Just like humans, our dogs also need that much coveted rest and sleep after a long, tiring day of play and dog duties. In most cases, it’s as though our dogs are just like us- except their cute, furry and has paws. This is an indication that dogs also need as much sleep and rest as humans do.
A recent Hungarian study found out that our beloved pets are also victims of sleep issues. This is truer in cases where in they went through a very traumatic situation. Exactly like humans, dogs will have trouble sleeping after suffering from stress.
According to the study, dogs who have been through a bad day, a trauma of some sort, or something negative are most likely to stay awake and would have more troubles falling asleep as compared to dogs who are more relaxed all throughout the day. Some of these sad and stressful circumstances are as follows:
Getting tied in the exact same spot for long time
Being locked up
Owners ignoring them
As for positive circumstances that yield to a good night’s sleep, these are the most noted:
Playing with other dogs
Playing with their owners
Getting a new toy
Petted by owners
Earning some treats
The dogs who went through some stress were observed to have troubles falling asleep. Their suffering is also still apparent after finally falling asleep. The dogs who suffered stress beforehand had lighter sleep than those who are more relaxed all throughout the day. This means those dogs did not really experience or enjoy the sleep that their tiny bodies deserve and need.
Part of this study conducted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was to use EEG Monitors. These monitors were utilized to check and see the sleep activities of sixteen dogs, a combination of mixed breed and purebred pups. The animal researchers also monitored the heart activities—the rate variability of the dogs to check if the negative circumstances had negative effects to the dogs’ sleep, and health in general. They also checked if the relaxing and positive activities (for example, playing, some ear scratches, petting, among others) affected the dogs and their sleep. They can monitor this by checking the oxytocin levels of the dogs.
Experts added that just like humans, the occasional sleepless night is relatively harmless for the dogs. But also, just like humans, the persistent loss of a good night sleep is bad for our dogs’ health. When they lack sleep, our dogs can have a shift in behavior.
According to Dr. Anna Kis, who is the lead researcher and pioneer for the said study, dogs tend to be more irritable. This could lead them to be aggressive and develop other changes in behavior. On a lighter note, if our dogs experience proper sleep, they are observed to be abler, have better recall, reliable command, and better memory and impulse control.
This goes to show that sleep should not be overseen as an integral part of a dog’s health and development. So make it a habit to make your dogs feel good—de-stress them and help them get that much wanted good night sleep.