How To Get A Puppy To Sleep Through The Night

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Bringing home a new puppy is one of the most exciting moments for dog lovers. However, when you meet your puppy, you have many responsibilities, including housetraining, obedience training, and ensuring their overall health and happiness. While puppies are cute, funny, and energetic, they're similar to human children in that they won't typically sleep through the night right away. 

If you have a puppy, you might hear them crying in their crates at night or having difficulty falling asleep. If you're not crate training your puppy, they might keep you awake at night trying to play or having accidents inside. Pet parents to puppies will have many sleepless nights, mainly because puppies can't hold their bladders all night. 

However, since puppies are full of energy, they may have difficulty sleeping or experience separation anxiety if they sleep in another room. Therefore, we recommend crate training a puppy at night until they're fully trained and can behave themselves when allowed to roam freely around the home. But how do you get a puppy to sleep through the night? 

1. Create a bedtime routine

You'll need to create a bedtime routine if you want to learn how to get a puppy to sleep through the night. Creating a routine as soon as possible is crucial to ensuring your puppy will sleep through the night. Puppies will have trouble settling into their new home and meeting new people, which can induce stress and anxiety and keep them up at night. In addition, very young puppies will have problems sleeping throughout the night because they'll have to go potty. Therefore, don't be surprised if you find your puppy peeing in the crate for at least the first few days or weeks until you determine the best time to wake up in the middle of the night to take them outside. 

Your bedtime routine should consist of a nightly walk before bed to help your puppy expend some of their extra energy while letting them empty their bladders. However, their bladders won't stay empty all night. Puppies have small bladders and can't hold their urine, so they'll need to go back outside a few hours later.

It's crucial to keep this routine as dogs are creatures of habit, and having a nighttime routine helps your dog understand what they can expect from the day, ultimately reducing their anxiety at night.1 Always create a maintainable routine. While it's not ideal to wake up in the middle of the night, it will only last for a few weeks or months, depending on how old your puppy is when you bring them home. Once they're old enough, they can hold their urine at night as long as they get a walk at the same time before bed. 

2. Make their sleep space cozy

For some puppies, their crate will eventually become their sanctuary space where they go to get away from stressful situations. However, crate training can be challenging and it’s not for every dog. If you're learning how to crate train a puppy at night, you'll need to keep their sleep space cozy. Removing blankets and bedding from their crate at night may be tempting in case of an accident, but your puppy will want it as comfortable as possible to fall asleep. Plus, additional blankets will keep them warm. Still, you should consider the types of materials you put in your puppy's crate. Puppies can be quite destructive, so you don't want to put their expensive dog bed in the crate, where it may get chewed on or destroyed. 

Of course, you should consider your home's temperature to find the best bedding for your puppy. For example, in the winter, when your home might be slightly colder, you can give your dog fluffier, warmer blankets to help them stay comfortable at night. 

You can also use a crate cover to help your puppy fall asleep easier. Dogs typically get tired when the sun sets and wake up when the sun rises. Therefore, light from around your home may keep them up at night. Covering your dog's crate allows them to understand when it's night versus day to determine when they should be awake. It can also help make their schedule easier to follow because you can put the crate cover on at the same time every day as the seasons change to prevent light from keeping your dog up later at night. 

In addition to removing light from their sleep environment, you may need to eliminate sounds. For example, if your puppy goes to sleep at 9 pm, but your family is still awake, or you have loud neighbors, sounds can scare your puppy. Therefore, you can find a quiet place in the house for them or invest in a white noise machine to drown out any noises that might wake your pup from their slumber. 

3. Schedule exercise & playtime during the day

All dogs need exercise, but puppies need more exercise than adult dogs. They're full of energy and constantly want to play, and puppies that don't get enough exercise during the day will be up all night long. Your puppy will sleep better at night if you can tire them out during the day with walks and mental stimulation. Of course, going on walks also gives you a chance to leash train your dog when they're young. 

