To keep your puppy healthy and obedient, you need to establish a daily routine, including feeding, walking, playing, and sleeping schedules. This article will discuss what a puppy sleep schedule should be and how much puppies sleep at different ages.
Many people don't know how long puppies should sleep during the day. And lack of sleep negatively affects the nervous system, causing various behavioral problems.
How long should puppies sleep?
According to the AKC, puppies at 7-8 weeks should get 18-20 hours of sleep per night! Most puppies are weaned from their mother and brought to a new home at this age. This schedule persists until about 20 weeks of age. As the dogs get older, sleep time is reduced to 13-15 hours.
Thus, little puppies are awake for only 4-6 hours. This time is divided into different short chunks of time during which the puppy has time to play, eat, and do other things.
Why do puppies sleep so much?
Some new dog owners mistakenly believe that their puppy sleeps too much. They purposely wake the pet during the day so that it "sleeps better at night." Others interrupt sleep for playtime and petting. And I understand the desire to spend more time with your cute little puppy. But keep yourself in check.
Puppies sleep so much for a reason. During puppyhood, their bodies develop at a breakneck pace. It takes a lot of energy for the bones, muscles, and brain (and therefore the nervous system) to develop properly. The consequences of sleep deprivation in dogs can be stress, anxiety, aggression, and other behavioral disorders.
Just imagine, a dog develops in a year like a human develops in 18 years!
How to set a sleep schedule for a puppy?
First, we'll determine how much your puppy sleeps at night and then distribute the remaining sleep time throughout the day. Typically, dogs between 7-16 weeks can sleep 6-8 hours, but they still need to take a potty break at night.
So if your dog wakes up at night, it means it needs to pee. Do not play or pay attention to it during this time.
But there is one problem with sleeping at night. Puppies are often difficult to tuck, and they also don't want to sleep alone. So your job is to:
- learn to put your fluffy to bed at the same time;
- provide all the conditions for a peaceful sleep. To do this, you need to arrange a quiet place to sleep with a comfortable bed;
- we also recommend using a crate. In a crate, the puppy will be safe and also more peaceful. If you don't already know about crate training at night, then check out this helpful tool;
- make sure your pup uses up its energy during the day by exercising and playing.
What time should the puppy go to bed? Going to bed one hour after meals and an evening potty walk is advisable. Specific times don't matter; you have to build a schedule to suit you. Although tiny puppies can't sleep as long as humans, after 16 weeks, you can train your puppy to go to bed and get up with you.
Daytime sleep schedule
Dogs wake up as the sun rises. So if you want to push back the wake-up time, then put the dog bed in a darker place.
Usually, you don't need to take any action to get your puppy to sleep during the day. They will do it anyway. What your job is:
- don't disturb your pet, don't wake it up (if there are kids in the house, they need to learn this too);
- do not arrange training and active games before bedtime, as this makes puppies overexcited and unable to fall asleep.
Although the daytime sleep schedule will be flexible, it's advisable to make sure that your puppy has several two-hour naps. Their number depends on age, as does the total amount of sleep in a 24-hour period:
- puppies at 8 weeks need about 5 two-hour naps;
- after 12 weeks, there may be four;
- and after 16 weeks, three.
According to all the advice in this article, let's make a rough daily schedule for a 12-week old puppy:
- Puppies need 18-20 hours of sleep a day for normal mental and physical development. Therefore, you should not interrupt their sleep.
- The second main point is to accustom the puppy to fall asleep at the same time. To do this, try crate training.
- Puppies up to 16 weeks can sleep 7-8 hours a night, but with potty breaks. After 16 weeks, your pet probably won't bother you at night.
Ensure your furbaby has a comfortable, quiet place to sleep and stick to its routine. Then everyone in the house will sleep peacefully!
About the Author:
Anastasia is the author of trainingyourpuppy.net, a blog with dog care and training tips. Anastasia has been writing useful articles for five years. She has experience in raising cats and dogs of different breeds. At the moment, Anastasia has a pug and 2 cats that she loves very much.