Get Your Puppy to Sleep! Everything to Know About Your Puppy’s Sleep
Imagine this, and you’re just about to turn the lights out and sink into your bed until you hear crying and weeping from the corner of your room.
Well, there’s no need to imagine if you’re a puppy owner.
Owning puppies can be an amazing yet tiring experience. Especially when you’ve been playing with your puppy all day and when it comes to their bedtime, your puppy won’t sleep at night.
Many questions may be arising in your mind, is it the right time for them to sleep, are they having separation anxiety, or do they need to be tired out more? (Check out our guide to bringing home a new puppy)
Well, we don’t know you or your dog, so we can’t tell you precisely what the answer is. But, what we can do is share with you cool and useful information about your puppy sleeping.
Table of Contents | Quick Links
- Where Should My Puppy Sleep At Night Time?
- How Do I Train My Puppy to Sleep in a Crate?
- What Time Should My Puppy Go to Bed?
- How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
- How Do You Tire a Puppy Before Bed?
- Puppy Sleep Music?
- Why Does My Puppy Cry/Whine in the Night?
- Why is My Puppy so Thirsty at Night?
- What If My Puppy Wants to Sleep in My Bed?
- Do Dogs Know When Humans Are Sleeping?
- Do Puppies Dream or Have Nightmares?
- Should You Punish a Puppy If It Doesn’t Sleep?
Where should my puppy sleep at night time?
No doubt, getting a puppy is an exciting time, but you have to plan for the arrival of your new little furry friend. Often, a common question that arises for puppy owners is, where is the ideal place for a puppy to sleep?
Well, the truth is, when your puppy is new to your home, then you should make sure for the first few weeks it sleeps in a crate near to your bed. This way, the puppy will not have separation anxiety and will feel comforted knowing it’s next to you.
Please do not bring your puppy to sleep with you in bed, as they will develop a bad habit of doing this from an early age.
After the 3 week period is over, then you should ideally move your puppies crate or a bed into a corner with no draft. Ideally, a kitchen, because then your puppy needs to go to the bathroom, you will be able to clean up their mess.
Moreover, if you already own some dogs, you may wish to put your puppies bed near them, so they become acquainted with the scent and become comforted by their presence.
How do I train my puppy to sleep in a crate?
As mentioned above, it’s going to be much easier to teach your puppy to sleep in a crate. The crate training method is used to train so many puppy behaviors; it’s that effective. To get your puppy familiarised with having its bed, i.e., a crate, you will want to put it in a quiet corner.
Inside the crate, you will want to cover it with bedding, so it feels comfortable to sleep in. You won’t want to purchase expensive bedding as your puppy might chew it up, so inexpensive blankets will do.
Similarly, add a cover on top of the crate. When your puppy feels drowsy, i.e., sleepy, slowly put them in the crate, shut the door, and place the cover over. The closed towel will signify to them it’s time for bed.
What time should my puppy go to bed?
Whether you like to go to bed early or late, you should always establish a good sleeping schedule for your dog and put them before you. Because of this, the American Kennel Club suggests that you should put your puppy to sleep at the same time every night.
After all, puppies thrive off routine, and it helps them to learn good behavior and tricks. But in all honesty, there’s no ‘right time’ for a puppy to go to sleep, as long as it’s the same every night. While this may be the case, do note that your puppy will need, on average, around 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
Therefore you may wish to take your puppy to bed just before you go so that you can wake up around the same time. Coming back to their routine, once they’ve woken up, your dog will expect to go to the bathroom, be fed, and played with, according to their schedule.
For that reason, you probably don’t want your puppy going to sleep too early, so it wakes up and goes to the bathroom in the night time. Try and keep your puppy in sync with your routine.
How much sleep does a puppy need?
On average a puppy will need around 6-10 hours of sleep at night but in total around 20 hours a day (up to 3 months of age). This can vary depending on your puppy’s age and breed, but ultimately they need to sleep as their brain and bodies are developing.
On the other hand, if you notice your puppy sleeping more than 20 hours a day, you might want to take it to a vet. Don’t worry, though; it’s just for a simple check-up to see if there could be any underlying factors for their lethargy.
Do note that if your puppy is new to your home, it may have a restless night and not sleep the whole duration. The truth is, they may wake up regularly in the first few months to use the bathroom. It isn’t until about 16 weeks that they will tend to sleep through the night.
Also, remember, your puppy will probably sleep during the daytime too! Especially after a play session, it may wish to take a net to get back its energy.
On the contrary, you might be thinking, what if my puppy does not sleep in the daytime?
If you have a puppy and it’s not taking afternoon or daytime naps, then you don’t need to worry. The truth is, as puppies are young, they’re not fully aware of their sleeping habits or the concept of sleep. One great way of making sure they get their nap is by tiring them out.
How do you tire a puppy before bed?
