Despite their high levels of energy, puppies do get tired. It is not uncommon to find your puppy curled up in their bed, sleeping peacefully, at all hours of the day.
In fact, if you are not prepared for it, it can seem like your puppy sleeps an awful lot. How much sleep is good for your puppy and how much is too much sleep?
If you do not have the answers, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll explore common puppy sleeping habits and how much sleep your puppy really needs.
Puppy sleeping habits
We all know that puppies are full of life—and mischievousness! But exploring the world is hard work and puppies need a lot of sleep to balance out the energy they spend when learning.
Night time sleeping habits: Puppies are like babies and face the same challenge of understanding the world around them. Like babies, they are unlikely to sleep through the night. When very young, puppies may even need to get up for a toilet break. You can expect your puppy to sleep for about six to ten hours a night. By 16 weeks, they should have begun sleeping through the night.
Daytime sleeping habits: Puppies sleep a lot during the day, just like babies. They are likely to sleep after a period of activity and then wake up refreshed, ready to play again. These naps can last anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. Puppies will often fall asleep where they are playing. Try not to move them, but make them as comfortable and safe as possible.
The relationship between sleep and development
All this sleep is extremely crucial to your puppy’s development. A puppy’s sleeping habits are an important part of their learning process. Because your puppy is exploring the world for the first time and learning new commands, smells, people and routines, a lot of their energy is used up in trying to understand and remember these things.
Sleep helps. Sleep allows your puppy’s mind to process all the material they have learnt in the time they have been awake. It allows them to make sense of it. Sleep also helps them store the information and remember it. In other words, their mind is still working when they sleep!
How much sleep your puppy needs may differ from breed to breed. On average, puppy sleeping habits include about seventeen hours of sleep in a day. Puppies can sleep anywhere between sixteen to twenty hours.
Is your puppy sleeping too much?
If you feel your puppy is sleeping too much, well beyond their twenty hours, you may need to take them to a vet. This is especially true if you feel your puppy is also generally lethargic when they are awake.
There are many reasons why a puppy may sleep too much. It could be due to an incomplete diet or because they are not drinking enough water. It could also be because they are ill. Taking your dog to the vet is the best option, as the vet will be able to identify the cause and correct it.
Tips for working with your puppy’s sleeping habits
It is important to keep your puppy’s sleep patterns in mind when planning your puppy’s day. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your puppy gets the best sleep possible.
- Schedule the day appropriately: Most puppies will need a nap after around an hour of play. Once they have finished napping, they will be awake and excited to learn again. Make sure that you have planned games/playtime/teaching to this schedule. Do not push your puppy to play or learn longer than they want to. When they wake up refreshed from their nap, make sure you are there to use that time effectively.
- Never wake up a sleeping puppy: In general, you should not wake up a sleeping puppy. This may be an important rule to teach children, who are usually excited to play with their new friend. Explain puppy sleeping habits to them, how much sleep a puppy needs, and why it is an important part of your puppy’s learning process. This will also help teach your children responsibility when it comes to owning a dog.
- Creating a safe space for sleep: Make sure your puppy has a safe space for them to sleep in—a space that they can call their own. Puppies usually sleep in crates. Make sure their crate has plenty of blankets and cushions in it. Also make sure it is in a relatively quiet place in the house. This should allow your puppy to have a deep and restful sleep, and wake up recharged.
Some puppies will like to sleep in the bed with you. This depends entirely on you. It may be wise to consider how big your puppy will grow to be. Great Danes, for example, are small and cute puppies but grow to be very tall. If you are sharing a bed with them, there may not be that much space for you once they are fully grown! It can also be difficult to break them of the habit later on. Therefore, choose wisely when letting your puppy share your bed.
In general, puppies need a lot of sleep. It is an important part of how they learn and understand the world, and you should not disturb your puppy’s sleeping habits. Instead, try and plan the day around them. Make sure your puppy gets as restful a sleep as possible. If you feel your puppy is sleeping too much, do not wake them. Take them to a vet to see what the cause may be. However, remember that a lot of sleep is normal and you should make sure it is as peaceful as possible.