Does your new puppy tend to stay up all night? Or are they constantly trying to find a comfy place to sleep? Puppies are just like us, and they have their own different sleeping patterns. But still, many dog owners will likely ask themselves at some point, how much do puppies sleep?
So, let’s answer the question, how much do puppies sleep? While no two dogs are the same, it can’t be denied, that the vast majority of puppies are going to be energetic animals. Although some breeds are much lazier. It’s part of the reason we love them so much after all!
In this guide, we’ll be looking at everything you need to know about puppies sleeping patterns. You might be worried that your puppy is sleeping too much, or not enough. So, let’s look at everything you need to know about how much puppies sleep.
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How Much Do Puppies Sleep?
Puppies are in many ways just like newborn children, which means they require a lot of sleep. In most cases, puppies will require around 18 to 20 hours of sleep a day! Now don’t worry this might sound like quite a lot, but it is perfectly natural.
Puppies tend to use all their energy very quickly. So, they’ll often have fun playing and running around for a few hours and then go to sleep for the rest of the day. When puppies get older, say around 4 to 6 months old, they won’t require quite as much sleep, with many sleeping for around 15 to 16 hours a day.
Although even older dogs can still go to sleep for much of the day. So, you should expect your puppy to spend a lot of time in bed. Let’s take a look at everything else you need to know, when it comes to how much puppies sleep.
How Much Should Puppies Sleep By Age?
Newborn puppies are basically deaf and blind. They have almost no control over their movements, and they are totally dependent on their mothers. On average, a newborn puppy will sleep for nearly 90% of its day and feed on its mother’s milk for the rest of the remaining time.
With aging, they tend to explore their surrounding, and their nap time begins to lessen. The breed, diet, level of activities, and daily exercise determine the duration of naps for a pup.
Generally speaking, up to 8 weeks, a puppy sleeps for almost 20 hours a day. A pup aged between 10 to 12 weeks will sleep from anywhere between 18 to 20 hours. Between 14 to 16 weeks, a puppy will sleep for up to 18 hours a day. Between 16 to 18 weeks, puppies begin their training toward socialization.
While learning these new tricks, they continue to sleep for an extended period. As they grow old into adult dogs, most of them settle for 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day.
Why is Sleep so Important for Puppies?
Sleep is very important for puppies. For much the same reason it is so essential for us! So, while it may seem like your puppy is spending a lot of time in bed, all this sleep is doing your puppy good.
Sleep is crucial to a puppy’s development. Regular sleep will help your puppy stay healthy and aid in brain development. Regular sleep will help your puppy learn more and of course, recharge its energy.
Since puppies are very curious and adventurous animals, they will require plenty of sleep. Your pup’s mind and brain are still active after all, even while it’s sleeping. To help ensure your puppy gets a good night’s rest, and reaps all the benefits of sleep, you should set up a sleep schedule. Let’s explore how you do that, in more detail.
How do I set up a Sleep Schedule?
Puppies need a routine, this goes for their eating and playing as well as sleep. Now setting a sleep schedule could seem quite difficult, and it will require some work. Most puppies won’t take to a schedule right away. But with some time it can be done.
Since puppies will normally go to sleep numerous times throughout the day, we have set up our advice to fit each period of time. Morning, afternoon, and night time sleeps are all important for puppies. So, you should try to get your puppy into a routine as soon as possible.
Morning is often quite a busy time for a puppy. They’ll often wake up with a burst of energy and be ready for food and fun! But you’ll want to make sure your puppy doesn’t tire themselves out too quickly. Here is how you should structure your morning routine.
- When your puppy wakes up, let them out or take them to their litter tray. Puppies will often need to relieve themselves when they wake up.
- Once done, feed your puppy and then spend around 30 minutes, to an hour playing with them.
- Take your puppy to its bed, you may need to sit with the puppy and stroke them for a while, before they fall asleep.
- Your puppy should wake up after a couple of hours. Once done take your puppy outside or to its litter tray again.
The afternoon can be one of the busiest times for a puppy. They’ll spend a lot of time playing but also need feeding and potty breaks. Your puppy may also take regular naps during this time as well.
- To start with, give your puppy their dinner, and then take them for another potty break.
- Now it’s playtime again, or you can simply let your puppy explore your home on their own.
- Most puppies will take a nap after they’ve finished playing/ exploring. Once they wake up they’ll likely need another potty break.
- It’s time to play again! Your puppy will also likely want to do some exploring as well. After this, they’ll likely settle down for another nap.
Now, this is the part you really need to be stern on. There is room for flexibility when it comes to setting your puppy’s sleep schedule. But as it gets late you need to try to get a firm routine set. So, this is what you should do.
- Once your puppy is up, take them for another potty break. You should then give them their evening meal. It’s a good idea to always feed your puppy, before you sit down to eat yourself.
- After your puppy has eaten, they may need another potty break. They should then spend some time playing and exploring. This is a great time for the rest of your family/ household to play with the puppy. So, they’ll get used to everyone.
- After this, your puppy will likely be getting tired. Take them for one last potty break and then take them to their bed.
Setting a routine like this might seem like hard work. But over time things will get much easier. Having a schedule like this, will also help you get potty training done as well. But during the first few months together taking the time to set a routine will help ensure your puppy gets enough sleep and stays strong, healthy, and happy.
Where Should my Puppy Sleep?
Your puppy can sleep almost anywhere in your home. Your puppy may even find a place or two that it likes as it explores. However, you should try to have a set bed for your puppy to use. This can be a dog bed or you can even use crate training.
