Life as a puppy owner can be quite an interesting and exciting one, with so many things to experience and learn when dealing with your pet. One of the most important things to learn about is the sleeping habit of your pet.
One thing that’s sure is that puppies need their beauty sleep for healthy growth and development. They need a lot of sleep, but sometimes they can’t sleep well, and that, in itself, is a problem.
Many puppy owners aren’t sure just how much sleep their pets need, and as such, their pets might be having insufficient sleep. For some others, their pups might struggle to even fall asleep and they’re at a loss for what to do.
This post will answer all the questions you have about your puppy’s sleep schedule, how they can get a good night’s rest, and how to handle any issue that arises. Let’s get into it.
Shortcut To Useful Tips
- 1 How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
- 2 Effective tips to help your puppy get a good night’s sleep
- 3 How do you know if your puppy isn’t getting enough sleep?
- 4 Why is my puppy always whining at night?
- 5 What can I do if my puppy is restless and cries at night?
- 6 Will sleeping with me at night help my puppy?
- 7 Conclusion
How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
From a very young age, a puppy could spend between 16 and 18 hours every day sleeping, and this time is expected to reduce as the puppy ages.
For instance, an 8-week-old puppy could sleep for up to 20 hours a day, and during this time, your pet is developing stronger bones and muscles, boosting its immune system, and achieving the development of the brain and central nervous system. Getting anything short of this much sleep time might make your 8-week-old pet fatigued, stressed, and irritable. Its immune system, concentration levels, and general performance will also suffer when it isn’t getting enough sleep.
As your puppy reaches its 12th week, you can expect it to sleep less, which might be 18 hours or fewer every day, depending on its level of activity, size, and even breed. For instance, larger dog breeds are likely to sleep more because they need more massive development in their bodies, bones, and entire systems than the smaller breeds.
It is also important to note that some of these hours will be spent sleeping during the day and some at night. While some puppies will sleep a lot more during the day and less at night, the reverse might be the case for other puppies.
Effective tips to help your puppy get a good night’s sleep
Now that we know how much sleep your puppy needs, you are responsible for ensuring that your pet sleeps well, and in the best environment too! So how does that start? It entails everything from what your pup does before bed to where and how it sleeps.
- Avoid Feeding your puppy too late
Sometimes, your pet experiences discomfort and an inability to sleep at night because you handed it a late meal that’ll be stuck in its stomach throughout the night. In some cases, you might have overfed your pup, which also contributes to a restless night.
The best course of action is to feed your puppy its last meal three hours before bedtime to ensure it digests properly. You also need to keep the meal portions smaller at night.
- A comfortable place to sleep
Your puppy needs to be comfortable for it to sleep better, and sometimes, your idea of a comfortable place, such as your bed could be way off the mark.
The ideal place for your puppy is a dog box, dog bed, or a comfy pillow. Some puppies will do well with a toy they can cuddle with and others won’t mind. But what’s certain is that the environment needs to be cozy and comfortable. You can even turn the lights down low so that your pet can fall asleep easier.
- Quiet nights are better for sleep
Just like humans, silence, or serenity is very important for a good night’s sleep. Your puppy should always be in a quiet spot free from interference and noise before bed.
However, this doesn’t mean you should get an entirely new room for your puppy and have it sleep alone there. Such an arrangement can have a negative effect and cause your pet to be afraid, suffer separation anxiety, and have a difficult time bonding with you and trust you.
Always find a quiet place close to you where your puppy can sleep knowing you’re close, and you can also check in on them easily.
- Walk or exercise before bed
As your puppy begins to get more active, it might have a lot of energy left before bedtime, and if you don’t offer it an outlet, it’ll most likely spend the night tossing and turning, and itching for some form of activity.
So, you can give your puppy a workout before bed to ensure that it gets rid of all the excess energy, gets tired, and can sleep well at night. While doing this, ensure that you don’t overwork your puppy by making it exercise for too long, because it can be detrimental as well. Balancing the energy needs of your puppy and the exercise you engage in will ensure that your puppy is tired at the end of the day and not burnt out.
You can also keep it simple by going on a long walk before bedtime. This isn’t the simplest of activities to do with a puppy. The environment can be so captivating that your pet wants to be everywhere at the same time.
You can also see this walk as an opportunity to train your dog some more and give it rewards when it does something well. If your puppy hasn’t been housebroken, you’ll need to do some extra work to be sure that it coordinates its activities properly and also learns to do its business outside before climbing into bed.
- Play some games
Just like exercises, playing games with your puppy is a fun way to get them to settle down for the night. Games such as chase or fetch can get your puppy in high spirits while playing and expending energy, after which all they would want to do is get into bed and have an uninterrupted sleep.
Make a list of games your puppy can handle, without including anything too strenuous. You can even look into brain games that won’t need you to go outside with your pet or run around so much but can engage your puppy’s brain, engage it, and help your puppy expend energy so it can get tired.
