Pets can start becoming restless, particularly at night, as they get older. This can be due to underlying pain or discomfort, or potentially cognitive dysfunction (dementia). If an animal can’t get comfortable or gets stiff if they stay in one position or place for too long, they’ll move about more and therefore appear restless.
Anxiety will also lead to an animal being unable to settle because they feel the need to keep an eye on their environment and any activity going on around them. There may be noises they’re sensitive to that disturb them at night, or if they don’t sleep with you, they may feel safer and sleep more soundly in your company. Always take your pet to the vet if they’re showing any signs of sleep disturbance and restlessness.
What can I do to help my pet settle?
If the vet has ruled out or started treating any pain or medical issues, consider providing your pet with company at night to see if they’re better able to settle. Keeping low level internal noise on – like a radio or a white noise machine – can help drown out external noises that may trigger anxiety. Provide plenty of bed options around the home (including high places for cats) and items for dogs to chew on and lick at to help them self-soothe. Also for dogs, keeping activity levels low to reduce adrenaline levels – including lots of mental stimulation and sniffing activities – can help them settle easier.
Zylkene is the UK’s No.1 veterinary calming supplement to help pets cope better with challenging situations, making it ideal to help your pet settle. See more signs to look out for and how to combat them here.