More often than not, questions about the physical activity and daily schedule of dogs pervade the thoughts of all dog owners. They want to know the best, safest and recommended practices for their dogs.
How much time should they be allowed to roam? Is it safe to let them roam at night? Should they even be allowed to roam at all?
This article addresses these questions and provides details to help you make the right decisions for your dog.
Four reasons to let your dog roam the house at night
There is no direct answer to whether or not a dog owner should allow their dog to roam the house at night.
However, your dog’s safety should be considered first while making these decisions. Some recommended factors are outlined below for consideration.
While most people may state outrightly that dogs should not be allowed to roam unsupervised, they can if they are familiar with the house.
You should allow your dog to roam the house at night because they’re familiar with and have access to all parts of the house, which reduces the risk of them getting in trouble.
You shouldn’t let them roam in a confined space or room aside from their pen. This could leave dogs frantic.
If unfamiliar dogs are left to roam, it could be difficult for them to find their way back to their pen or crate.
It is crucial that you do not leave untrained dogs unsupervised, especially at night.
Dogs tend to make a mess when left alone but allowing properly trained dogs to roam the house unsupervised reduces that possibility.
You should allow dogs to roam the house at night if they’ve received all the proper training. Otherwise, you’ll wake up in an unpleasant-looking house the following day.
Giving your dog adequate toilet training will come in handy for you both. Ensure your dog is mentally mature enough to be left alone unsupervised.
Boredom and exploration
Dogs are naturally curious creatures; they crave excitement and love to explore.
As a dog owner, you are responsible for providing your dog with as much excitement as they could possibly need. So, schedule times for physical activities for your dog.
After your day’s work, letting your dog roam at night may be the only source of excitement you can afford your dog. Be sure your dog does not get bored from being confined most time.
Anxiety and Fear
It is essential that you let your dog spend more time outside confinement.
Dogs are social creatures who value play and bonding time, and when they don’t get an adequate amount of both, they tend to get anxious and fearful.
It is important your dog sustains a balanced mental state. Dogs that suffer from anxiety and fear become nervous and uncomfortable most of the time.
Let your dog roam because you want to prevent them from getting too anxious from being left alone.
Three considerations you may not let your dog roam the house at night
Like people say, there are always two sides to the same coin. In this case, there are some factors that you must consider before deciding on the best practice to adopt for your dog.
Puppies should never be left to roam the house unsupervised or at night. Only until your dog is about one or two years old should you let them roam the house at night.
Allowing a young dog access to the house unsupervised creates all sorts of possibilities and risks.
They could get lost without even knowing or get something toxic into their system. You can train them to roam while on a leash.
As a pet owner, you must know your dog, and until you’ve completely figured that out, you should hold off letting your dog roam the house at night.
Know what your dog prefers and how they measure quality time. More importantly, know your dog’s sleeping habits which may so rightly depend on their nature.
You should be aware that some dogs may never do well outside confinement or under supervised liberation (when on a leash).
Risks of accidents
Your dog may be the safest when confined. You must consider the risks of letting them roam at night, unsupervised, especially if you have not made certain provisions to guarantee their safety.
A lot can happen when you are absent. Suddenly, the house becomes too small for them, so they keep trying until they find a way out.
Whether letting your dog roam or not should depend on you, your dog, and the risks and possibilities involved.
Four tips before allow nighttime free roaming
While you should try to keep your dog safe at all times, it is also crucial to create a safe space for your dog, especially if you intend to let them roam.
Consider doing some of these before letting your dog roam the house at night.
Slowly transitioning your dog from playpen or leash roaming to unsupervised roaming is very important.
For the first few times, let them roam unsupervised for very short periods to see how well they behave on their own.
Teach them commands and gradually increase the time you leave them unsupervised.
For your dog to handle being allowed to roam the house at night, consider giving them the necessary training in due time.
In a bid to make your dog get used to roaming, especially in the house alone, show them they won’t be missing anything by taking them on short trips: walking and playing.
This reduces the risk of losing your dog when you finally leave them to roam, and it increases the possibility of them behaving well when they are left to roam unsupervised.
Dogs who are not used to roaming, inside or outside the house, tend to go miles away from home to explore when they finally get the chance.
Since you intend to let your dog roam unsupervised at night, you must have a dog-proofed house.
You must ensure that where they will have access will not pose a threat. You won’t be awake at night to keep watch, so this is the least you could do to ensure your dog’s safety.
Practice letting your dog roam just to see how well they behave. This comes after several training sessions. First, you want to know how well they’ll do on a leash in a confined space.
Afterward, you can slowly loosen up on their restrictions. You need to keep doing this until you trust your dog to behave when left to roam the house at night.
Go at your dog’s pace, do not rush anything or exert these lessons on them. That won’t help any of you.
Why do some dogs wander around the house at night?
After considering every possibility and deciding it is best to let your dog roam the house at night, you may notice that instead of sleeping, your dog just wanders the house mostly throughout the night.
Let’s consider some reasons why your dog may rather wander the house than sleep at night.
Typically, older dogs sleep more and tend to do better when left to roam the house at night. However, your dog may rather wander than sleep.
This may occur because they feel uncomfortable with the sleeping arrangement provided for them, and this will likely continue until they find somewhere they can comfortably sleep in.
Ensure that your dog’s pen or crate is safe and comfortable. If you notice your dog may not enjoy sleeping in their pen or bed, consider allowing them to sleep in your bed, changing their pen, or bringing their pen closer to your room.
Your dog may wander at night because they are hungry. Keep your dog on a regular and healthy diet; ensure they are not overfed.
This could lead to indigestion, leaving your dog uncomfortable and unable to sleep. If you are unaware of what good feeding practices to imbibe, ask experts about how much you need to feed your dog regularly.
Little or no prior physical activity
Dogs who have been confined all day tend to make up for lack of exercise at night. Hence, they wander around the house instead of sleeping.
Try to make time to walk your dog or engage them in recreational activities during the day. Engaging in regular physical activities is good for dogs. It keeps them agile, alert, and friendly.
Whatever decision you make, ensure it has got your dog’s best interest at heart. Be sure it will guarantee the safety and convenience of your dog.
Don’t leave your dog to roam unsupervised if you don’t trust they’ll behave well. But remember, dogs get bored when they are confined most of the time.