Are you having trouble getting your dog to sleep at bedtime because your Dog is constantly moving and changing sleeping places? Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Many dogs experience restlessness and sleep disorders, which can be caused by various factors such as stress, boredom, or being overworked. However, sometimes restlessness in dogs can also be a sign of underlying pain or discomfort.

Suppose your dog is having difficulty sleeping and is also showing signs of restlessness. In that case, it’s essential to consider whether your dog may be experiencing pain in his abdomen or difficulty finding a comfortable position due to arthritis.

Addressing these potential causes, you can help your furry friend get the restful sleep he needs.

Effective Tips for Calming a Restless Dog

If you have a dog that is constantly moving around and can’t seem to stay in one place – it can be frustrating and even exhausting for you as a pet owner.

It’s important to understand that there may be various reasons for your dog’s restlessness, such as lack of exercise, boredom, or anxiety. Here are some tips for calming a restless dog that constantly changes places:

  • Provide ample exercise and playtime: Dogs, just like humans, need physical activity to burn off excess energy. Make sure your dog gets enough daily exercise, such as walks, runs, or playtime in a fenced-in yard. This will help tire them out and reduce their restlessness.
  • Engage their minds with mental stimulation: Boredom can also contribute to a restless dog. Try engaging your dog’s mind with puzzles, training sessions, or interactive toys. This will keep them mentally stimulated and help reduce their restlessness.
  • Address any underlying health issues: If your dog’s restlessness is sudden or unusual, it’s important to rule out any underlying health issues that could be causing it. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes for your dog’s restlessness.
  • Create a calm environment: A chaotic or stressful environment can contribute to a restless dog. Create a calm and relaxing atmosphere for your dog, such as a quiet room with soft lighting and comfortable bedding. This can help them feel more at ease and reduce their restlessness.
  • Consider calming aids: If your dog’s restlessness persists despite trying these tips, you may want to consider using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers or calming supplements. Consult with your veterinarian before using any calming aids to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your dog.

By following these tips; You can help calm a restless dog and create a more peaceful environment for both you and your furry friend. However, the most important thing is to find out what causes your dog’s restlessness.

Dog Resting in Bed

Why Is My Dog So Restless? Investigating the Underlying Factors

If your dog is constantly shifting around and unable to settle down, it could be a sign of excess energy, abdominal discomfort, or being too hot or cold. In senior dogs, restlessness may be caused by arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, or anxiety.

On the other hand, this type of behavior is usually normal in young puppies as they are still learning how to sleep through the night, similar to human babies.

Below are the most common causes of restlessness in dogs. If you have any concerns or are uncertain, click here to start a live chat with a veterinarian for guidance.

Psychological Causes for Restlessness in Dogs:

Has your dog started suddenly moving around or changing where they sleep? This could be due to psychological causes such as being scared by a recent noise or unfamiliar object.

However, it’s also possible that your dog is feeling restless due to a lack of mental and physical stimulation. For example, if your dog sees himself as the pack’s leader, they may be trying to protect you by staying on the move at night.

To determine the root cause of this behavior, try increasing their activity levels and establishing clear roles. If you’re struggling to find a solution, consider working with a dog trainer to address any psychological blocks.


Psychological stress does not usually show up in just one situation. For example, does your dog not like to be left alone and starts barking and howling when you leave your dog alone?

If your dog is constantly changing places, then perhaps your dog suffers from separation and loss anxiety, which causes him to constantly check at night to see if you are still there.

Stress & Anxiety in Dogs

Typical causes of restless behavior in dogs, which may indicate severe stress or even anxiety disorders, include:

  • Noise: Dogs have a lower pain threshold for hearing than humans, and they can hear ultrasonic frequencies that are inaudible to us. Noise can be especially distressing for dogs, as they can be sensitive to sounds that are much quieter than what we can hear.
  • Cushing’s syndrome: This brain disorder causes affected dogs to produce too much cortisol, which can lead to restlessness.
  • Uncomfortable dog bed: If a dog’s is constantly changig his sleeping place, perhaps the bed is too small or uncomfortable, they may have difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position.
  • Strong desires: A strong sex drive, sudden bowel movements, lack of attention, or hunger can all cause a dog to change sleeping locations frequently.
  • Dominant neighbor dog: Dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans and can detect scents from up to 20 kilometers away. The constant smell of a dominant neighbor dog can cause chronic stress.