Puppies need tons of training, which can also help them stay tired. Learning new things makes dogs of all ages tired because it provides them with mental and physical stimulation. Therefore, you can focus on teaching your dog basic commands or try obedience training as a form of mental stimulation during the day. 

Of course, puppies need a lot of sleep, with many sleeping up to 20 hours every day. Therefore, you shouldn't overstimulate your puppy by keeping them awake throughout the day. Instead, let them nap when they want to and help them eliminate excess energy when they want to play. 

When Do Puppies Sleep Through The Night? 

Puppy sleep schedules vary depending on the puppy, but they're usually able to sleep through the night starting around the time they're eight weeks old. However, most people adopt puppies when they're around eight to ten weeks old, so your puppy may start sleeping through the night by the time you bring them home. 

Of course, many things can keep your puppy up at night. While age plays a factor, you should always ensure your puppy has the chance to go outside and gets plenty of exercise throughout the day to remove their excess energy. If you're crate training a puppy at night, be prepared for whining, howling, or barking throughout the night. Your puppy may engage in attention-seeking behavior, like barking, because they want to spend time with you or are bored. However, unless they need to go outside, pet parents may want to wait a bit to see if their puppy quiets down before taking further action. 

You can experiment with different areas to put their crate. Some puppies can find you distracting even if you're sleeping, so they may be focused on trying to get your attention or play. However, most pet parents have success with crate training puppies at night in their bedrooms because it allows their puppy to see them, which may reduce some stress associated with being alone. Additionally, having your puppy in the same room as another dog may help. One study showed that when puppies slept in the same room as another dog, puppies ceased vocalization at night more quickly.2 

FAQs

How many hours of sleep does a puppy need?

Puppies need between 18-20 hours of sleep per day. Therefore, you might see your puppy wake up, run around, and want to play for a few minutes before finding a quiet place to nap again. When your puppy naps, let them sleep. There's no reason to keep them awake longer throughout the day because it won't help them sleep better at night. 

Should I take my puppy out in the middle of the night?

You should take your puppy out in the middle of the night if they need to go. Puppies will ask to go outside by barking, whimpering, or whining.3 However, you shouldn't wake your puppy up in the middle of the night just to take them outside. 

What is the best sleeping schedule for puppies?

Every puppy is different; some will easily sleep through the night as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.3 However, it's important to remember that puppies will sleep throughout the day, so they may experience bursts of energy and then take a nap a few minutes later. Let your puppy sleep throughout the day to help them grow big and strong.

Pet owner holding puppy while they sleep

Final Notes

Taking care of a puppy is rewarding but comes with many responsibilities. As a pet parent to a puppy, you can expect whining, whimpering, and accidents in the house or crate for the first couple of weeks or months after bringing them home. However, most puppies can sleep throughout the night until around the age of eight weeks. Still, many things can prevent your puppy from getting a good night's sleep, so it's important to set a bedtime routine and stick to it, make their sleep space comfortable, and give them plenty of exercise and training before bed. 

Of course, sleep is important for your puppy's health, but there's so much you need to do to ensure your puppy grows big and strong. Being a pet parent to a puppy can be stressful, so you need a trusted vet by your side. Dutch vets can ensure you're doing everything right to ensure your puppy is healthy and well-behaved. We can provide advice, diagnosis, and treatment for various common puppy concerns ranging from health issues to behavioral problems. Try Dutch telemedicine for pets today. 

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References

  1. Reisen, Jan. "How Much Sleep Do Puppies Need? Here's How to Make Sure." American Kennel Club, 29 Apr. 2021, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-much-do-puppies-sleep/.

  2. Meyers, Harriet. "Puppy Potty Training Schedule: A Timeline for Housebreaking Your Puppy." American Kennel Club, 29 May 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/potty-training-your-puppy-timeline-and-tips/.

  3. IGaultier, E., et al. "Efficacy of dog‐appeasing pheromone in reducing stress associated with social isolation in newly adopted puppies." Veterinary Record 163.3 (2008): 73-80.

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