Whether you’re looking for your puppy to settle down for the night or have a nap, one of the most incredible ways of tiring it out is by using up all of its energy. Try playing a game of chase and getting them to run a lot, making them exhaust their energy, or a simple game of fetch. Another way is by getting them tired mentally.
There are some fantastic brain games out there for you to play with your puppy. One great way is by using a kong toy. This allows your dog to sniff out and try and get food out of a toy. You can also undergo training sessions, so it feels tired.
Another great way to tire out a puppy is to take it on daily and evening walks. That way, they will use up a lot of their energy before their daily nap or nightly sleep. Similarly, because they will be tired, they will slowly calm down before bedtime.
Be careful of tiring your puppy out too near their bedtime as they could still have some excitement left in them. Therefore we advise you to do it a few hours before.
What about puppy sleep music?
We get it. You’ve tried playing with your puppy to tire them out, fed your puppy, and even stuck to its daily routine. Now you’re trying to prepare for your sleep yourself, and all your puppy wants to do is play!
We get it. This is no doubt a typical scenario for many dog owners. It can be an exhausting one too.
Out of sheer desperation, for them to sleep, you might have found yourself scrolling Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, and many other platforms searching for music to get your puppy to sleep. But, there is some music out there that might or might not help your puppy sleep.
Well, there has been some research to show this. In 2002, there was a study conducted by Dr. Deborah Wells to show that dogs relax and rest more when they listen to classical music compared to other genres. This is because it has a slow beat per minute of 50-60 and has been shown to relax dogs. Different genres like soft rock and reggae can also fit into this range.
In addition to this, classical instruments such as a harp’s sound can often cause dogs to go into a sedative state and calm down more easily.
Therefore if you’re looking for some music late at night, don’t just consider the views and likes for the puppy sleep music; you might also want to take note of the genre and instruments played too.
It’s also essential you don’t just show your puppy music immediately. You might want to expose your puppy to music over time slowly. A great way to do this is by merely putting the radio on in the day time, while you’re there. It may take around 10-15 minutes for them to adjust to the music, but they will become associated with you.
Then when you play the music when you’re gone, your puppy may be a lot more comforted, thinking of you and reduces their chances of separation anxiety.
Why does my puppy cry/whine in the night?
Ok, so now you’ve managed to stick to a routine and get them soundly to sleep, congratulations! You later find yourself waking up to distressed sounds from your puppy, such as crying or barking in the night.
What does this mean?
Well, if you want to know the truth, your puppy could be doing this for several reasons, which are:
- Loneliness – As your puppy is still young and new to your home, they can get lonely very quickly. After all, they were probably used to sleeping with their mother before. You might find your puppy barking or crying to get your attention. To avoid this, put your puppies crate near to your bed.
- Noises- If you live in a noisy area like a city or a neighborhood with other animals, your puppy could well pick up on the noises. After all, their hearing is much better than ours.
- Other dogs– Do you have any other dogs in your neighborhood? Sometimes dogs undergo an activity known as group barking. This is when one dog begins barking, another one follows, and so forth, like a domino effect. Your puppy will do this because it will retreat back to its primal instinct of being a member of a pack.
- Weather– Your puppy’s ears may also be sensitive to thunderstorms and fireworks.
Sometimes, you cannot always avoid these disturbances, especially if you’re living in an area prone to this. You can try and reduce the chances of your puppy whining by playing music, putting on a fan, or investing in a white noise machine.
A white noise machine helps block out disruptions from the outdoors and induces a relaxing noise for your dog to help it fall asleep quickly.
Do not let your puppy cry itself to sleep.
We know if you hear your puppy continually crying and whining in the night, it can be tempting to show it a bit of tough love and let it fall asleep.
Take note that most of the time, the reason your puppy cries or whines is because it’s frightened or lonely. Even if they stop, it does not mean they’re cheered up. They could become quietly sad.
Moreover, if you let your puppy cry too much, it can make them even more distressed and going to the toilet more frequently. As a result, they could have spells of diarrhea or urinate more, giving you more work to clean up after them.
Similarly, puppies learn the best through positive reinforcement, and if they’re continually crying, they’re never going to be able to identify or discover new behaviors.
So when your puppy does stop crying, praise it or give it a treat.
Why is my puppy so thirsty at night?
When you get a puppy, you have to observe it and nurture it regularly. That means up until adulthood; you have to really help signal it to eat and drink water. If your puppy does not get enough water in the daytime, it could wake up due to excessive thirst in the nighttime.
We can’t tell you exactly how much water your puppy should drink during the night, as it can depend on its breed and size. For sure, though, you should observe how much water they drink and kibble they consume.
Your puppy could be dehydrated, and that’s why they could be so thirsty during the night. Typical signs of them becoming dehydrated is having a dry tongue, dry gums, sluggish and thick saliva.
