Do puppies sleep a lot? Puppies and sleep

August 26, 2020

Some of the most common questions that first-time puppy owners ask are about puppies and sleep.  Here’s five frequently asked questions. 

1. Do puppies sleep a lot?

If this is your first puppy, you may be surprised to find that puppies do indeed sleep a lot. Just like babies, puppies need lots of sleep. In the early weeks your puppy will spend more time asleep than awake – but this will change as they get older.

2. How much sleep do puppies need? 

When your puppy is little they will need lots of sleep.  To begin with they could be asleep for up to 18 to 20 hours of the day. During the early months your puppy will be growing fast, and will need lots of sleep to support this rapid development. 

It’s best to let your puppy sleep when they need to sleep. Make sure they have a nice quiet place to go to when they need some doggy down-time. And if you have children, teach them to leave the puppy alone when sleeping. There will be plenty of time to play when the puppy’s awake. 

3. Where should my puppy sleep the first night? 

The first night with your new puppy will be a new experience for you both. It will be the first time that your puppy has been away from their mother and siblings and it will be your first night as a new puppy parent. It can be an anxious time for both of you. 

The best place for your puppy to sleep for the first few nights is near you. Consider placing their bed – or crate if you are crate training your puppy – next to your bed. If you would prefer not to have your puppy in the bedroom with you, it’s a good idea to set up a temporary bed in the room where your puppy will sleep. Knowing you are close by will help your puppy to feel more settled on their first night home with you. 

4. When will my puppy sleep through the night? 

Did we mention that puppies sleep a lot? They do – but not necessarily when you want them to, e.g. at night when you want to sleep. You will need to teach your puppy to sleep through the night but this will take time. Puppies also need to take regular toilet breaks – day and night!

Prepare yourself for some sleepless nights – and if possible try to catch up on some sleep when your puppy takes a nap during the day. 

5. My puppy won’t settle at night

There’s a few things you can do to help your puppy to settle at night:

  • Make sure your puppy has had their last meal at least an hour before you want to go to bed.
  • Spend time with your puppy to tire them out so they are ready to sleep. But avoid high energy games right before bed as this will likely excite them. Instead, work on some training, or another type of mental enrichment. 
  • Take your puppy out to go to the toilet before bed.
  • Settle them down with a small chew to help them relax and drift off to sleep.

Are you using a crate? Read this guide to help you crate train your puppy.

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