As a dog owner, you might have encountered this problem, my dog wakes up too early and wakes me up too!

When a dog wakes up too early, there can be a lot of reasons why. Some can be a simple fix, while others may be a little more complicated.

Most common, they need to use the bathroom. Or maybe they had too much sleep during the day. When your dog wakes up too early it usually means that they are uncomfortable about something.

To solve this problem for your pet let's find out together what's up, and get back to sleep.

Greyhound sleeping on couch lap dog

Why Do Dogs Wake Up Early?

There can be different reasons why your pup is waking up early. It can be a physical or a psychological problem. From just a simple change of routine to a serious medical issue.

For example, one of the most common psychological problems that can affect their sleeping pattern is separation anxiety. We will discuss this a little later.

A few common physical problems shown by dogs that tend to wake them up early are urinary tract infections, digestive problems, and joint pains. These issues make them uncomfortable at night.

Let's look at each cause here.

Dog Wakes Up Early Because of Ongoing Medical Conditions

If you've noticed that your dog is waking up too early and showing signs of limping or whining at night, this can be caused by an illness.

Take your dog to the vet to rule out any possible illness. Your dog could be suffering from an injury or health issues like a urinary tract infection.

If you have a senior dog and he starts waking up early and you notice him limping, this could be a sign of arthritis. The joint pain could be becoming too much for them, causing them to wake up early.

Dogs waking up too early can also be caused by digestive problems. Your dog might be experiencing diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting.

Another medical condition that can be bothering your dog is a urinary tract infection or UTI. UTIs are one of the most common infections in dogs.

Urinary tract infections in dogs can be easily treated. But if not diagnosed on time and go untreated, the infection can spread to the dog's vital organs.

A few symptoms of UTIs are excessive thirst, bloody urine, foul-smelling urine, lack of appetite, uncontrollable bladder, fever, and more.

Separation Anxiety Can Cause a Dog to Wake Up Early

If a dog wakes up too early, it can also be caused by separation anxiety. Living with a dog with separation anxiety can be challenging.

If you're not lucky enough to be working remotely and you come home from work to a mess or destruction, this could be a sign that your dog is experiencing separation anxiety. Other symptoms include excessive drooling, panting, and excessive barking.

If you're still unsure, you can always talk to your vet or consult a dog behavior expert.

This daytime anxiety can carry over to the nighttime and into the morning.

If your dog is not sleeping with you in the same room it can trigger their anxiety which can keep them awake. It can also cause them to wake up early because they are anxious to be with you.

Here are ways to help a dog with separation anxiety:

  1. Train them to be alone at home
  2. Give them a safe space
  3. Exercise before leaving them
  4. Change the ‘Going Away' Signals
  5. Stay Calm When Coming Back Home

Problems with the sleeping environment

On the other hand, if your pup is waking up too early, it can also be because there are problems with their sleeping environment.

This might be a simple problem but it is greatly affecting you and your dog. Problems in their sleeping environment can be because the room is too bright.

It can also be because YOU are too loud or noisy. For instance, you have a habit of falling asleep while the T.V. is on. It can also be because they have no safe or proper space for them to sleep in.


When comes to aging, it is connected to the medical condition factors. Senior dogs are more prone to joint pains leading to discomfort from sleeping.

Monitor your senior dogs not only at night as these discomforts can also be seen during the daytime. Your best bet is to consult with your vet to ensure their safety and comfort.

Excess Energy

If your dog is not getting the required exercise it can fall into the excess energy category.  Luckily for you, there are a lot of daily activities that can be the exercise that they need.

If your dog doesn't get enough exercise it will tend to be more energetic than usual. This can result in our main problem that they will eventually wake up early.

As the pet owner, you have the responsibility to know the required amount of exercise for their breed and age. Yup, you read that right, when it comes to dog exercise, it differs from their breed and their age.

For instance, you should not plan out an adult exercise for a puppy and you should not exercise a small-sized dog on a large-sized dog exercise.

Your dog’s sleeping spot may not be enclosed and dozy enough

What Can You Do If Your Dog Wakes Up Early

Get Him of Exercise

Now, this solution is like hitting two birds with one stone. Not only will your dog gets their exercise, but you too will be able to stay fit and healthy.

As we've discussed above, getting the required amount of exercise can help dogs that are waking up too early due to their excess energy. Just running with your dog can help a lot!

You can also walk them at night to tire them out. A second walk at night can burn reserve energies. It can increase the chances of them sleeping like a baby (like the baby they are).

Exercise can also create a powerful bond, make both of you healthy, and help with having a goodnight's sleep.

Feed Your Dog Later

Your dog can also wake you up early because their tummy is telling them it's time to eat. It's hard for them to ignore the feeling of hunger and just go back to sleep.

You can avoid this by setting their dinner time at a much later time. You can also give him a treat or snack before going to bed.

Changing the feeding pattern can help reduce the dog's hunger in the morning so that they'll be less eager to wake you up to get some early morning breakfast.

