Although puppies can be little energy-guzzlers, they sleep an average of 18-20 hours per night. Your puppy can be an energetic little tornado one minute and then fall asleep soundly the next. Sleep is vital to health and growth. It contributes to his brain, central nervous system, immune system, muscles, and central nervous system development. He also gets to sleep well during growth spurts.
Dogs burn lots of energy when they are awake. They learn new things, experience new people, and discover what they can and cannot do. They won’t pay attention to their internal clocks telling them when it’s time for bed because the world is so exciting and stimulating. Here are some tips to help you get through the day.
Tips to help your puppy get daytime sleep
- Let your puppy sleep unassisted. While it is tempting to cuddle him and let him fall asleep on your lap, you don’t want your dog to depend on you to fall asleep. Children and other household members should be able to leave your puppy alone when he’s sleeping. Keep an eye on your puppy as he awakens.
- Tell your puppy where he should sleep. He may need to be patient before he recognizes the spot for sleeping.
- Have a plan. Make sure that his active time is followed up by quiet time to sleep. After playtime or a walk, he’ll be most likely ready to take a nap. You can expect your puppy to nap between 30 and 60 minutes, sometimes even for as long as two hours. This is normal.
- Don’t allow your child to get too tired. Exercising too much can cause unfavorable behavior. Encourage him to go to his crate, or to sleep.
Tips to Help Your Puppy Go to Sleep at Night
- Make your crate comfortable. A new puppy will likely chew up a costly dog bed. A blanket or two, soft and felted, can be used to line the bottom of the crate. Avoid wool blankets and mats that can become long strings or be chewed into pieces that could cause choking. Bring a baby blanket or soft toy that smells just like your pup’s mom, and place it in the crate. The puppy’s crate is often placed in the owner’s bedroom so that he feels like his family is nearby.
- Set a bedtime routine. This will teach your pup that nighttime is for sleeping. You’ll both get a better night’s sleep. Reduce the amount of food and water that your pup consumes before bedtime. Take him outside, cuddle, and play with him.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. Turn down the TV volume and keep the lights low. If the room is getting early morning sunlight, you may want to consider using blackout shades. His cue to go to sleep is quiet and darkness. To make your crate more den-like, if it is wire, you can cover it with a cover.
- Do not give up on your dog at bedtime. Make sure your dog has had the opportunity to use the toilet and gets plenty of exercise throughout the day. You can reward him with a treat if he loves getting in his crate. Before he goes to bed, expect some whining, barking, howling, and other behaviors while he learns the routine.
- Prepare for interruptions. Sometimes puppies aren’t ready to go to bed at night. You might need to take your puppy to the bathroom every hour. You can respond to your puppy if he is in his bedroom in a crate. Take him out and praise him for going. Then, put him back in the crate to sleep.
Your Puppy’s Sleep Time
Routine and structure are important for puppies. A schedule for sleep will help you and your dog adjust to life together. This schedule will help you establish a routine that works for your dog and your family.
Morning Puppy Schedule
- When the puppy awakens in the morning, take him quickly outside to relieve himself.
- Give him breakfast.
- Dogs often need to go potty after eating.
- Spend 30-60 minutes playing with him, socializing and going for a walk.
- Nap time. He can sleep for as little as 30 minutes or as long at two hours.
- As soon as he wakes, give him another toilet break.
- Feed him lunch.
Schedule for Afternoon Puppy Training
- Give him a bathroom break after lunch.
- Play with him for up to an hour and let him explore.
- It’s naptime again.
- When he wakes up, take him outside to use the bathroom.
- Then it is playtime.
- There are good chances that he will take a rest after playing.
- Potty break.
Evening Puppy Schedule
- You can feed your dog dinner right before you sit down. Or, you can give your pup a Kong to play with in the crate.
- Take a walk after dinner.
- Spend time with him and his family.
- Take him to the bathroom before settling him in his crate.
Do not let the idea that you have to create a schedule intimidate you. Although it may seem overwhelming, you will be rewarded with a well-adjusted, happy dog. You will also find that you enjoy the routine. It is an amazing time to build a bond with your dog that will last a lifetime.