Crate training is actually a very successful way to help ensure puppies feel more comfortable and happy when they’re going to bed. Just make sure the bed/ crate is comfortable and warm enough for your puppy.
Adding a plush dog blanket and some pillows is a good start. The bed/ crate can be placed in any room, but most people will prefer to keep their puppy nearby. Your puppy can sleep in your bedroom; just make sure you try to keep things quiet and dark at night.
Puppies that are left on their own at night may feel scared and lonely. So, it isn’t really recommended. Some puppies may not mind it, but most will likely feel happier knowing you are nearby.
Do Puppies Nap a Lot?
From reading our guide so far, you’ve probably already worked out the answer to this question. Yes, puppies do nap a lot, in some cases, a puppy might even take a nap every hour! The length of these naps can vary.
Your puppy might only take a nap for around 30 minutes, but sometimes they can take much longer naps for around a few hours. Don’t worry; this is also normal behavior and even older dogs will nap a lot throughout the day.
What Should I do if my Puppy is Sleeping too Much?
Now, this is unlikely to be a problem for many people. Since puppies can sleep for up to 20 hours a day. However, if you find that your puppy is lethargic or doesn’t leave its bed, even while awake, then you should take your puppy to see a vet.
Your puppy may have hurt themselves playing. Or be suffering from an issue like toothache, which will mean they simply won’t feel like playing. If your puppy doesn’t get enough food or water or has a poor diet, then it will likely sleep more as well.
This is why setting a routine is so important, as it will help ensure your puppy gets enough food/ water. If you do notice your puppy sleeping more than usual, then the issue will likely be easy to fix. But if you are concerned contact a vet.
What Should I do if My Puppy isn’t Sleeping Enough?
Puppies like children can be very stubborn. Your puppy might know it needs sleep, but that doesn’t mean they’ll want to go to bed. After all, there is still more exploring and playing to do, isn’t there?
If your puppy isn’t getting enough sleep, then it will likely because you simply aren’t being firm enough. After playing, take your puppy to their bed. They might be quite vocal about how unhappy they are, but they will eventually settle and go to sleep.
You also need to make sure there are no distractions, preventing your puppy from getting enough sleep. Remember to try to keep things quiet and comfortable for your puppy. At night try to let your puppy burn off any excess energy.
If your puppy is sick or hurt in some way, then it may not sleep as much as normal. So, if you’re worried, it’s always best to get things checked out.
According to the American Kennel Club, dog parents should not try to abruptly wake up their puppies, as it may result in serious consequences. Often we find our puppies twitching, whimpering, or shaking in their sleep.
But abruptly waking them up can startle them and they can get scared even before recognizing their owners. While startled, puppies can scratch and bite quite involuntarily, though.
It is further suggested that even if you try to wake your puppy you should do so gently. Instead of shaking your pup, softly speak your pup’s name. When it wakes up, reassure your pup with kind words and try to make it feel that it is safe with you. You can also try to give it some snack to munch on or cuddle with it on the couch afterward.
When puppies are asleep, petting them can wake them up and disturb them. A sleeping puppy should generally not be touched unless it is crying or moving unsteadily in its sleep.
Even in that case, it is advised to soothe your puppy with a gentle pat, or you can try calling it by its name. On the other hand, if you are petting your pup and it falls asleep, it is totally up to you to decide whether to stop petting or to keep going.
On average, puppies can sleep up to 20 hours a day. So, it is important that you calculate the bedtime of a puppy accordingly. It is better that they stay awake for some time before their nighttime slumber.
As a pet parent, you would want to match your puppy’s nighttime sleep with yours. So, unless you work really late at night, you can try to make it fall asleep according to your own schedule. This will also ensure that your puppies do not wake up in the middle of the night.
According to the findings of the American Kennel Club, puppies that are around 7 to 8 weeks old should sleep for around 18 to 20 hours every day. At this age, the majority of puppies are taken away from their mothers and move with their new owners.
This duration for sleeping is followed until they are almost 20 weeks old. As puppies grow in age, their napping time decreases, and by the time they grow old, they sleep for around 13 to 15 hours a day.
Generally, young-born puppies find it difficult to sleep through the night. Unless they grow up to 16 weeks or 4 months old, they can’t sleep throughout the night. However, with early training, puppies can be made to sleep through the night at an earlier age.
Besides, additional steps like providing your pup with a nice, warm and cozy bed may help it to sleep more comfortably at night.
Things Won’t Always Go Smoothly
To close out our guide, we have one final piece of advice. And that is to expect things to not always run smoothly. Your first night will always be fun. Puppies are lovable, energetic animals. You can do everything right and still have the odd day, where your puppy will want to get up and play in the middle of the night.
They might want to use the toilet or simply want some company. It’s part of the fun of having a puppy. When such things happen, be calm and praise your puppy. Given them a few minutes and then put them back to bed.
You might feel mean, especially when you look at those big eyes. But puppies need plenty of sleep and it’s your role as a responsible owner, to make sure they get all the sleep they need.
Hi, I’m Walter,
I live in Oklahoma City, USA, and have extensive dog caring and grooming expertise. In addition, I provide dog training tips and tricks through my blogs in Canine Weekly. I have a Dog Behavior and Training diploma and have previously worked as a Dog Trainer at ROC Animal Training and Behavior and Tip Top K9 of OKC Dog Training.
Apart from writing on Canine Weekly, I share my views on Twitter and Linkedin.