Having your dog wake you up before the morning can be a very frustrating behavior. Here are some common reasons why your dog may wake you up before you’re ready to get up.
Your dog is too young to sleep through the night
An adult dog can generally sleep through the night without any problem, but puppies may need to go out to go pee much more often. Small breed puppies especially have a hard time holding their bladder and may need to pee several times during the night.
If your pup wants you to take them outside to go pee when you let them out, it may just be that they’re not old enough to hold it yet.
Your dog has medical issues
One reason that dogs may wake up their owners is that they have a medical problem that prevents them from getting a full night’s sleep. A urinary tract infection may be causing your dog to be to need to go outside more often.
If you refuse to get up and find that your dog has had an accident, tt may well be a urinary tract infection that is causing the problem. Other medical issues like pain or an illness that causes nausea can also result in your dog waking you up. If this problem has suddenly started, be sure to have your vet rule out medical issues.
Your dog suffers from separation anxiety
Most dogs are content to sleep in their crate if they have had crate training or in a different room from their owner. However, dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may feel the need to check on their owner and even wake him up in the middle of the night just to be reassured that they are still together.
If your dog waits for you outside the bedroom door or seems to express anxiety when they are separated from you at other times, especially when you leave the house, separation anxiety could be the problem.
Your dog is bored
Some dogs have excess energy and don’t get enough physical stimulation with the usual things that most people do like taking them for a walk and spending some time letting them play in the yard. These dogs may get enough sleep before you’re ready to get up.
They may decide it is time to wake you up for some playtime and engagement. If your dog tends to wake you up near the morning and if they are very excited whenever you get up and want to play, your dog’s boredom may be the reason you are being woken up before you’re ready.
If you are encouraging the behavior by playing with your dog or giving them exercise when they wake you up, they are more likely to keep waking you up.
Find a solution for your dog’s behavior
A dog that wakes you up in the night can be a serious problem. You may find that you are not getting enough sleep and becoming very frustrated with your dog’s behavior. By considering the time at which your dog wakes you up, observing their behavior, and talking to your vet about any potential medical problems, you have a much better chance of reducing this behavior until your dog can sleep through the night.
My experience as the liaison of integrative medicine, neurology, and zoo medicine at UF Small Animal Hospital gave me valuable insight into the challenges faced by pet owners with animals who have medical conditions. My time there also gave me the opportunity to care for a disabled dog and write a book about the experience.
As manager of a dog daycare, I learned about how dogs play and interact, warning signs for aggression, and how to rehabilitate dog-reactive dogs. During my time there I was under the mentorship of two groomers, from whom I learned grooming essentials.
I currently work with high-risk shelter dogs and manage a blog to help other volunteers and foster families. I have two dogs of my own, a Maltese and a Standard Poodle.