Welcoming a new fur baby into your family can be overwhelming for both humans and pups.
As your puppy gets to know you and settle into his new environment, you might notice that he has an unusual sleep schedule. In the early days, it can be challenging to know what’s normal and when there’s cause for concern.
We’ll discuss how much you can expect your puppy to sleep and how to get him on a solid schedule so you can both snooze peacefully.
How Much Do Puppies Sleep?
Depending on your puppy’s age, they sleep anywhere from 18-20 hours a day. When pups are young, they expel a lot of energy learning their new world, constantly experiencing new sites, sounds, and smells. This makes frequent naps very necessary and very common.
30-minute to two-hour naps are a staple in every puppy’s daytime schedule. These usually occur after a long period of play or activity. Sometimes, they’ll even start to doze off while they’re playing. Do your best not to disturb Fido as he recuperates, but try to make sure he’s sleeping in a safe, comfortable place.
If you’re a parent, you likely remember the newborn phase when sleeping through the night was unheard of. With puppies, it’s pretty similar.
Sleeping anywhere between 6-10 hours, puppies are likely to wake up in the night and need to go to the bathroom. During the first few nights at their new home, they might also get scared and begin to whimper and cry.
The good news is that at 16 weeks, most pups begin sleeping through the night — but, that can depend on your lifestyle and how well you stick to a routine.
How to Get Your Puppy on a Good Sleep Schedule
Adequate sleep is vital to your puppy’s development. Sleep helps them process and remember what they learned, and gives them energy to learn more when they wake up.
It’s important to get your dog on a good sleep schedule early so you don’t run into challenges down the road.
Daytime Sleep Tips
- Schedule nap time: When you plan your pup’s day, strategically schedule time for him to nap after walks and playtime. These naps might last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. It’s best to try to guide him to his crate or bed when he starts to get drowsy so he knows that’s where he should go to sleep.
- Give your pup some space: It’s so tempting for new dog owners to want to play with their pup every chance they get — but remember that your puppy needs his rest. Once he falls asleep, make sure you leave him undisturbed. Watch carefully for when he wakes up because he will likely need to go to the bathroom.
- Look for signs of exhaustion: If your pup starts to show signs of crankiness, irritability or over-aggression, he may have overdone it that day. When this happens, it likely means he needs to catch up on sleep. Try not to let this become a habit, because it can lead to unwanted behavior down the road.
Nighttime Sleep Tips
- Keep a consistent routine: This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your pup well rested and happy. Set a specific bedtime every night and take him outside to go to the bathroom right beforehand. It’s wise to restrict food and water a few hours before bed so there’s less of a chance he will have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Make his bed a comfortable place: Put his favorite toys and a warm blanket in his crate so it looks inviting and cozy. If you can, keep it in your bedroom or close by so he feels safe. Make sure the room is dim and at a comfortable temperature.
- Reward with treats: Once your pup gets into his crate for bedtime, you can reward him with a small treat. Choosing the right treats to help train your puppy is important. We recommend choosing a healthy, tasty calming chew that can help him unwind after a long day of exploring and learning.
- Respect your pup’s sleep: After your pup has gone to bed for the night, try to keep as quiet as possible, and prepare for potential interruptions.
Remember that your puppy is learning and will lean on you for guidance. Ultimately, routine is the key to a happy, healthy, and well-behaved life, and a solid sleep schedule is no exception.