, look at getting a laser pointer or ball for the evenings then hide them before bed, so that they won’t decide that three in the morning is the ideal playtime.
Create a Routine
Animals, like humans, respond well to routines. They become familiar with a schedule, and a solid routine lets them know what to expect and when. Ensuring that play time ends at least an hour before bed will help everyone wind down and relax. This is also a good time for you to unplug from technology so that the blue light from smartphone screens doesn’t affect your circadian rhythms.
Do your best to have a set bedtime throughout the week. Leave the door open when you brush your teeth and wash your face, so your animal learns to recognize the visual cues of a schedule.
Time Feedings Right
To ensure that your pet has thoroughly digested their food and aren’t feeling the impacts of a high-calorie meal right before bed, be sure to time your feedings accordingly. Give them their last meal a minimum of one hour before bed, preferably two to three. Investing in an auto-feeder can help you stick to this part of your routine, even if you work into the evening.
Look Into Training
Obedience training is a worthwhile investment for a dog. It helps you establish communication with your animal so that they understand your expectations and know how to tell you what they need. Obedience training can help with all areas of pet ownership, as well as bedtime. A well-trained dog will understand the “bed” command and get ready to tuck in for the night when you tell them to. Cats, on the other hand, will likely just ignore you and do what they want.
Animals have unique personalities, and what works for one pet owner may not work for you. If your animal has issues falling asleep, be sure to have a conversation with your vet to identify any underlying health issues you can also check out this Pet Guide to learn more about your furry little fellows.