How to Make Sure Your Puppy Gets Enough Sleep
An adult dog sleeps more hours in a day than us humans, and the younger the dog - the more sleep they need. Puppies sleep an impressive 18-20 hour per 24 hours! You may have seen a puppy play and run around like crazy one second, only to drop dead on the floor and fall asleep the next. Puppies can sleep anywhere and at any time, but it is up to us as their owners to make sure we give them the time to get proper rest throughout the day.
Why Puppies Need Sleep
Just like human babies, puppies need to sleep. If we look at how fast puppies grow, and how many puppies triple their size in only a couple of months, it isn’t hard to imagine how exhausting it must be both for their bodies and minds. A puppy needs sleep to recover from all that growing, but there is more to puppies and sleep than just for the puppy to get proper rest.
In order for the puppy’s muscles, the cognitive functions of their brains, eyesight, hearing and inner organs to develop properly - the puppy needs his or her beauty sleep. This also applies for the immune system, something that needs to be strong and reliable for a dog to stay healthy. So, if you ever felt like your puppy is sleeping a lot, the truth is that their body is working on strengthening itself, to set your furry baby up for a long and healthy life. Some dog breeds need more sleep than others, depending on their overall activity levels,
Learning to See the Signs of a Tired Puppy
Puppies love to play, and when they are actively being engaged in a fun activity, like playing with you or with another dog, it is easy for them to forget to sleep when they need to. This isn’t entirely their fault, as it can be very tempting to play with an adorable puppy, but if the puppy starts to seem less interested in the fame, if they walk away from you or if you have been playing for a while - it is time to let the pup go do its thing. A 10-minute play session is usually enough for a very young puppy; their energy tends to peak and drop very rapidly.
Some puppies are not great at showing when they have had enough, so use common sense and don’t overdo it, especially with puppies younger than 6 months old. Keep in mind how much puppies generally sleep in a day and allow the puppy to have downtime when needed. Dog anxiety can also hide fatigue quite easily, that is where KarmaPets can help owners treat their dogs.
Establishing a Sleep Routine During the Day
A good rule is to expect the puppy to need sleep after having played and eaten, and to think of your puppy as a puppy, and not a human. Puppies need to sleep. Set up an assigned space where your dog is meant to sleep, and make it cozy to encourage your fur friend to retract to it whenever he or she is feeling a little overwhelmed. This could be a corner of the living room with a dog bed and some blankets, a crate, a special chair or anywhere else where you would like your puppy to nap, but it is good to be consistent and have this figured out already before the puppy moves in with you.
Establishing a sleeping routine during the day is not hard. Puppies are very active in the mornings, after having (hopefully) slept through the night, so be prepared to go out for potty breaks, feed breakfast, play for 30 minutes to an hour, another potty break and then possibly a nap. This varies from puppy to puppy, and some dogs will stay active for longer. The key here is to play it by ear and to pay attention to when your puppy seems to need to sleep and to respect them and their space whenever they are napping. Most young puppies can sleep through an earthquake, but if your pooch is a light sleeper - you might want to avoid being too loud and running around while they are snoozing away.
Puppies and Nighttime Sleep
Don’t expect a puppy to sleep through the night, as many aren’t yet physically capable of waiting that long for a bathroom break, which means they will be waking up one or several times while you are trying to sleep. This can be frustrating, but it is completely normal and something they will eventually grow out of. If you opt for taking your puppy out for potty breaks when he or she wakes up, unless you want to spend an hour playing in the middle of the night - make it a habit to go out for the puppy to relieve itself, but don’t engage too much with the dog while out there, and simply go back to bed afterward. Provide safe puppy calming treats if your puppy struggles to go back to sleep after a potty break.
Finding a Good Balance
It is all about listening to your puppy, and to find suitable activities that will tire him or her out naturally. Puppies need plenty of stimulation throughout the day as well - not just sleep, so don’t worry too much about when or where your dog sleeps, and instead try to let the puppy sleep whenever he seems to want to. Puppies are absolutely adorable and it can be hard to stay away from them - you want to run up and snuggle them whenever you see them snoozing there with their belly in the air, but this is the urge you need to learn to control.
A puppy will generally go to sleep when needing to, so just try not to wake them up unless absolutely necessary, and to respect their space by never touching them when they are in their assigned sleeping area. If your puppy is a heavy sleeper - great, but if he or she wakes up when there is too much sound and movement, then you might want to try to be considerate in the beginning when your puppy sleeps, to make sure your new furry family member gets all the sleep he needs to grow up to become a strong and healthy dog.