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Yawning dog
Photo: Charles Deluvio/Unsplash

Sleep is just as important for our pets as it is for us - and here's how to give your four legged friends a safe and healthy snooze!

Studies show good quality sleep strengthens their immune system, supports recovery from injury and illness and assists memory and brain function.

Poor sleep, on the other hand, can lead to a host of health issues, such as restlessness, increased stress and anxiety and a change in appetite.

“As with humans, good sleep hygiene is also important for the health and wellbeing of our furry friends,” says Michelle Cummins, founder of Australian-made STAN Pet Beds, the world’s first pet bed patented as a therapeutic and post-op  recovery tool.  

Michelle has been studying canine sleep and natural health for more than 12 years, working with holistic animal practitioners and  expanding her learnings in nutrition, toxicity and stress.

She says our pets can have poor sleep for many reasons, such as stress and anxiety,  pain and discomfort, digestive issues, illness, ageing and cognitive issues, and environmental  factors (noise, temperature, bedding quality). 

“While there are many factors that contribute to the quality of sleep our pets experience, what they sleep on has the most immediate impact,” she says. 

Here's Michelle's top tips to help our dogs have a great night's rest.

Diet: Feed your pet a species-appropriate, balanced diet that supports their individual energy  balance and digestive health. 

Lifestyle adjustments: Establish a consistent daily routine that aligns with natural circadian rhythms. This includes exposure to natural light, exercise and sleep schedules. 

Exercise: Engage your dog in regular exercise to help expend energy but avoid  overstimulation close to bedtime. 

Behavioural Modification: Address any behavioural issues that may disrupt sleep, such as  separation anxiety or fear-based reactions, through positive reinforcement training. 

Environmental Factors: Create a calm sleep environment for your dog. Ensure the sleeping area is comfortable, free from disruptions and maintained at an appropriate temperature. Provide bedding made with natural fibres, such as linen, organic cotton or hemp,  is free of sleep disrupting toxins/chemicals and supports your individual pet’s needs. 

Light Control: Limit exposure to artificial light, especially in the evening, as it can disrupt  sleep patterns. Natural light during the day is beneficial. 

Aromatherapy: Certain essential oils (when used safely and under guidance) can promote  relaxation. Lavender, chamomile or frankincense oils may be diffused in the dog’s sleeping area.  

Natural therapies: Consider natural therapies that can promote good sleep hygiene, such  herbal remedies, acupuncture, acupressure and massage.  

Mindful Interaction: Spend quality time with your pet, offering emotional support and  companionship to reduce feelings of loneliness or anxiety. 

Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your holistic vet to identify and address any issues before they lead to sleep disturbances. 



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