Restless Senior Dogs
Bailey will be 15 years old next week. He is due for his semi-annual checkup, but except for a pink ear, he seems fine. Just slowing down, suffering from his arthritis, having incontinence issues... The usual old guy stuff. But he is restless at night, not exactly insomnia, but enough to wake me several times, pretty much every night. It's like having an infant again and I am tired!
Bailey woke up at least 3 times last night. He walks around the room clicking away. I get up and offer to take him out and he declines. I always offer, but it would require him to go up 3 steps and down 2 flights of stairs, so I think he'd prefer to stay put in our "den"/master bedroom. He doesn't like to sleep anywhere else so he's up with us. I end up putting him back to bed and covering him up. Sometimes he stays down and sometimes he's right back up.
Why Are Old Dogs Restless at Night?
Sometimes it's just part of aging. Older people and dogs need to pee more often. That hasn't been Bailey's problem. Old dogs like Bailey who are experiencing fecal incontinence also need to poop more often. With his mobility problems it's worse because he has trouble getting up and by the time he knows he has to go and tries to get up, it's too late and he's pooped. Poop accidents and restlessness sometimes seem to go together, but dragging a sore old dog up and downstairs and outside when he doesn't want to go doesn't seem like a great idea to me so I don't do it unless Bailey wants to go.
What Should We Do?
So far, his vet has suggested halving his evening thyroid medication. Maybe a little improvement, but not a solution. I've read articles by other people suggesting homeopathic insomnia remedies, over-the-counter medications, and orthopedic beds with heat and massage features. Some people restrict the dog to another part of the house where he can't disturb other family members. Bailey is miserable when he sleeps by himself so I don't think we'll do that. Bailey has nice beds and he seems warm and comfortable so I don't think a new bed is the answer. I plan to ask the vet and will keep the readers of SeniorDogCentral informed. I don't know what to do, but in the meantime, we'll deal with it. Our beloved Bailey is worth a little less sleep.
Readers! Any suggestions?
Send a comment if you think you can help! Bailey and the rest of us will appreciate it.