We don’t typically think about our dogs suffering from the cold but many do
. Clients tell me, it can’t be a nighttime chill
that is waking their dog, they have a cozy bed, a covered crate or a long coat. The fact is many dogs get cold at night
. The obvious candidates for feeling chilly are very young or very old dogs – puppies may not yet be able to regulate their temperature
and older dogs suffering from arthritis
will feel more discomfort in the cold. However any dog can suffer; their bed may be in a draft, a colder room that has more windows or is larger, your heating may go off etc. etc. Just like so, being cold affects their sleep, we struggle to drift off or wake up and our dogs are the same.
These are a few points to consider if you think your dog is waking you due to the temperature:
Check for drafts: Get down on the floor and see if you can feel a breeze. If you can, think about relocating your dog’s bed or raising it off the floor, or move the bed to a different room. Upstairs is often warmer in most houses at night; is there a space on the landing or in your room where it is warmer. A smaller room with more bodies in will often stay warmer as well.
Think about leaving the heating on low overnight; as expensive as it might seem it actually makes very little difference to your heating bills as it has to work less in the morning to bring the house up to optimum temperature.
Buy your dog a fleece coat to wear at night; if your dog likes to change sleeping positions through the night and may dislodge a cover, try a suitable coat at night. Small dogs and thin coated dogs really benefit from having that extra layer of warmth and often sleep through the night better. Get one without straps and buckles as you don’t want him getting caught up in it.
Have your dog on your bed; not everyone wants a doggy sleeping partner but for those of you who do, it is perfectly fine to have your dog on the bed with you; as long as he doesn’t guard the area or it disturbs your human partner. In Australia, there is an Aboriginal saying of ‘It’s a three dog night,’ meaning its cold and you will need multiple dogs to keep you warm.
Above all be sensible but look at this nighttime problem with compassion and empathy. Look at it from your dog’s perspective and don’t jump to conclusions if he suddenly starts waking you at night.