Just like human babies, puppies seem to spend a lot of their time sleeping. Adults sometimes can’t understand why they sleep so much and assume that their fur babies are just bored. This is not the case.
The truth is that they really do need that good night’s sleep! How much puppies sleep depends on their age and activity level.
In order to help you get a better understanding of your pup’s sleep schedule, let’s talk about how much puppies sleep and why they need it.
Why Sleep is Important
Sleep is a vital part of your puppy’s routine. You would think that getting active would be the best way to help him develop, but at this stage in his life, sleep will help him more than exercise can! To train a puppy properly, he should have a good mix of exercise as well as enough hours of sleep per day to rest his little body.
When your dog dozes off, it is because his body is working incredibly hard to assist him in both physical and mental development. The brain and nervous system use this time to grow and get stronger. The muscles are growing and toning up to allow Spot to run when he is up for it. This is also the time where he is building a strong immune system.
So without sleep, your puppy may be at risk for actual health problems and disabilities when he gets older. That is why a long, long nap should be in order for these young dogs.
Who Sleeps the Most?
Newborn puppies need the most sleep of all. They usually sleep for about 22 hours and spend the other time nursing. Since these fresh furballs can’t do much else, it makes sense that they would spend 90% of their time dreaming! Newborn pups also have the most growing and developing to do.
Older Puppies and Sleep
As your puppy gets older, he will need less sleep. However, that does not mean that he should be up for most of the day! Puppies at 3 months old still need around 15 hours at minimum to rest and recharge. At no time should a growing pup be getting less than that amount.
Pups do not stop growing until they are about a year old. Depending on the breed, the growth spurts could last even longer. Keep track of your pup’s sleep schedule and take note of when he sleeps for a longer period of time than you think he should. Spot may be napping more because he is going through a growth spurt! This is entirely normal. Just leave him be and let him bloom.
When Puppies Don’t Sleep Enough
If your puppy is not sleeping as long as he should, he will begin to act out. You may notice that your nicest pair of shoes has been chewed to bits or that your pup is barking or growling at the slightest annoyance.
This means that it is time for a much-needed nap. Puppies are just like human toddlers in that way, and it is your job to help both your child and your pup go to bed on time. This leads to a very important question – when should puppies sleep?
When Should Puppies Sleep?
Past the newborn stage, your puppy will begin to spend longer periods of time awake and running about. When this happens, it is the best time to start giving your pup a sleep schedule. This will give him structure and a routine to follow (and routine is what dogs like most of all!)
Let’s break down how this sleep schedule should work.
Puppies should have several naps during the day. He may just fall asleep without prompting and that is okay. If he doesn’t, though, follow these guidelines. Encourage your pupper to “paws” and take a nap when:
- He has eaten his breakfast
- He has eaten his lunch
- You are done with training or playing outside
- You are done taking him for a walk
A good time schedule to follow is to let him sleep every hour if needed.
Sleeping at Night
Your puppy should go to bed for the night at the same time every night if it can be helped. Establish a routine that will encourage the pup to relax and settle down at a certain time. At first, he may not actually go to sleep. He will probably need a bathroom break in the middle of the night; that is all okay! It’s normal. It’s good to give your fur baby structure now so that he will get used to it more quickly.
How to Help Your Puppy Sleep
Sometimes your pup may have a hard time relaxing and nodding off. Because you need him to get adequate sleep to grow up big and strong, you can do a few things to assist him.
- Give your puppy a set place to sleep. This could be a crate or a dog bed, whichever is most suitable to your lifestyle. Whatever you may choose, make sure that you guide the pup to that spot when it is time to go to bed. For information on how to crate train, read about it here.
- Make the space quiet. Loud talking, TV noises, and irritating background sounds will distract the pup and make him restless. For the best sleep possible, give him a space that is peaceful and away from the sources of the noise.
- Burn off any excess energy he may have. If he is practically bouncing off the walls, take Spot out to play before going to bed! Getting rid of his “wiggles” will allow him to drift off faster.
- Keep the schedule. When you set a puppy’s bedtime, stick to it. The more erratic the schedule is, the less he will wind down when it’s time to catch some Zzzs. Give your pup some consistency and security, and he will be out like a light before you know it!
Your puppy depends on you to take care of all of his needs. They are called “fur babies” for a reason! Be the best owner you can be and ensure that your pup is well-rested each day. It makes all the difference in his life.
Bringing a new family addition into the home is extremely exciting! Becoming a new puppy parent comes with a ton of new joys, challenges and responsibilities. PupBox was created to help new puppy parents like yourself, by providing all of the toys, treats, accessories and training information you need, when you need it. CLICK HERE to learn more about PupBox.
And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!