Everybody enjoys the last few minutes of sleep before they wake up to reality in the world away from the fantasies they have in dreams. Most dog owners are unhappy about their dogs’ tendency to wake up early, making them unable to enjoy those moments of sleep. However, most dogs have the habit of routinely waking up 25 or 15 minutes before your alarm. And maybe your dog has been doing that, so you are here looking for a solution.
It is expected for a puppy to wake you up one or two times at night to pee, and if you do not expect that, then it’s unreasonable. A puppy is like a baby. You have to wake up at least one or two times to attend to them. So even a two-month-old puppy will wake you up because they do not want to soil their bed. Take your puppy out to pee or poo and get them back to their sleeping place, so they do not start playing around.
But in the case of adult dogs, the story is different. They shouldn’t be reducing your sleeping hours because they are eager to eat their breakfast or go out, and it’s 5.30 am. If that is your case, you are not the only one. In this article, you will get information on what could be making your dog behave that way and what you can do to stop the habit. Remember, to solve a problem; you have to know the root cause. Otherwise, you may be dealing with the wrong thing. Let’s go.
Dog Waking Up Too Early? These are the Reasons.
Irrespective of age, a dog’s need to pee can wake them up early. If the dog slept early in the case of adult dogs, then chances are they will wake up earlier. If that happens, you must let the dog out to pee. This is normal because even you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to pee, which is perfectly okay unless it happens almost every day. That is the only way it can become annoying.
For example, if you have been waking up at 5 am, and then you change to waking up at 6.30 am, expect your dog to wake up before 6.30 am because maybe they are used to waking up at 5 am. The case happens mostly on weekends when you are not waking up early to go to work, and since the dog is used to waking up early, they still get up at their usual time. Dogs typically love routine, and unlike human beings who can quickly adapt to a new one, dogs are not good at that.
If your dog is used to waking up at a particular time to eat or pee, they will stick to that time. So it would help if you would stick to your wake up time.
If you have had two dogs and do away with one that could be why your dog is waking up early. Especially if you own a husky, they are not friends with loneliness and can make you wake up early because they love companionship and won’t keep quiet until they get it.
To know this, investigate whether the waking up early habit started when you took away their fellow dog? Is that the case? You need to be patient before the dog gets used to the new conditions. Sometimes, the dog just misses you, and because of that, they get up early longing to see you. To know this, look for anxiety signs when you are leaving them.
If your dog is waking up earlier than usual, they may be feeling hungry. What time did they have their last meal the previous day before they went to sleep? If they ate early supper, then they will be hungry before dawn. Moreover, if you have trained your dog to have breakfast at 6 am, they will be very excited, waking up at 6 am anticipating eating.
This happens if you have trained your dog to wake up early so you can feed them before you go to work, and now on weekends, they still expect to eat at their regular times.
Too Much Energy
It is essential always to make sure your dog exercises daily. This is because if they do not, they get more energetic. Has your dog been waking up early when they do not exercise enough? Then you know the reason why. Exercise requirements differ with breed and age and so make sure your dog’s particular exercise needs are met.
Much like human beings, when dogs become old, they start having painful joints, which causes discomfort. Have you ever heard of older people complaining they have barely slept the whole night? If so, did you ask yourself why they couldn’t sleep? It’s simple, the body pains them, and so they cannot sleep comfortably. The same thing happens with dogs. Check whether your dog has aging signs. This is likely to be the cause of waking up early.
Uncomfortable Sleeping Place
Even as a human being, if you sleep in an uncomfortable place, you are likely to wake up earlier than you do. The same thing happens with dogs. If their sleeping area is rough or does not have enough room for them to lie down, or it’s hot, expect an early knock on your door. Too bright and loud environments are also causes of discomfort when the dog is sleeping.
Tolerating the Behavior
Have you been playing with your dog or cuddling them or giving them food when they get up at night? Then you have shown them that they can get what they want anytime they want it. Expect them to wake up multiple times to have their desires met. You ought to give treats to them when they don’t wake up too early.
Injury, Illness or Medical Issues
Your dog may be uncomfortable because of injury, illness, or a medical problem. Has your dog suddenly started waking up early? Maybe you should investigate whether they are sick or they got injured.