Other symptoms of stress in dogs include heavy panting, nervousness, trembling, and unusual hair loss. To help alleviate your dog’s stress, you can try giving them more attention, reducing noise, providing a more suitable dog bed, and taking them on long walks.

You may also find that placing the dog bed in a location where your dog likes to sleep during the day can help make the night feel more secretive.


A Dog that is Constantly changing the sleeping place can indicate anxiety disorders or chronic stress. In many cases, it also makes itself felt in other symptoms. Attention is the best remedy for this kind of inner restlessness.

Does your Dog have too much Excess Energy?

If your dog is constantly shifting around and unable to settle down, it could be a sign of excess energy or boredom. This is especially likely if your dog is not actually tired but is just sleeping out of boredom.

Some breeds, like hunting dogs and German Shepherds, are more prone to this type of restlessness due to a lack of physical and mental activity. To help tire out your dog, be sure to provide them with plenty of exercises – some breeds may need as much as 1.5 hours of activity per day.

Also, remember that inappropriate living conditions, such as a small apartment, can contribute to nocturnal restlessness.

In all these cases, the following measures can provide a remedy:

  • Walk your dog longer
  • Get throwing games to exercise your dog
  • Encourage your dog with intelligence toys
  • Get lots of chew toys or long lasting Dog Chew Treats

My personal favorite is: WILD Natural Long Lasting Bison Flavor Dog Chew Treats! This one provides long time of chewing is nutritious and tasty.


If dogs behave restlessly and change their lying place very often, then boredom and excess energy can be behind it. In this case, You should provide more physical and mental activity.

Guard & Herding Instinct of some Dog Breeds

Shepherd and many Guard Dogs are a special breed of dogs – trained to protect both farms and herds of animals. These dogs work around the clock, remaining alert and attentive even while they sleep.

This constant vigilance results from their strong instinct to guard and protect their surroundings.

Besides their natural protective-instincts; shepherd and guard dogs have heightened senses that make them particularly well-suited for their duties. For example, they can hear four times farther and smell several kilometers away, allowing them to detect potential threats from a distance.

Sniffer dog breeds, in particular, have an extraordinary sense of smell, with up to 60 times more olfactory receptors than humans. This heightened sense of smell enables them to detect even the slightest odors, including those of insects and other small animals.

While these instincts and heightened senses are valuable for protecting farms and herds, they can also be helpful for owners in detecting potential dangers and alerting them to potential threats.

Whether on the farm or in a modern urban setting, shepherd and guard dogs will always be watchful and ready to protect their surroundings.


Some Dog Breeds naturally have a strong instinct to watch and herd, which keeps them from a deep sleep.

This breed-specific behavior can be seen, among other things, in the fact that dogs often change their sleeping place.
Close up of climbing doberman pinscher
Doberman Pinscher Guard Dog

Physical Causes of Restlessness in Dogs

An older dog can be restless and constantly change places when his bones and joints hurt. Osteoarthritis, in particular, ensures that lying in one position is not possible for long.

Other physical ailments, such as urinary tract infections, can cause your dog to walk around or even urinate indoors.

Watch your dog closely to get to the bottom of what is causing his restlessness. For example, watch how he lies down. Is it difficult for him to lie down, or does he seem reluctant to lie down?

If you notice that your dog is showing any other pain, including whining or squealing, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Arthritis as a Reason for Restlessness in Dogs

Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the joints, and it can affect both humans and dogs.

According to studies, around 20% of older dogs suffer from arthritis, which can cause severe pain and make it difficult for them to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Common signs of arthritis in dogs include:

  • A stiff gait
  • Groaning when getting up
  • Constantly changing their lying place
  • Avoiding stairs and jumps
  • Swelling in the joints

While arthritis is currently considered incurable, the symptoms and problems associated with it can be managed with various treatments such as:

  • Medication to reduce pain
  • Special stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Changes to diet

If your dog is showing signs of arthritis, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to assess the severity of the condition and recommend the best course of treatment for your individual dog.


