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Dogs/Sleepless Small Dog


My dog gizmo seems to always keep me up at night and if I don't constantly get up in the middle of the night over and over he will whine the entire night. Is there any sleep aids you can recomend?

Hi Felica

Assuming your dog isn't on any other medications or has any health conditions (such as seizures, a heart condition, or is pregnant for example) there are a couple of things you could try to help calm Gizmo overnight. If your dog is on any kind of daily medication or has health concerns, you'll want to talk to your veterinarian before using any supplements, as they can have interactions with medication.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine), the over the counter Antihistamine usually acts as a mild tranquilizer and sedative for dogs. Many people who's dogs aren't good travelers use Benadryl during long car rides for that reason. The average dose of Benadryl for dogs is: 1 mg per 1 lb of body weight. Sources also state the maximum limits shouldn’t be exceeded:

• 10 mg for dogs weighing 30 lb. and less;
• 25 mg for dogs between 30 lb. and 50 lb;
• 50 mg for dogs weighing 50 lb. and over.

Benadryl is not toxic for pets. In general, it is exceptionally safe for dogs, but if you have questions you should speak to your veterinarian.

There is a product called Bach's Rescue Remedy that you might find in pet stores or health food stores. It comes in the form of a liquid that you drop into your dog's tongue, and there's also a spray version. The spray's packaging is labeled for humans, but is safe for use in pets. Rescue Remedy is a blend of flower essences that are a natural way to help calm dogs.

Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP) are a synthetic version of the a hormone produced by nursing dog mothers that promote calm and secure behavior. Adult dogs retain the calming response when exposed to these pheromones. DAP are used to treat anxiety, stress, and behavior issues. DAP come in the form of a spray, a plug in defuser, and in a collar the dog would wear. Brands to look for are Comfort Zone DAP for dogs, and Adapil DAP.

Composure by Vetri-Science, are bite-sized chews that come in chicken liver flavor that helps to alleviate stress-related behavioral issues without affecting the dogs energy levels or personality. It's active ingredients help calm dogs: a colostrum calming complex, L-Theanine (an amino acid) and Thiamine (vitamin B1). A prescription product, called Anxitane is a 99.5% pure form of the amino acid L-theanine. You can read more about it here:

Another product to look for at pet stores and online is called Happy Traveler, by Ark Naturals. It's a natural herbal calming formula for anxiety and nervous behaviors. It's active ingredients are: Valerian, Chamomile, L-Tryptophan, and St. Johns Wort. Your dog will be calm and more likely to sleep with this supplement. It also comes in a soft-chew version, if it's difficult to give your dog capsules.

Valerian root is an effective sedative for treating hyperactivity, anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. It's the natural plant that the anxiety medication Valium was synthesized from, but it doesn't have the side effects of Valium. It's been used for centuries by people, and it's safe and non-habit forming for dogs. Read more about using Valerian root here:

Along with any supplement, when your dog is acting calm reward him with praise and even a small treat for that calm behavior. Let Gizmo know that the calm behavior is what you want.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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