Why Your Dog Suddenly Refusing to Go to Bed?

Are you worried about your dog not sleeping properly? Is it refusing to go to bed?

Your dog is not going to bed due to mental health issues like anxiety or fear. But it also can be due to underlying medical problems like gastrointestinal or arthritis pain. But if it’s none of that then the sleeping environment is uncomfortable or the dog has not been trained enough properly for a sleeping routine. 

Don’t worry though, if you are looking for an answer to why your dog suddenly refusing to go to bed then this is the article for you. Keep reading to find out more about how to get your dog to sleep. 

Why Won’t Your Dog Go to Bed? How to Fix it? 

Your dog might not go to bed for so many reasons. We understand that it can be frustrating but at least they are not digging on beds and couches. Don’t worry though, we have the right fix for you. 

The table below shows some common reasons why your dog won’t go to bed and how you can fix it. 

Mental health issuesExercise with the dog/Play with the dog/Consult a Vet
Dog is feeling unwellCheck the Diet &Consult a Vet
Dog sleeping room is not comfy enoughGet a comfy space for the dog
Dog is not trained wellTrain the dog properly
Dog’s sleeping routine is not consistent enoughStick to a Routine

Medical Issues:

The dog might suddenly refuse to go to bed if it has medical complications. More specifically, it can be pain, illness, or just discomfort. 

It can have abdominal discomfort through gastrointestinal pain. When a dog suffers from such pain, it will have a hard time trying to lie down. Some of the common symptoms of gastrointestinal pain are –

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Lethargy

Apart from gastrointestinal pain, dogs might also get arthritis especially if they are old. It is also possible to be injured from playing or any other outdoor activity which makes sleeping in a certain position painful. 

Solution 1: Check the Diet

Do not give any stimulating food to your dog before it goes to sleep. It can be anything such as caffeine or sweets. Better to keep it light and make sure that the dog is ready to go to bed. 

Either way, check the symptoms properly and consult a vet if required. 

Solution 2: Consult a Vet

If nothing else works then you should go to a veterinarian immediately. It can be any underlying health issue that you have not recognized yet. But a visit to a vet can fix the problem and get your dog to have a sound sleep. 

Mental Health Issues:

If your dog is not going to bed then it might be dealing with emotional stress. It can be anxiety or fear that is making them feel uncomfortable and not willing to sleep.

Mental Health Issues
Source: YuMOVE

Mental health is a serious issue and even pets tend to have mental health problems. Dogs are no different. It can experience fear or anxiety just like you. But don’t worry, you can protect your dog by watching out for the following symptoms of anxiety

  • Excessive licking or chewing
  • Excessive barking or howling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive urination
  • Self-harm
  • Feeling irritable

If you find any of these symptoms or more in your dog then it is time to change the routine or take any other action to make your canine friend calm. 

However, if it’s an old dog suddenly refusing to go to bed, it is likely suffering from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) or Doggy Dementia. This will make an old dog quite anxious at night. 

Solution: Exercise

If you are worried about what to do when the dog won’t sleep then you can make your dog do exercise. Make sure that your dog gets regular physical exercise so that they are exhausted by the time they get to sleep. 

A good routine followed by physical exercise will be the key to getting your dog to sleep on time. It will also be better for the overall health of the dog. 

You can try this 5 Dog Training Exercises You Should Do EVERY DAY At Home! with your dog. 

Uncomfortable Sleeping Environment

Changes in the dog’s sleeping environment can be a reason why it is not going to bed. It can be a change in the temperature or humidity. Dogs are quite sensitive to temperature and a minor change can be uncomfortable for them. 

If you have changed the bed or made some adjustments then that can also be the reason for the dog to not sleep. Give it some time or make the changes in its sleeping environment more gradual so that the dog doesn’t feel alarmed by any changes made. 

But you need to check the bed. The bed itself can be uncomfortable to sleep for the dog. 

Along with all these, it is also possible that the neighbors are noisy or the environment itself is noisy. All of these can make the dog refuse to go to bed. 

Solution: Get a Comfy Sleeping Space

You should have a comfortable and calming bed for the dog to sleep in. A change in the environment such as climate control or a quieter room can give the dog a comfy space for sleep. 

Just like you ride off any mattress that is making you uncomfortable, remove any bed or anything that is disrupting the sleeping pattern of your dog. Add anything that is making it fall asleep. 

Inconsistent Routine:

Dogs need a sleeping routine. A consistent schedule for activities helps to remain away from anxiety. A slight change in the sleeping routine means that the dog will refuse to go to bed. 

It can be a change in sleeping time, feeding time, and even walking time. All of these directly impact the sleeping pattern of your dog and make it not go to bed. 

Solution: Stick to a Routine

Train your dog properly on a sleep routine. Make it consistent. You can do that by introducing specific activities relating to bedtime.

It can be a walk in the backyard or calming petting sessions, all of which can make the dog associate the activities with time to bed. 

Training Issues:

If the dog is not properly trained then it will not understand or get the command to go to its bed. So make sure that it is trained properly as a routine for instructions to go to bed.

dog is not properly trained
Source: Adobe Stock

Sometimes despite showing no physical or mental complications, the dog will not go to bed. In that case, you have to understand it has not been trained properly. 

Solution: Do Positive Reinforcement

Encouraging your dog to go to bed on time and behave well at bedtime can be made easier by rewarding them. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Praise your dog when they willingly go to bed.
  • Give them small treats or rewards when they settle down and stay calm at bedtime.
  • Avoid scolding or punishing them if they don’t go to bed right away. This can make bedtime seem unpleasant.

By consistently rewarding good behavior, you can help your dog see bedtime as a positive thing, making them more likely to go to bed willingly when it’s time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why Won’t My Dog Settle at Night All of a Sudden?

Your Dog won’t settle at night all of a sudden if there is a sudden change in their environment. Remember that dogs are quite sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity of the air. Any minor change and they will feel uncomfortable. So, make sure to properly climate control the sleeping space so that your dog settles at night. 

Why Does My Dog Sleep During the Day but Not at Night?

If your dog sleeps during the day but not at night then it means that it is not getting enough exercise. Dogs tend to sleep a lot and if they don’t get enough exercise or physical activity during the day then they will sleep which means they will stay up at night.  

Why Does My Dog Want to Sleep Alone?

Your dog wants to sleep alone because it needs its own space. Sometimes, dogs want their place to relax and feel secure. It doesn’t mean that they hate you or don’t want you around, it’s just that for the time being they prefer to have their place. 


In conclusion, your dog suddenly refusing to go to bed means that it has medical or mental health issues or the environment itself is uncomfortable to sleep in. Make sure to care for your pet properly and regularly track their moods. But if the situation does not get any better, consult a vet as quickly as possible.

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