Nobody, even humans don't sleep well on an empty stomach. Especially dogs, struggle to ignore the feeling of hunger.

So if your dog tends to wake up too early, you might need to consider re-evaluating their diet. Reassess by asking these questions:

  • Is the service size suitable for your dog?
  • How many times do you feed him?
  • When do you feed him?

Take a Later Walk to Go Potty

If ever your dog is waking you up too early because they need to relieve themselves, we recommend that you take your dog for a last-minute bathroom break before going to bed.

However, as your dog ages, its bladder control will change. If you have a senior dog, understand that they can no longer make it all night without a bathroom break.

Crate Training

Dog crates are a great tool to help your pup feel safe and secure when they sleep at night. Also, a crate can be their safe and personal space.

With crate training, they'll know where to go when they feel overwhelmed. Remember that dog crates should not be used as a punishment.

Make sure that you've chosen a crate that fits them well. After that, place blankets over the top and inside to make it extra comfy.

how to make a dog sleep

What Time Should Your Dog Wake Up?

The right time for a dog to wake up will depend on your schedule and your sleeping habits. When you wake too up early, your dog wakes up too early as well.

There's no specific time required for a dog to wake up. But since dogs are primal animals at their core, they depend on the cycles of nature for their schedule. Meaning they often wake up when the sun rises.

But a good rule is that your dog should wake up when you wake up. When you often wake up at 7 AM, your dog will learn this schedule and wake up at 7 AM too.

Keep in mind that adult dogs sleep for 12 to 14 hours. If you notice that your dog keeps waking up too early and is not getting the required hours of sleep, it would be best to ask your vet for advice.

Lack of sleep can affect a dog's psychological and physical health.

Can I Give My Dog Anything to Sleep Better

On the other hand, if your dog is struggling to sleep at night there are plenty of ways to help him. There are natural ways to make dogs sleep and you can also use certain medications.

In natural ways, you can change their routine or exercise. You can also try calming music. New studies suggest that certain types of music have been proven to be effective for calming dogs.

Before you sort to medication, it is best advised to consult with your vet first. But for reference medications like Melatonin or Benadryl and ever CBD Oil, can help a restless dog sleep at night.

cbd for dogs definitive guide

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do dogs sleep each day?

As we discussed above, adult dogs sleep about 12-14 hours a day. Most dogs spend about 50% of their 24 hours sleeping.

30% of their time awake is spent on their “loafing” time. Loafing is where they're awake but they are not doing anything much. They're just lying there, chilling, and relaxing.

What are the best times to feed a puppy?

Three measured meals per day are important for a puppy. It is recommended that it should be at the same time every day.

The best time for your puppy's first meal or breakfast is around 7 AM. Then, their lunchtime is your usual lunchtime around noon.

Their last meal should be around 5 to 6 PM so that they will have time to digest their food and eliminate one last time before going to bed.

Stick to this schedule until your pup becomes 14 to 18 weeks old. At this point, their schedule should change to just two meals a day.

How much exercise does a puppy need?

When it comes to a puppy's exercise needs, a good rule of thumb is five minutes of exercise per month for their age which could be twice a day.

For instance, if a puppy is 4 months old, you can exercise them for 20 minutes a day. This 20-minute exercise can be done twice a day. Use this method until they are fully grown where they'll be able to exercise for a much longer period.

But always remember that age is not just a factor to consider when it comes to exercising. The age might be the biggest factor, but you should still consider their breed and any medical condition if needed.

How much exercise does an adult dog need?

Adult dogs can have a larger variety of exercise compared to puppies and senior dogs. With this, you can mix other daily activities or even sports to have fun with your dog.

Again, an important factor to determine how much exercise a dog needs is its breed. Less active breeds are recommended to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day.

Flat-faced breeds like pugs and bulldogs have a lower exercise tolerance because of their breathing conditions. Even 10 minutes in the sun are too much for them to handle.

Toy or small breeds should not be exercised as much as large and giant breeds. But you should still be careful because giant breeds are prone to joint and hip problems.

High energy breeds like sporting, herding, or working breeds need a strong physical and mental exercise that should be 60 to 90 minutes per day.

Senior Dog Tip #3: Dog Beds for Cozier Sleep

My Dog Wakes Up Too Early Summary

My dog wakes up too early. What can I do to stop this? There can be plenty of reasons why your puppy wakes up too early.

A few examples of these are medical conditions. Your pup might be waking up too early due to discomfort or pain. Your dog might be waking up due to UTI, digestive problems, or joint pain (if you have a senior dog).

Monitor your pet and consult with your vet if you ever see signs of the medical issues above.

On the other hand, your dog might also be suffering from a psychological issue like separation anxiety. Or it can be some simple reasons like their sleeping environment. They might be feeling uncomfy in their bed or surroundings.

Another factor that you should look into is if they have excess energy. And a quick solution to this is having the time to exercise your dog.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.