Dogs with arthritis often suffer from such severe pain that they cannot find a comfortable sleeping position. The restless behavior and the constant change of the lying place can be the first symptoms.
Elderly Dog with Arthritis
Elderly Dog with Arthritis

Gastrointestinal Disorders as a Cause of Restlessness in Dogs

Dogs have a natural tendency to hide their pain for evolutionary reasons. In the wild, a sniveling wolf would be an easy target for predators, so dogs have learned to conceal their discomfort to protect themselves.

Additionally, weak and sick wolves are often rejected by their pack, as a pack is only as strong as its weakest member.

For these reasons, dogs will often try to act normal, even when they are in pain, such as when they have a stomachache.

It’s important for dog owners to be aware of this natural instinct and to pay close attention to any subtle changes in their dog’s behavior that might indicate they are in pain.

Typical Symptoms for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Dogs are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in stool consistency
  • Blood in stool
  • Excessive gas
Dog vomit in the living room

According to statistics, one in 167 dogs also experience what is known as “Gastric Torsion.” This is when the dog’s maggot rotates around its longitudinal axis.

At the first sign of gastric torsion, you should immediately seek emergency medical animal services:

  • Retching without vomiting
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Severe trembling

If left untreated, gastric torsion causes severe pain and is usually fatal. The sooner you act, the better the chances of treatment.

The treatment for gastric torsion will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to untwist the stomach and relieve the pressure on the intestines.

Other treatment options may include medication to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as changes to the dog’s diet to prevent future episodes of gastric torsion.


Abdominal pain, also known as gastric torsion, can be extremely painful for dogs and can cause them to become restless and constantly change their lying place.

This condition occurs when the stomach becomes twisted, preventing gas and fluids from passing through the intestines. If left untreated, gastric torsion can be life-threatening for dogs.

Alzheimer’s Disease as a Cause of Agitation in Dogs

Did you know that one in four dogs over the age of 11 and as many as two out of three dogs over the age of 15 may suffer from dementia, also known as Alzheimer’s disease?

This condition can cause a range of symptoms in dogs, including:

  • Sudden stubbornness
  • Anxious behavior
  • Restless wandering
  • Incontinence
  • Ignorant behavior

Dogs with dementia may forget that they are at home and become disoriented, leading to restless wandering and anxious behavior.

While Alzheimer’s disease is currently incurable, there are ways to slow its progression and help improve your dog’s quality of life. One option is to provide cognitive thinking tasks, such as using an intelligence toy that combines a brain teaser with a treat reward.

This can help keep your dog’s mind active and engaged, potentially slowing the progression of the disease.


Dogs with dementia may experience confusion and anxiety as they begin to forget their surroundings and become disoriented. This can lead to restless behavior, including constantly changing their sleeping place.

Dementia may also cause dogs to become more defiant and resistant to commands. It’s important for dog owners to be understanding and patient with their pets as they navigate the challenges of dementia, and to seek guidance from a veterinarian for the best ways to support and care for their furry friend.

Happy Dog playing


If your dog is constantly changing beds and experiencing restlessness at bedtime – there may be various factors at play – including stress, boredom, overwork, or underlying pain or discomfort.

Consider these potential causes and address them through methods such as providing ample exercise and playtime, engaging your dog’s mind with mental stimulation, addressing any underlying health issues, creating a calm environment, and using calming aids as appropriate.

By following these the Tips in these Blog Post, you can help your furry friend get the restful sleep they need and create a more peaceful environment for both you and your dog.

If you have any concerns or are uncertain about the cause of your dog’s restlessness; we recommended to consult with a veterinarian for guidance.

Read also: In Animal Dreamland – What Do Dogs Dream About?


Marco Heitner

Hello, my Name is Marco. My family has had pets since I can remember. Today we have a large aquarium and, since recently, a four-month old Labrador. I am the owner of this website, and it is my great pleasure to provide helpful knowledge about pets. Our team is constantly working hard to publish well-researched reports here.


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