How much sleep do puppies need?
Although they are energetic beings that never seem to get tired, the reality is that they do, and puppies need many hours of sleep a day. During the daytime it is very common to see them taking a nap that will last between half an hour and two hours, almost always after a period of activity.
During the night, like babies, they do not usually sleep all at once, but in total they can rest between 6 and 10 hours. In short, when a dog is a puppy, it can sleep up to 18 hours a day, a time that will decrease as it gets older.
A puppy's first night at home
The younger the dog is, the more difficult it will be for him to sleep through the night. In addition, the change of home and the separation from his mother and siblings (in case he comes from a litter), can cause him a lot of stress.
If possible, ask for a piece of clothing with the scent of his dog family (blanket, towel, rag...) to put on his bed and make him feel a little more relaxed among those familiar scents.
Even so, we warn you that during those first nights the puppy will not sleep often. This is because, like human babies, the dog cannot control its bladder and will need to urinate from time to time.
The animal should not start his walks until he has his vaccines, so it is important that you teach the puppy to use the pee pad as soon as possible. This will help you to avoid stepping in puddles every morning.
My puppy doesn't sleep and he cries too
It is very normal for puppies to cry the first few days they are at home. If after the pertinent visits to the veterinarian he has assured you that his health condition is optimal, the reasons why a puppy cries are usually:
- Separation from their doggy family: the dog will feel insecure and unprotected.
- Discomfort: it is necessary for the puppy to be comfortable and sheltered.
- Stressed due to lack of exercise.
- Bad digestion: it is necessary to be very careful with the puppy's food.
Let's see, now, those tips to try to make the dog sleep all night long.
How to get a puppy to sleep through the night
These tips below can make your puppy feel much better about going to bed at night and get him used to sleeping through the night.
1. Plenty of exercise during the day
Puppies are a source of vitality and so much energy cannot be stored in such a small body. Dogs should be exercised during the daytime, both physically and mentally.
When it comes to physical exercise, be very careful with the intensity, as their bones and joints are still developing and too much can be counterproductive. For example, in large breed dogs, elbow dysplasia is a very common disease during growth and too much exercise could aggravate the problem.
The puppy should be allowed to run and play a lot at home, and start walking in the street after vaccination. In addition, to stimulate his mind, he should be provided with toys appropriate to his age.
It is impossible for the puppy to want to sleep at night if 5 minutes before "sending" him to bed you have been playing with him. Establish a routine where, at least 45 minutes before bedtime, the games are over.
Also, avoid having the puppy in a room where there are people talking, the TV on, bright lights, etc. The calmer the environment, the better.
3. Let him relieve himself before going to sleep
As we mentioned before, puppies cannot control their bladder, so one of the reasons why they don't sleep through the night is because they need to get up to urinate.
That is why it is best that before going to sleep they have done their needs.
4. Prepare a comfortable place for him
When preparing their resting place, it is very necessary that you take into account the room temperature.
It is not necessary to fill the bed with blankets in the middle of the summer heat wave. In this case, it is enough that the dog has a comfortable bed and can lie down on the floor if he feels like it. A cooling mat nearby is also a good option.
If it is cold or the temperature is neutral, his bed should provide warmth. Put blankets on his bed so he can snuggle in them comfortably.
5. Emulate his mother's presence
For the first few nights, it can be very helpful to place a small hot water bottle or thermos bottle under the mattress of his bed to provide warmth, just like his mother's body would.
Another trick that is often recommended is to also place a clock with hands underneath, as the sound will remind him of his mother's heartbeat and will relax him.
6. Stay close
Getting a puppy to sleep through the night is not easy and if we tell you that during those nights it is advisable to stay close by, we understand that you may not like the idea.
However, it is the only way to make sure that they don't feel alone during this adaptation period. Of course, be careful not to put the little one in your bed to cuddle with you. Although it may work and he may sleep, you'll get him used to it... and then who's going to put him down!
7. Give him chew toys
While his teeth are growing in, your little furry one will be going crazy trying to chew on everything to ease his pain. Having special chew toys nearby during the night can help them continue to sleep peacefully after a little discomfort has subsided.
It won't be until about 16 weeks of age that the dog will start sleeping through the night. Until then, use these tricks... and some patience!