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Dog awake all night...

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    Dog awake all night...

    (Probably) long post ahead:

    9 yo (almost 10) lab. Live in rural area, large farm, no fence. Not a little cluster of neighbors in a retirement mobile home park about 1/4 mile away, close to my barn. One lady used to walk her beagle around the farm w/permission. Lab would go with her, come home when finished. People in little park know him, love him, inquire about him all the time, gentle with grandchildren, loved to sit and let toddlers rub and hang on him, etc.

    People started leaving food for him. Asked not to. Do it anyway. So, of course, he started going over there to check out the offerings. My elderly mom lives with me, let’s him out during day while I’m at work, despite instructions not to. Lab, in typical lab fashion, is going to eat himself to death.

    Recently erect fence in yard so Mom can turn Lab and Mutt Sister out during the day and they can’t leave (Mutt Sister is a homebody, no desire to leave home and visit...not a food motivated dog). He still walks to barn with me most days am & pm, is outside fence w/me when I’m doing stuff outside in the afternoon. We walk in opposite direction of retirement park when I get home for work to give opportunity for potty break, etc.

    Problem: Lab will not sleep at night now (thus, neither do I). Restless, pants, whines, wants out. Put him out in fenced area, stands at gate and barks (near my bedroom). Take him out on leash to potty (will not use bathroom inside fenced area...has always gone in adjacent field or woods and apparently isn’t going to start doing so now), and all he wants to do is head towards retirement park.

    To give more exercise during day, or at least keep him awake so he isn’t sleeping all day while I’m at work, have given him a Kong ball that dispenses dog food if he rolls it around. He likes that and plays with it and it does wake him up and give him activity during the day. Attempts to take him for walks or play fetch unsuccessful (very laid-back, large beast who just sits down and refuses to move if he doesn’t want to go for a walk). At vet’s direction, he’s taking melatonin and Benadryl in the evening (along with his regular Gabapentin and Tramadol—blew cruciate ligaments a few years ago, arthritis—another reason he isn’t fond of exercise).

    Meds aren’t really working. Wide awake all night despite the sleepy meds. I don’t know how. Driving me crazy. I’m exhausted and can barely function during the day. Vet says let’s keep trying to break his pattern of former behavior, see how the adjustment goes. If he continues to stay up all night, can give another med. I don’t really want to sedate him, but I do really want to sleep.

    So, ideas? Suggestions? Thanks for reading the novel.

    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

    Is there anybody in the mobile home park that would do doggy day care for you? Let him spend the day (awake) with them?


      Original Poster

      Originally posted by HPFarmette View Post
      Is there anybody in the mobile home park that would do doggy day care for you? Let him spend the day (awake) with them?
      Nobody that I trust not to feed him! But that’s a good thought! Things have settled down a bit. We’ve experimented with the timing of his evening meds and a walk towards the retirement park with a turnaround before we get there. He has slept fairly well for three nights now. Fingers crossed...
      "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


        I have a dog that has difficulty transitioning to nitey-nite. Wants to play fetch, brings a toy and tosses on my bed, etc. Started giving him a filled puzzle toy...granted you would have to do low cal treats...


          One of my dogs started pacing at night when she got dementia. Her day and night rhythm became a problem. She 'parked' between furniture and did not find her way out. She started pacing at 3 in the morning and I woke up as soon as her little paws touched the ground. I was a zombie-doggy-mum for months.

          If the dog is healthy, I'd try a 'night routine' with positive training for sleeping in an indoor crate.


            Originally posted by Salo View Post
            One of my dogs started pacing at night when she got dementia. Her day and night rhythm became a problem. She 'parked' between furniture and did not find her way out. She started pacing at 3 in the morning and I woke up as soon as her little paws touched the ground. I was a zombie-doggy-mum for months.
            That's what I was going to suggest—at his age it's certainly a possibility. (Sort of the doggie version of "sundowner" issues with people who have Alzheimer's.) There's a medication that really helps—maybe your vet could determine if it's worth a trial.
            "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive


              Original Poster

              Originally posted by Salo View Post
              One of my dogs started pacing at night when she got dementia. Her day and night rhythm became a problem. She 'parked' between furniture and did not find her way out. She started pacing at 3 in the morning and I woke up as soon as her little paws touched the ground. I was a zombie-doggy-mum for months.

              If the dog is healthy, I'd try a 'night routine' with positive training for sleeping in an indoor crate.
              He’s healthy. No symptoms of dementia. He just wants to go where he wants to go when he wants to go. He’s never been confined his whole life, so it’s a hard transition for him.

              He was crate trained when he was he was a puppy, but I don’t have room for a crate in my house at this point in time. He requires a jumbo crate, and I don’t have a single place I could put it.

              However, he has been sleeping better. I think he’s adjusting to his new routine. But, boy, has it been hard! Whew! I was about to lose my mind there for a while.

              Thanks for the ideas!
              "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch