Pet Parenting

Puppy Sleep Schedule: Everything You Need To Know

February 6, 2022

When you first adopt your adorable puppy companion, there are so many small victories to enjoy. The first time you go on a walk together, the first time they sit on command, and of course the first time they sleep through the night. However, some of these milestones might take a little bit longer to achieve than others.

It takes puppies a little while to be able to sleep through the entire night. This is perfectly normal and not at all cause for alarm. After first getting your new puppy, you should expect a period of time when your regular sleep patterns might be somewhat disturbed. However, by following these tips and with a bit of patience, you and your puppy will be sleeping easy before you know it.

Give Them a Comfortable Space That Is All Their Own

In order for a puppy to feel completely safe, comfortable, and safe in their new home with you, it is best to give them a space that is theirs and theirs alone. For many puppies, this safe haven is found in the form of a crate. When looking for a crate for your puppy, you should keep an eye out for something that is the correct size while also being ergonomic and fitting in with your lifestyle.

Sometimes, people will experience a bit of confusion when deciding what size of crate to get for their puppy. After all, depending on your dog’s breed or mix of breeds, they might end up being a great deal larger than the size that they currently are as a puppy. In this case, it does not make sense to get a crate that will only fit them in this specific and finite stage of life.

When you get your dog a crate, the size truly is important. You want a crate that is big enough that they can fully stand up and turn around without ever feeling claustrophobic. That being said, it also cannot be so large that the space feels too vast. Not only is this not beneficial for your dog, but it can also pose problems for pet parents without unlimited space.

It is best to estimate what your dog’s adult size will be by thinking about their breed, as well as their age, and a few other factors. Once you have done that, you can get a crate that should be perfect for their estimated adult size.

You might be concerned that this will cause their crate to be far too large for them while they are still a puppy, and this is warranted. Luckily, there is a solution for this common issue. The Revol Dog Crate comes with a puppy divider that will make the space just right for your little furry friend at all stages of life.

Make Their Crate as Cozy and Inviting as Possible

Now that you have the perfect-sized crate for your new puppy, you are going to want to make it as enticing as you can. You can do this by including a variety of soft items, as well as objects that make your dog feel especially comfortable. In order to give your puppy the most comfortable and inviting surface to rest on available, consider using a memory foam crate pad.

Then, to top the space off, you can throw in soft blankets for them to cozy up with. Lastly, if they have any toys that make them feel right at home, do not hesitate to place those in their crate as well. The goal is to make the space as cozy as can be. If it looks comfortable enough that you would sleep in there, you are probably on the right path.

What Items Need To Be in Your Puppy’s Crate?

Other than items that are specifically made to make your dog comfortable and sleepy, there are a few other objects that you might want to include in their crate. First of all, dogs should always have water available to them so that they do not become dehydrated. As a result of this, you are going to want a water bowl full of clean water inside of their crate over the course of the night. You might also want to feed them their meals inside their crate, which is a helpful component of crate training.

Puppies Will Need To Go Out During the Night

As puppies grow older, they get more control over their bladder. Unfortunately, as this is not the case at first, you will have to get up with them multiple times during the night to accompany them on a bathroom trip. These trips, while not always fun, are necessary so that accidents will not occur.

So that your puppy understands that these trips are strictly for business rather than pleasure, take them out quickly and do not play with them or give them treats on their way back.

It is important that your puppy knows that going to the bathroom in the middle of the night is just that, and there is no extra fun involved. Otherwise, they might start to whine to go out even when they do not need to. To maximize the amount of time before your puppy needs to go out at night, take them outside right before heading to bed.

Form a Bedtime Routine for Your Puppy and Stick to It

Puppies are creatures that thrive on routine. Once you set a bedtime routine, going through the motions will show your dog that it is time to wind down and get ready to rest. A bedtime routine can happen at whatever time of the night works for you, but make sure that you can remain consistent with it. Otherwise, this will only cause more confusion for your dog. Your puppy’s bedtime routine can consist of a trip to the bathroom right before bed, playing some calming music, and more.

Pay Attention to the Sounds They Make

It is absolutely no secret to anyone who has been around a puppy for even a brief period of time that they are prone to bouts of whining. Their whining paired with those irresistibly cute puppy dog eyes make for a dangerous combination that has the potential to make you do whatever they want.

In some situations, this can be relatively harmless. However, at other times, giving into whatever it is that your puppy wants could set an unpleasant precedent that you will then have to deal with in the future.

For those of us who have lived or are currently living with a puppy, any cuteness from their whining quickly goes away when it is three o’clock in the morning and you have to work early the next day. Those puppy-dog eyes have a lot less sway over you in the dark. You might be wondering why puppies whine so often during the night, and exactly how you should be reacting to their whining so that everyone is happy and healthy.

Know When To Listen and When To Ignore

It might feel counterproductive, but there are occasions when your dog is whining during the night in which you should ignore them. We understand that the sound of a sadly whining puppy can be difficult to ignore, but sometimes this is what is best for everyone involved. When your puppy first begins to cry, let them experience what they are feeling without interruption. This will help them to learn certain skills revolving around emotional regulation that will help them significantly as they age.

