Is your puppy sleeping enough? The truth about your puppy’s sleep needs

Puppies need a lot of sleep, just like newborn babies!  Anywhere from 18-20 hours a day, especially when they are very young (around 8 weeks old). Sleep is crucial for their development.  It helps their body and their brain develop properly. 


Creating a calming bedtime routine is important for a well-rested puppy

Try and help your pup have down-time and be calm, and not over stimulated throughout the day and at bedtime. Don’t try to tire them out with too many activities, as this will have the opposite outcome to what you want.

Physical exercise and excitement increase how awake and alert a puppy is. So, not great in the run up to bedtime! Try chilled out activities, massages and cuddles instead.

3 Steps to settling your puppy at night

A three step 30 minute puppy bedtime routine can really help you set things up right.

The plan involves a scatter feeding patch puppy, so keep some of their dinner aside to use. As a side note, using their normal food is a fantastic way of using their dinner as a means of providing mental stimulation, enrichment and as training ‘treats’.

Complete this routine just prior to your bedtime so that when it’s finished you can then get ready and go to bed.

Step One:

Grab some of pups dinner and scatter some of their food over a small distance for them to sniff and find. Sniffing activities tire a puppy and lowers arousal levels.

Step Two:

Take your puppy to their toileting spot and encourage them to toilet. Pop your puppy on a lead if you are taking them outside. This is to prevent them running around and waking themselves up too much!

Step Three:

In the very early days set up your puppies sleeping area where there is an adult within touching distance. Ensure that there is an adult available throughout the night for their first few nights.

It's absolutely okay to comfort and reassure your puppy throughout the night if they need you. Do what you need to do to help your new puppy settle, particularly in the first few nights.

Please don’t let them ‘cry it out’. A stressful experience like this will continue to cause stress hormones to remain in their body for days!

A bad experience also means that they will find it even more difficult to settle in the days and nights ahead, which is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve!

A bonus of being in close proximity to your puppy means that you are going to hear your puppy if they make a noise or move around because they need the toilet so you can avoid an accident!

Research shows that during the first few nights in a new place pups don’t sleep well and have much more awake time than normal. This usually continues over the first three nights and then starts to level out after the third night.

For further guidance and support on all this puppy and puppy parenting tips, check out my puppy training services and ebook.

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