We’ve all been there before. After a long week of hard work and fulfilling other responsibilities, all you want to do is turn off your alarm this weekend and sleep in. And so far, it’s going as planned–until you hear them. At 6AM sharp on a Saturday morning, your dog is sitting at your bedside, watching and moaning for you to get up.
Unlike us, our pups have no idea what the weekend means. Dogs are, quite often, creatures of habit. They get accustomed to a routine that we usually set.
If you’re someone who has to wake up at 6AM on the weekdays, that’s exactly what your pup will do, too, even on weekends. But even though they have a set routine, that doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone.
Here are three simple ways you can adjust your pet’s routine and get that extra hour or two of sleep on the weekends.
1. Adjust Your Dog’s Feeding Schedule
Most of the time when our dogs are up bright and early, it’s because of one simple reason–they’re hungry. And when they’re hungry, there’s no chance of you getting any extra winks in.
Pushing your dog’s feeding schedule back by an hour will encourage them to wake up a little later than usual. Adjust both breakfast and dinner times slowly by 15-minute increments every couple of days until you reach an hour’s difference.
Also, try not to feed them as soon as you wake up on weekdays. Wait at least 30 minutes before breakfast time. This will help your pup get used to the idea that it’s not time to eat just because you’re awake, so they may be less inclined to wake you up for food.
2. Exercise Before Bed Time
Another reason your pooch might wake you up early in the morning is because they need to go potty. An easy way to fix this is to let them out right before bedtime. Taking them on long walks during the day will also help tire them out.
According to vets, depending on their breed and overall health, all dogs should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. If it gets too dark in your area, playing fetch in the backyard or doing indoor exercises will also help.
These types of activities will not only empty your pet’s bladder for the night, but it will also tire them out enough that they may wake up later than usual.
3. Make A Perfect Place To Sleep
Wherever your dog sleeps at night, make sure that it’s a place specifically for sleeping. Most dogs are light sleepers and in tune with their sharp senses. That means if sunlight is peeking through the windows where they sleep, it can definitely wake them up.
Make sure you close the drapes in their sleeping room to keep the morning sunlight from waking them up. If your dog is sensitive to sound, make sure your television is off and all their squeaky toys are put away. Playing ambient sounds or soft classical music can help them fall into a deep slumber.
If your dog is being crated, you can cover it with a blanket to keep their sleeping place dark and comfy while they snooze.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Changing Their Routine
There are two basic things to keep in mind before changing any of your dog’s routines.
The first thing to consider is your dog’s age. If they’re a young pup–not even one year old—then it’s best to take them out whenever you hear them crying or when they wake you. Their bladders are still not fully developed, and they need to go more frequently. The same can be said for older dogs who might start to show signs of incontinence.
The other thing to consider is their health. Keep an eye on their frequency of needing to go out, especially during the night. If it seems like your pooch is waking you up at least once every couple of hours, they might have a urinary tract infection or digestive issues and may need a trip to the vet.
No matter what methods you try, hopefully you and your dog will be able to enjoy that extra hour or two of sleep on the weekends!
Does your dog let you sleep in on weekends? Do you have any advice for other pet parents who could use some extra sleep? Let us know in the comments below!