- Sleep-inducing music
Maybe you’ve tried all the things you know to try and your puppy still can’t calm down to get a good night’s rest, you will have to consider using music as an option to induce sleep. Many humans who find it hard to sleep often depend on one sleeping music or the other that gets them flat out at night, and guess what? dogs have those as well.
Research has also shown that dogs can relax better with music, especially classical music. Some dogs even relax when they listen to reggae and soft rock.
However, don’t be quick to choose any music you find on YouTube or other platforms because the music has a lot of likes. You can take time to expose your puppy to some of these songs when they’re awake and see how they adjust to it. If they adjust nicely and feel comfortable with it, you can rest assured that when they’re trying to sleep or you’re not around, they’ll react positively to those songs.
How do you know if your puppy isn’t getting enough sleep?
Sometimes, you might be able to miss the signs that your puppy isn’t sleeping at night. However, if you don’t hear those sounds and movements your puppy makes when it isn’t asleep, probably because you were deep asleep yourself, there are some signs you should look out for during the day.
If you see these signs, then your puppy is very tired and sleep-deprived and you need to step in and do something about it.
- Crouched posture and movement
- Eye bags
- Long and continued Yawning
- Moodiness and snappy attitude
- Poor appetite
- Red eyes
- Slow, uncoordinated movements
- Poor response or no response at all to your calls
- Waddling on hind legs
If you notice these things, you must step in immediately and take all the steps to ensure that your puppy can sleep. If you have tried all the tips, including preparing a comfortable location, walking your pet, and even providing music, and your puppy still cannot sleep, then you need to visit a vet with your puppy to get checked out.
Why is my puppy always whining at night?
Have you ever been in a situation where you have successfully put your puppy to sleep and have probably gone to sleep yourself, only to be awoken by sounds of distress such as whining, barking, or crying?
You might be wondering the reason your pet is making such sounds. Could they have had a nightmare? Are they suddenly unable to sleep? The reason could be any one of the following:
If your puppy has been used to sleeping with you in bed and then gets separated, it could struggle with loneliness for the first few weeks, and it could bark or cry at night as a way to express this loneliness. Some puppies that were recently separated from their parents also show the same signs, meaning that they miss their mothers.
Just as humans don’t sleep well in a noisy environment, your puppies might struggle to sleep if you live in a noisy environment or you have something loud playing over the speakers, or even in your neighbour’s apartment. Remember that dogs have better hearing than humans, so you should consider that.
- Other dogs
If you have other dogs in your house or neighborhood, then you’re no doubt going to have a night or two when your puppy will wake up and start barking, simply because other dogs are barking. It might start with a dog next door, and then your dog responds, and others follow suit.
What can I do if my puppy is restless and cries at night?
If you’re in that place when your puppy is almost always restless at night, you are faced with no small challenge, whatever the reason might be. However, you’ll need to calmly take action and ensure that your puppy is quieted down.
Pick up your dog from the crate or bed, take it out to void or for a walk, and allow it to ease itself completely if there is any discomfort involved. Otherwise, if your puppy is simply bored, quiet them down with some music, a calming activity, or your presence.
Whatever the case might be, it could take a while before your puppy goes back to sleep. However, if you live in an area where there’s not much noise, turn on a white noise machine, play music, or turn on a fan to block out the noise and help your puppy relax and fall asleep faster.
One thing you shouldn’t do is take your dog out for a walk when it is showing signs of boredom unless you think it needs to expend some energy. Try all the measures that will help your puppy drift off to sleep without leaving its position. You can then resort to exercising or putting a chew in its bed to help it chew and relax its way to sleep.
Will sleeping with me at night help my puppy?
Some owners are often worried when their pets are unable to sleep at night, and as a result, they want to carry their pets into their beds with them because they think it’ll be a more comfortable space for them to sleep in.
However, that can be a huge mistake, especially when your dog is very young. If you have your dog sleep with you in your bed, they’ll find it difficult to move out of your bed or sleep alone when you try to move them away. Puppies are also known to develop separation anxiety when they get used to sleeping with their owners and then they are separated from you for some reason.
Instead, the best thing to do for your puppy is to get it a crate or small bed near yours so that it can feel secure in its proximity to you, while still gaining some independence.
After a few weeks, perhaps 3 weeks, you’re supposed to move your puppies closer to the bathroom or close to other dogs if you have them.
To make your puppy sleep well and become comfortable in a crate, you should begin by placing the crate in a quiet corner, covering it with comfortable bedding, and placing a cover over the crate.
When your puppy is sleepy, place them in a crate slowly, shut the door, and cover it. They will drift off to bed.
Whatever might be responsible for your puppy’s inability to sleep well at night, you now have all the information you need to help your dear pup relax and get over whatever might be the problem, whether it is boredom, anxiety, or fear.
Summarily, feeding your puppy at the right time, walking your dog to tire it out before bed, and getting a cozy or comfortable sleeping place in a quiet place will help to give your puppy the perfect night’s rest.