When your diabetic dog is restless at night, there could be different explanations of his behavior. Your first instinct should be looking into his diabetes aspect.
In the following article, we will look at the possible factors that can make your diabetic dog restless at night.
More In Detail General Recommendations to Ease Restless at Night
- Regular feeding schedule: Stick to a consistent feeding schedule to help regulate your dog's blood sugar levels and promote stability.
- Nighttime snacks: Provide a small snack before bedtime to help prevent low blood sugar levels overnight.
- Insulin management: Make sure your dog's insulin regimen is properly managed to prevent high or low blood sugar levels that can cause restlessness.
- Comfort: Provide a comfortable sleeping environment for your dog, including a supportive bed, clean and cozy bedding, and a place where they feel safe and secure.
- Routine: Establish a consistent bedtime routine for your dog, including a relaxing activity such as massage or grooming, and a trip outside to relieve themselves.
- Soothing sounds: Play soothing music or sounds, such as white noise or nature sounds, to help calm your dog and create a peaceful sleeping environment.
- Calming pheromones: Consider using products that release calming pheromones, such as sprays or diffusers, to help reduce your dog's anxiety and promote restful sleep.
- Relaxing scents: Use relaxing scents, such as lavender or chamomile, to calm your dog and promote restful sleep.
- Limited stimulation: Limit stimulation before bedtime, including playing and giving treats, to avoid over-exciting your dog and making it harder for them to settle down.
- Medication: If your dog has severe anxiety, speak with your veterinarian about potential medication options to help manage the issue.
Why my diabetic dog is restless at night?
Day or night, dogs become restless when they are in pain. Some of the possible reasons why a diabetic dog is restless are
High insulin dose
High insulin doses can lower blood glucose levels making your dog fidgety. Your dog can fight diabetes only with a strict lifestyle and insulin management. Insulin must be given at regular intervals.
There are two reasons why your dog has been injected with higher insulin levels.
- Either the owner was unaware of the proper dosage amount and injected more of it. This usually happens when owners are new to their dog having diabetes revelation. That is why you must consult a vet for the first few doses so that you can know how much insulin to inject your dog.
- Secondly, this can happen when the naive pet owners miss the dose and inject two doses to make up for missed dose. This is also strictly not allowed. Even if your dog has missed an insulin shot, skip it and give him the next shot on time.
When the insulin level gets high, it converts all the glucose into energy. As a result, glucose levels drop down in the bloodstream. Serious condition hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can occur. The symptoms of low blood sugar are
- Shaking (read diabetic dog shaking)
- Increased heartbeat
In some cases, seizures and death can happen too.
How To prevent and treat hypoglycemia of restless diabetic dog
When you feel your diabetic dog is in discomfort, first check his glucose levels. This will rule out the possibility of a diabetic emergency. (Also read glucose level 500).
Hypoglycemia can occur not only because of high insulin doses but also skipped meals. This could also lead to emergencies.
To prevent and treat hypoglycemia
- Always keep your dog full at night. Don’t skip his meals. Skipping meals means low glucose levels causing discomfort, restlessness, and hunger in your dog.
- Maintain an insulin dosage chart. This will help you to keep a record of doses and how often you miss them. Don’t inject insulin other than set time or severe medical emergency.
- Rub honey on your dogs’ gum if his glucose levels are dangerously low. This is effective to treat hypoglycemia at home.
If your dog has started losing consciousness, consult your vet.
Emotional health is very important in diabetes. Anxiety can trigger adrenaline hormones that can mess up insulin production in the body. This can make your diabetic dog restless. Again the first step will be checking glucose levels. It will help you determine the insulin levels in the body. High glucose levels mean low insulin and low glucose levels could indicate high insulin production in the body.
If your dog has properly taken his meal and insulin, then Anxiety is a strong reason for messed up glucose levels. Try to calm and soothe your dog and find the reason for anxiety.
Most dog breeds who tend to stay with their owners, get depressed when their owners are not around. (You must read another article why does my dog scratch carpet in the middle of the night?)
Diabetic dogs can get upset stomachs more often than other dogs. Even a simple variation in their food intake can cause an upset stomach. You must not feed your dog at irregular intervals and try to feed them homemade light food. Avoid carbs and sugary food. (Read is Freshest food good for diabetic dogs)
If your dog is
- Having diarrhea and
- And your dog wakes up in the middle of the night whining
Maybe his stomach is upset. An upset stomach can cause discomfort keeping your dog awake.
In diabetes, an upset stomach could be an emergency alert too that your dog has ketoacidosis. (Read diabetic dog diarrhea and diabetic dog throwing up). Ketoacidosis can happen when glucose levels remain low for an elongated period. This can be fatal to dogs.
Diabetic dogs get Arthritis, dental diseases, and eye diseases in the first few months after having diabetes. Especially older and heavy dogs are more prone to them. Arthritis is painful for dogs and could keep them awake at night.
Diabetes slowly harms the brain and body. In older diabetic dogs, cognitive dysfunction can make them uneasy and restless at night. This is like dementia in dogs. Due to weak brain functioning, dogs lose track of time and their brain doesn’t function properly. Sadly the condition can be managed but can’t be treated.
Dogs who have diabetes are prone to other diseases too. Diabetes makes the body weaker than normal. If your dog is feeling uncomfortable, it is important to take a vet appointment. Rule out underlying kidney, bladder, heart diseases, and tumors.
Diabetes can cause excessive hunger and cravings in dogs making them restless at night. (Read why is my diabetic dog always hungry to know more). Make a diet chart to ensure your dog’s tummy stays full. Add more protein portions to his food.
How to calm a restless diabetic dog at night?
To handle your diabetic dog who is restless at night along with situational handling, you have to take long-term steps too. First
Try to find the reason
Although most probably it will be low blood glucose, still look for other options. You can never be sure of the reasons when your dog is diabetic. Diabetes makes the body sensitive to physical and emotional pressure in any way.
Make glucose chart
It is always recommended that when your dog is diabetic, maintain a glucose chart. This way your dog will not collapse suddenly because you never knew there was a problem with glucose levels. It’s always good to know at the first step when glucose levels are disturbed.
Mantain Sleep cycle
Sleep is important for good health. A sleep-deprived diabetic dog will fall ill sooner than expected. Make sure your dog sleeps daily at the same time and gets uninterrupted sleep. Make a comfy bed for your dog and keep the light dim. Also, there should be no unnecessary noise because dogs are alert and they wake up when they hear sounds.
Diet and sleep have a strong connection. Don’t feed your dog unhealthy or spicy food. Prefer giving him home-cooked meals. Don’t miss diet and always feed him at the same time. Never switch diets without consulting a vet. (Also Read switching dog food cold turkey).
Proper exercise and walk
Proper walk and exercise are necessary for diabetic dogs. It keeps their body active and their gut health to the point. They will not have bloating or upset stomachs even if they have eaten some extra food. Also, it will help them to get proper sleep.
Give him, love
Caressing helps a lot. You can also let your dog cuddle or sleep in your lap. (Also read do huskies like to cuddle). Love him like your baby. All of the emotional stress and most of the physical pain go away when your dog feels being loved and has a sense of safety.
Don’t miss vet visits
Diabetes is painful itself. You must take your dog for professional checkups regularly. A seemingly harmless situation can turn fatal if your dog is diabetic. So never take anything lightly.
Your diabetic dog could be restless at night because of simple reasons like hunger or due to critical conditions like hypoglycemia or ketoacidosis. We advise you to find the reason and treat your dog instantly because diabetes can make even simple situations complex.