It’s always going to be a challenge for any dog owner to get their puppy to sleep at night, especially during the initial few weeks when he is trying to adapt to his new environment.
Your puppy is likely getting very excited and nervous as he starts to explore his new world which is full of curiosity – new environment, new people and new scent. Until he gets to settle down, he will be feeling very restless and this could make him suffer from sleeping disorder.
What you can do is to make him feel relaxed and slowly adapt to his new home. In this posting, I will be sharing with you:
- WAYS To Make Your Puppy Get Into Sleep During The Night?
- How Much Sleep Should Your Puppy Get At Night?
WAYS To Make Your Puppy Get Into Sleep During The Night?
Your puppy needs adequate sleep daily to promote healthy growth, both physically and mentally. If he is getting difficulty in catching the sleep in the night, you could make use of the following approaches to prepare him for the night sleep.
Engage Him In Exercise
Make sure that you have prepared some exercises for him during the day. The exercise should be in the form of physical as well as mental exercise. This will help him to release his energy after a day of workout and get him to have a nice sleep in the night.
As for how long and strenuous the exercise should be, it really depends on your puppy’s breed and age. Keep in mind that young puppy’s bones are still growing, so if your puppy is still young, do not go for too “challenging” exercises for him.
High-Energy Dog Breeds
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Russell Terrier
- German Shepherd Dog
Low-Energy Dog Breeds
- Clumber Spaniel
- Boston Terrier
- Bichon Frise
Puppy tends to be more active and energized than older dogs, so you should plan for more activity sessions for him throughout the day and keep each playtime session a short one. Do not go for more than 30 minutes as your puppy might get too exhausted and could lead to injury.
You can play some outdoor games such as “fetch”, swimming as well as 20 minutes of strolling with him. Personally, I feel that swimming will be the best sport for a puppy as it helps to train his overall body and risk of injury is low. (You can make him wear a life jacket if you are worried about his safety).
If outdoor games are not possible, indoor games such as running up and down the stairs, playing hide-and-seek with you as well as putting him on a treadmill – if you have one at home. (of course, you have to supervise him closely for this) could be an alternative.
Your puppy will usually need a short nap after each playtime and this serves as an “charging” session for him to rejuvenate his body.
Make His Sleeping Area Comfortable
Needless to say, this plays an extremely important role in ensuring that he is able to get into his sleep.
Just like if you are to sleep in an area where it is too hot, too bright and too nosy, would you be able to get any sleep? So you should make sure that you have set up a cozy sleeping area for your puppy.
The area has to be a place where he likes to be in, feel relaxed and calm, and most important of all, he will feel safe and secure to be in.
I have personally opted for a dog crate for my puppy as I find that it meets all these requirements to be a cozy sleeping den for any puppy.
Of course, I would have to spend some effort to crate train him first, but once he is being trained, he likes his crate so much that whenever he feels tired and wants to get a nap, he would go straight to his crate without having me to direct him.
During the initial crate training, I have the crate placed in my bedroom so that it will be away from the crowd and will be a nice and quiet spot for him.
It will also provide an additional sense of security for him as he would be able to “see” me from his crate during the night and will have a peace of mind to get a good sleep.
I have also informed my kids that NO playing with the puppy is allowed after I bring him back from his strolling as it’s going to be his “sleeping” time!
I will certainly want to maintain and stick to a regular routine so that my puppy knows when will be his bedtime and will go to his crate obediently.
It’s important that you do not make him feel that the crate is a “jail cell”. Make it an attractive and comfortable area for him by placing his favorite toys and warm blanket in the crate.
Remember to keep the crate door always “open” so that he can go in and out at his own will and will not feel trapped!
Night Potty Before Bedtime
If you are to wake up a few times in the night to do your elimination, would that be upsetting your sleep?
So make sure that your puppy has done his elimination right before his bedtime to prevent him from waking up halfway in the night to do his potty.
Your feeding schedule should be at least an hour before his bedtime so that it provides sufficient time for him to digest the food and get ready for his elimination.
After he had his meal, bring him out for his potty 30 minutes later. Spend another 30 minutes with him for a slow stroll to “prepare” him for his night sleep.
Puppies usually sleep better after some form of exercise. As this (strolling) is going to be his last exercise for the day, make it very “light” for him just to drain off any excessive energy left in him. Following this approach, it works extremely well for my puppy.
Also remember not to feed him with any more water after you complete the strolling and bring him back to his crate. To help him to get into the “sleeping mood”, you could also play some soothing music to make him feel relaxed.
Plan His Routine and Stick to It
Dogs like routine and certainly not comfortable with surprises! Any unknown event is always going to make them nervous and fearful.
Fixed and predictable routine is what makes your puppy feel comfortable and calm as he will know what’s going to happen next and will keep his anxiety to a minimum.
So plan a routine for him so that he knows when he will wake up, get his meals, go for a play, potty time as well as bed time.
When this becomes a routine for him, it makes him much easier to know its sleeping time and go to his bed in a predictable manner. In fact, he will be able to mentally prepare himself for his bedtime.
Any Changes In His Sleeping Environment?
Puppies are very sensitive to his surroundings, especially in their sleeping area. If there are any external factors that affect his environment, that could potentially affect his sleeping pattern.
For example, if you have recently painted your bedroom or got some new furniture, your puppy might start to feel discomfort when he is in the room.
Or your neighbour has got a new dog, and he is barking away during the night and that could also potentially make him restless and unable to get into sleep.
Or maybe you have a new member in your home or a visitor staying in, he will also get anxious as he faces unfamiliar faces.
These are some external factors that you will have to try your best to reduce their “impact” to your puppy. In fact, by having your puppy sleep in a crate, this already provides a certain level of security for your puppy to remain calm.
What you can do is to improve the situation by covering his crate with a blanket to “reduce” any simulations.
Is He Suffering From Any Medical Illness?
When your dog is suffering from any medical health issue as such kennel cough, pain and discomfort, that could also upset his sleeping.
Watch out for any abnormal signs (such as loss of appetite, sudden change of behavior such as uncontrolled barking, become restless and unable to move comfortably) and seek help from your vet as soon as possible.
When your puppy gets his teeth growing, that could also make him really uncomfortable and affect his sleep. Get him some chewy toys to get his teeth on to ease his discomfort.
How Much Sleep Should Your Puppy Get At Night?
Puppies usually need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep each day, including afternoon nap. For the night sleep, they will need about 14 – 16 hours of rest.
More often, they will need a short nap after each playtime to “recharge” their energy. So plan your puppy’s playtime in a regular interval so that he can get some short naps during the day and meet his sleeping needs.
Sleeping plays a critical role in ensuring his health growth, improving his immunity system and brain growth. During the sleep, his mind will be processing what he had learned and help him to grow.