Dog insomnia medication

Written by david w. berner
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Dog insomnia medication
Your dog needs sleep just like you do. (Sleeping Dog image by StylezInk from

Canine insomnia can be an unusual problem for a pet, but veterinarians say it does happen and there are ways to treat it if the underlying problem can be uncovered. Many vets will offer pet owners a pain medication that promotes sleep, or a anti-anxiety drug to help the dog relax. But there are also popular natural remedies and even orthopaedic canine furniture that promote better rest.

Prescription Medication

Veterinarians suggest anti-inflammatory drugs will many times help a dog sleep. Dogs often become restless and sleepless because of joint pain or arthritic conditions. Rimadyl is a widely prescribed anti-inflammatory for dogs. Anxiety is another condition that can be an underlying cause of dog insomnia. Clomipramine and fluoxetine are two of the more popular anti-anxiety medications prescribed by veterinarians, both essentially antidepressants.

Natural Remedies

Herbs such as passionflower and valerian are believed to be effective calming remedies that can help insomniac canines. Combine the two ingredients and give the dog a couple drops before bedtime. Another natural approach believed to be effective is aromatherapy. Diffusing essential oils, such as lavender or sweet marjoram, in the room where the dog sleeps can be a help in calming the animal and promoting sleep.

Orthopaedic Remedies

Some veterinarians are recommending the use of orthopaedic beds for dogs with arthritic problems, a condition that can cause insomnia in canines. The beds are made with thick orthopaedic foam proven to help aches and pains, soothing the dog. These beds eliminate pressure points and improve circulation, easing joint pain and calming the dog into a more restful sleep.

Symptoms of Dog Insomnia

Being aware that the dog is not sleeping well or regularly is only part of the issue of canine insomnia. Many times the insomnia is linked to other behaviours. Veterinarians suggest to be aware of a dog that is drinking a lot of water, urinating frequently or showing signs of being disoriented or confused. These are symptoms of sleeplessness that could signal a health issue greater than simple restlessness.

Causes of Dog Insomnia

Emotional issues or age-related joint problems can cause sleeplessness in dogs, but vet-prescribed medications can also be a contributor. Some drugs, like prednisone, have insomnia as one of their side effects. Other physical conditions can be root causes of insomnia. Kidney problems, parasite infections, diabetes and allergies can all be directly connected to a pet's sleeplessness.

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