By this far, you are tired of the behavior, and you want a solution. Is there a solution if your dog has become an early riser? Below are some of the things you can do.
See a Vet
If injury, illness, or medical issues are the cause of that annoying behavior, you need to see a vet. The vet will examine the dog to determine the problem and advise you on what to do. They will also treat your dog.
Is your dog a puppy? Puppies always want to feel safe. So crate training can help them feel secure, ensuring they do not wake up earlier than usual.
Ensure they Pee Before Sleeping
Even human beings have a habit of peeing before they sleep. What is the reason? You do not want to wake up in the middle of your sleep to pee. By doing so, the possibility of you waking up earlier is reduced. So why not do the same for your dog? Take them out to pee before they sleep. Moreover, when you are not waking up early, like on weekends, it is useful to let your dog pee when they wake up early and quickly go back to sleep.
Make their Sleeping Place Comfortable
If your dog has been sleeping on a rough surface, make it softer if the area is brightly lit, change the lighting. The bedroom should be dimly lit. Even you can’t sleep in a brightly lit bedroom. Ensure that there are no loud noises by switching off the TV, and that space is enough for the dog to lie down comfortably.
Make Sure the Diet is Right
Poor diet leads to many problems, not just to human beings but also to dogs. If you have been feeding your dog the cheap store dog food because you do not want to spend on more quality foods, you can expect many problems with your dog. Dogs deserve to eat well, so make sure their diet is always on point, and you will part ways with many issues.
Do not Encourage the Behavior
As earlier stated, if you have been giving in to your dog’s demands when they wake up early, then that may be the reason they habitually do it. Therefore avoiding granting them their requests when they wake up early can help solve the problem. They will know getting up early won’t win them your attention and so they will stop it.
Exercise Before Sleep
A dog that exercises regularly is happy and sleeps till morning without even desiring to wake up early. Therefore it is good to make sure your dog is tired before they sleep. Moreover, exercise releases endorphins, which manages mood, giving the dog a pleasant feeling. Exercise also reduces anxieties.
Teach your Dog to Sleep In
Dogs are trainable. In case you have done everything else without success, it is possible to train your dog to sleep in. If you usually get up at 5.30 am, and your dog has a habit of waking up at 5:15 am then start by setting a 5:05 alarm. After one week, set a 5:10 am alarm. Ensure you only wake up only when the alarm goes off (except if you know the dog has an urgent issue)—doing so conditions the dog only to wake up when they hear the alarm. Keep changing the alarm until you reach your preferred waking time. You need to be patient, though, because the process may take several weeks.
Train your Dog to Eat Late Dinner
If your dog eats their dinner at 6 pm, then they go to sleep, then you can expect they will be hungry before dawn, and for sure, they will not pretend to sleep even if it’s not your wake up time. Therefore training him to eat late dinner will make sure he doesn’t get hungry sooner. You can also introduce a bedtime snack just to fill his stomach. However, make sure you do not make the dinner time too late as he may be so hungry if there is a huge difference between his lunchtime meal and supper time meal.
Avoid Feeding Breakfast Right Away
If you usually give your dog breakfast once they open their eyes, they will know waking up is associated with food. Therefore they will wake up earlier to be given food, especially if they love eating. Simply avoid it.
Also read: Can Dogs Have Sausage?
You need to note that even though the solutions mentioned above can ensure your dog does not become a roster to announce when it’s dawn, there are cases they won’t work. For example, if your dog is old or is a puppy, they will most likely wake up before you do. For old dogs, pain in their joints could be the reason they are not comfortable sleeping until morning, and for puppies, they may not be able to hold their pee for many hours. So in such cases, you may have to wake at least before your waking time.
On the other hand, if you are an adult dog owner, then using the solutions outlined above, you can solve the early birds’ issue. You may need to combine several solutions for it to work.
Lastly, persistence is vital. You cannot implement these solutions in one week. It will take several months for your dog to get used to the program. Moreover, if your wake-up time changes, you will have to program your dog to fit in the new program. But you should try to be consistent in your waking up time for both weekdays and weekends because dogs are very loyal to routines, and it may take a while before they adapt to a new one.