If you immediately start talking or tending to your puppy the moment that they start making a noise, you are doing nothing but teaching them that being loud gets them what they want. Again, this is far from an ideal situation in the early hours of the night when all you want to do is get some sleep. Instead, give it a few minutes for them to stop crying. If they eventually do, you can then talk to them and reward them for being quiet.

However, if you notice that they are still whining even though they have been left to settle for a prolonged period of time, it is possible that your puppy needs your assistance. A lot of determining when your puppy has something that needs to be addressed or when you should let them whine it out is going to depend on what is causing them to cry in the first place.

Reasons That Your Puppy Might Whine During the Night

Here are just a few of the most common reasons that your puppy might whine over the course of the night. In addition, we will provide some ways that you can deal with these issues.

They Have To Use the Bathroom

As we mentioned earlier in the article, heading outside for a bathroom break is of course something that your dog is going to need your help with. They can’t get outside without your assistance, so this is them trying to communicate that they would like to be let out to do their business. Dogs naturally have instincts that tell them not to use the bathroom where they sleep, so they will do all that they can to avoid soiling their crate or bed.

This is a positive because it means fewer potential accidents for you to clean up. At the same time, these instincts also buy you a little bit of extra time to put on some comfortable shoes and get your puppy to a pee-safe location. If your dog does not stop whining after several minutes, and it has been a few hours since they were last let out to use the bathroom, it is probably time for a trip together into the great outdoors.

If you want to avoid this fairly likely scenario with your puppy, there is a technique that many dog owners have found to be helpful. Simply set an alarm for three or four hours after going to sleep, which is when most puppies will again need to use the bathroom. This way, you can get ahead of their need to pee and subsequent whining. This will teach them that whining is not necessary, and to have an even greater sense of trust in you.

Your Puppy Is Feeling Lonely or Insecure

Depending on how old your puppy is, they have probably recently been taken away from their mother and littermates. This is not to say that they do not love you with all their hearts, but they got used to sleeping with many small, warm, and similarly adorable creatures nearby. Suddenly going to sleep alone might be a somewhat scary endeavor, even if they will get used to it soon enough.

That being said, it is best for your puppy to not sleep in bed with you (if you ever want them to) at least until they are fully house trained. Puppies are prone to having accidents, and that is the last thing you want to clean up out of your bed in the middle of the night or at literally any time at all. This is what makes the presence of a crate so important. This is a space that is entirely their own, that smells like them, and is somewhere that they associate with serenity and comfort.

In order to make sure that they do not get nervous or develop any kind of separation anxiety, there are a few things that you can do as a pet parent. First, you both can and should put their crate close to you during the night. In fact, it is best to keep it in your bedroom with you, if you can. If that is not a possibility due to the size of your space and the crate or a different reason, keep them somewhere that they can see you in the hallway with the door open. Your puppy will want to know that you are still here, and you are not going anywhere.

Another tactic that you can take to make your dog feel more secure overnight is to put one of your shirts or something that smells like you in their crate with them. Since they already associate your scent with home and find it soothing, this will quickly make them feel less lonely and more at peace.

They Are Bored

It is entirely possible that your puppy is simply bored and wants both you and your entire town to know about it. If this is the case, your puppy will likely stop whining after a little while. However, they may continue to feel under-stimulated and their quality of sleep will suffer as a result. And, as we will establish in our next section, puppies need a lot of sleep per day.

Again, in this case, you can talk to your puppy and praise them once they stop whining. This will encourage them to stop making these noises, as they only get a reaction out of you when they are quiet. However, that is a measure that you take while the issue is already taking place. The very best solution when it comes to making sure that your dog will not whine due to boredom is to take care of the issue before it even starts in the first place.

Getting your puppy a sufficient amount of exercise during the day is of the utmost importance to them being tired enough to sleep peacefully at night. If your puppy played a lot over the course of the previous day, they are likely to be tuckered out. In this case, them waking up in the middle of the night and wanting to play is much less likely to become a problem.

How Much Sleep Does the Average Puppy Need?

If you notice your puppy regularly snoozing throughout the day in between periods of wild energy, this is perfectly normal. Puppies need somewhere in the range of 18 hours of sleep per day in order to maintain their growth. With that figure in mind, it is important to remember that the exact number of hours will vary depending on your individual puppy.

At What Age Will a Puppy Begin To Sleep Through the Night?

Now, we finally have the golden question on every puppy parent’s mind. When can you expect your beloved puppy to actually have a regular, uninterrupted sleep schedule? Well, your puppy will be able to hold their bladder for the duration of a night at about four months old. So, that’s right, four months is the milestone to be looking forward to during this time. However, you can help them along by establishing healthy habits now, no matter how young or old they are.

Sleep Tight, Sleep Right

Getting a puppy’s sleep schedule just right can be a tricky thing at times, but with enough patience and understanding, you’ll all be sleeping tight soon enough.

Sources:

Separation Anxiety | ASPCA

How Much Sleep Do Puppies Need? | Daily Paws

How To Get Your Puppy To Sleep Through the Night | Our Family Dog

The Diggs Team

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