Why Is My Dog Restless?
Many people find that their pet dogs go through periods of restlessness throughout the day. Some dogs are happy to settle after a walk, meal, or playtime. Others may spend a good part of their day pacing up and down, walking round in circles and generally appearing restless. Holidays4Dogs looks into some of the possible causes of restlessness in dogs, especially if this behaviour is noticeably different from the dog’s usual demeanour.
It’s not uncommon for older dogs to become restless, especially at night. This may be because they need to toilet more frequently. It is also possible older dogs become more confused. A dog that is losing his, or her, sight and hearing may become more anxious about the environment. As a result, it may cause the dog to be more restless than usual.
Restlessness can sometime be a sign of pain. Pain might be caused by a variety of things from simple itching, to more serious disease.
If your dog has recently begun to show signs of restlessness, it’s a good idea to get him checked over by the vet.
Many young puppies in a new environment, will commonly show signs of stress and restlessness.
This is usually as a result of being in a different environment, away from their mother and siblings. Again, this behaviour is usually more prevalent at night time, but for the first few days, may also be noticeable during the day.
Lack of exercise.
Many dogs frequently appear to be restless if they have not had enough exercise, or mental stimulation. There are certain breeds more inclined to be energetic and restless.
Herding and hunting breeds tend to be high energy dogs; as are as some of the smaller breeds, such as terriers. These sort of dogs can be become bored easily and appear to be constantly ‘on the go’. It can be challenging for some owners when their dogs are hyperactive, or restless, for much of the time.
A healthy diet is important for all animals since this impacts on the proper function of the body and brain. A good diet ensures that your dog’s digestive system is working properly. It also ensures your dog’s sleep patterns, energy levels and brain function is regulated.
Always feed your dog a well balanced commercial prepared food, or natural diet. However, never feed your dog human food as this can cause health conditions such as obesity. Many human foods are also toxic to dogs.
As long as possible health issues have been ruled out, what else can be done do to soothe a restless dog?
Dogs tend to thrive on social interaction so it is important to provide plenty of mental stimulation for your pet.
Teaching a dog to find toys hidden around the garden, or in the places where you walk, is much more likely to tire your dog out than simply walking him. Try and interact with your dog on walks and engage with him in play. Perhaps you could teach him to negotiate his environment by jumping onto logs, for example.
Plenty of socialization with other dogs is also helpful, so finding a group of other dog walkers you can mix with will help to keep Fido entertained.
Dog sports and activities can be great for dogs and fun for owners too. Obedience, agility, field trials, doggy dancing, dock diving – there are loads of activities to choose from.
There may be local clubs you can join too. Your dog will be able to learn new skills and interact with lots of other people and dogs, as well as getting a good physical and mental work out.
Stimulating toys are a godsend for people who own restless dogs. There are the usual buster cubes which you can fill with tasty treats, but there are now many more sophisticated dog toys on the market that will really beat your dog’s boredom, while keeping him entertained and content.
There are many factors that can cause dogs to be restless – from genetics to diet. If your dog is related to the hunting and herding breeds such as collies or, spaniels – be prepared for your dog to have a lot of energy, much of the time. However, if your dog becomes uncharacteristically restless, or has any other symptoms, you must seek advice from your vet straight away.