Fear not, though; your puppy could become thirsty as it’s habit-forming. They may just be used to drinking a lot of water very frequently. Sometimes, it could sign an underlying illness, like a urinary tract infection, diarrhea, cancer, kidney stones, liver disease, or anything else. So it’s best to monitor your puppy and seek the help of a vet when in doubt.
What if my puppy wants to sleep in my bed?
Letting a puppy sleep in a bed is a controversial subject for many dog owners. You will find some choose to let their puppy rest there, and others do not.
We advise keeping your puppy in their crate or bed at night. We know it’s tempting to let your puppy sleep in your bed with you as they love you. After all, they associate you as a member of their pack and want to have that extra security layer. But sleeping with your puppy so soon will cause them to be dependent on sleeping with you.
While they’re young, you need to get your puppy acclimatized to its bed. Then once it’s an adult and it’s fully house trained, you may wish to let your dog sleep with you now and again.
There’s nothing worse than sleeping in a bed with a puppy and waking up to mess. If you let your puppy sleep with you frequently, they could also get used to marking their territory and adding their distinct scent to your bed.
Similarly, if you have allergies, sleeping with your puppy may spark or trigger specific allergies within you. More importantly, your sleep quality may deteriorate if your dog is alert to other sounds around you.
Do dogs know when humans are sleeping?
Have you ever wondered if your puppy knows you’re sleeping? Well, it does. Especially if you choose to sleep in the same room with your puppy and put it in a crate next to you, your puppy is a pack animal, and when they’re not crying, they will sit up waiting to protect you.
Similarly, they can detect chemical changes to your body, which they can smell from your breath. Your puppy will typically show this if it sleeps in your bed by sniffing your breath to see if you’ve woken up.
Do puppies dream or have nightmares?
No doubt, it can be tempting to look at your puppy and try to understand if it’s dreaming or having a nightmare. The truth is, they do experience both. Like humans, your puppy will go through two types of sleep: rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM).
Typically if your puppy experiences REM, they may have vivid dreams, and this is often displayed in puppies as twitching, their eyelids moving, in their sleep. Sometimes the twitching or dreaming can vary between breeds and tends to occur in smaller puppies than larger ones.
In regards to nightmares, your puppy will have them. It might seem convincing to wake your puppy up, but you could put your puppy at risk if you do. For example, if you wake your puppy up, they could become aggressive with you, and it may take a few minutes to realize who you are.
Similarly, puppies need undisturbed sleep for their brains to grow and improve on their mental activity. However, if you see your puppy having frequent nightmares, you should video your puppy and make a log. Once you have collected a few videos, you should seek out the advice of your local vet.
In addition to this, you can also make a diary and write down when your puppy has nightmares. In your diary, you might want to record how long it’s been since they had their last nightmare, what they ate before sleeping, also of any distressing events during the day, and anything else.
You can then identify patterns to see if anything disturbing has happened to your puppy and create solutions from the diary. For example, you might want to change the type of food it eats before bed, give them their favorite toy to eat, play with them at different times of the day, take them out somewhere, or anything else.
Should you scold a puppy if it does not sleep?
No matter how hard you try, we know it may seem simple and easy to act on your instincts when your puppy does not want to sleep. In particular, we’re talking about scolding.
While it may be natural to shout or discipline your puppy this way, it’ll only induce a sense of fear. Trust us, as dog owners, the last thing you will want is for your furry friend to fear you. Similarly, you might be looking at forums on how to discipline it.
Therefore if your puppy does not sleep, we advise against looking online for tips on how to scold your puppy. Just like any other habit you want to instill in your puppy, they work best off positive reinforcement.
Sometimes, if you catch your puppy doing a bad behavior like whining or crying at night, you may want to give them a verbal cue. You can use specific verbal cues, like saying ‘uh oh’ or clapping your hands. So whenever they do that bad behavior, they become associated with such cue, instead of instilling a sense of fear in them.
Getting a four-legged furry friend is an excellent addition to any home, but one you have to be prepared for, especially when it comes to sleep. When you get a puppy, it’s best to keep them in your room for the first few weeks to not suffer separation anxiety.
Do not let your puppy sleep in your bed from an early age as it will develop a bad habit and familiarise your bed with its sleeping quarters. Similarly, it may trigger allergies, leave a scent in your bed and cause disturbance to your sleep.
The best thing to do is leave them in a crate or bed near you while you sleep. Do note that your puppy may wake up in the night due to it being lonely or hearing external noises like thunderstorms or other dogs outside. This is entirely normal.
You can do things like investing in a white noise machine to prevent your puppy from being disturbed or even playing music to get it to sleep. Such music like soft rock and classical music creates a sedative effect.
If music does not work, you can try tiring it out a few hours before bedtime with regular exercise or mental games.
Ultimately, raising a puppy and getting it to sleep can be problematic in the initial stages. But if you implement the right behaviors from a young age, you will reap the rewards later.