Are you the parent of a new puppy? If you brought home your puppy just a few days back, then odds are that he is having difficulty sleeping the whole night. Yes, yes, I know that he’s cute and cuddly, but he does need to learn some rules when he comes into a new home.
When you first bring puppies home, it’s important to make sure that your home is safe for the puppy. Click, “Things to consider before bringing home a puppy” to get a few pointers on how to puppy-proof your home. Now that we have taken care of the puppy’s safety, read on to get some easy tips that will help get your new pup on track so everyone can rest peacefully at night.
Why Your New Puppy Is Not Sleeping At Night?
Before we get to the “how to”, let’s talk about the “why?” first. There can be a number of different reasons why puppies might not be sleeping through the whole night.
- The first and foremost reason, is a simple one. They simply do not know how to control their bladder and bowels yet! Not a whole lot different than human babies. Puppies’ bladders are very small, so they usually cannot hold their urine throughout the whole night. If the urge to go is not immediately satisfied, they will cry and whine, and won’t sleep the whole night.
- The puppy is missing his littermates and mother. He’s not used to sleeping all by himself, which causes isolation distress.
- Your puppy is going through a lot of changes-mental and physical. Everything looks and smells different; they may listen to unfamiliar sounds during the night, which can be exciting or overwhelming depending on how they look at it. They feel difficulty settling in the new environment.
How To Help Your New Puppy Sleep Throughout The Whole Night?
Take Your Puppy Out For a Potty Break Before Bedtime
It’s common for puppies to have accidents in their sleep, but you can help avoid this by taking your pup out right before bedtime. The reason for this is simple. Puppies cannot hold their urine for too long at a young age because their bodies are not developed yet. So, if you take them out right before bedtime for potty, they will sleep much longer.
Give Them Plenty Of Exercise During The Daytime
It is essential to make sure your puppy has had a day full of mental and physical activities. This will ensure that he falls asleep at night without fussing or crying in his sleep. If you can’t go out with him during the daytime (perhaps because of bad weather or that he is not vaccinated yet), then plan some activities for him at home. It will not only tire them but also help you in training these little guys. We will have a separate blog to talk about in-home activities for puppies in future.
Develop a Bedtime Routine
It’s vital to determine a specific time when you want to have your dog go to sleep. Most pet owners choose to have their dogs go to sleep when they go to sleep. Once the time is decided, then stick to it. Making it a routine is important. Changes in their sleep schedule will confuse them. Don’t worry if the pup sleeps a lot during the daytime. They can sleep well at night if trained properly. Young puppies sleep a great deal of the time; in fact, some will sleep as much as 16-to-18 hours in a 24 hour period. Plan on quiet nap times for him several times during the day. Family members, especially young children, should learn not to disturb him when he’s sleeping. He needs his rest! You may need to put a crate in a quiet part of the house so he won’t be distracted by the hustle and bustle that may be going on during naptime.
Dimming lights is essential (not a whole lot different than for the human kind). Soft classical music will help set a peaceful mood, reduce their anxiety and will help immensely to lull them into a deep sleep. Oh one other thing. Pheromones (a naturally-occurring substance) are shown to reduce anxiety in pups. The most common pheromone among dogs is that which is released by a nursing mother through her mammary glands to her puppies, causing a general sense of safety, calmness, and wellbeing. This pheromone continues to have a calming effect even for adult dogs. Pheromones are commercially available. Spraying pheromones is a quick and easy way to reduce your puppy’s anxiety, help them calm down and get them to sleep better. Not everyone is comfortable using pheromones, so use it only if you are comfortable.
Make Their Crate Comfortable
Ideally, you should have them in their own bed. If you want your puppy near you, put their crate or bed alongside yours at night or while sleeping. Putting your puppy to sleep on your bed is not recommended. If you allow your puppy to sleep next to you from the start of their life, then there are chances that they will sleep next to you for their whole life. There is nothing wrong in this as long as you are the one who is making the choice.
If you plan to train the puppy to sleep on their bed in a crate (recommended), it is important to make the crate comfortable. Choosing a comfortable crate mat is important. Determining the right mat requires some thought. Some dogs chew up stuffed plush mats. So, in cases like these a simple dog crate mat will do.
When crate training is done properly, most dogs enjoy spending time in them and actually view the crate as their own special place. One of the best ways to make it a pleasant and interesting experience is to add some toys (or treats) that are appropriate for crates. In fact, there are also toys which can be filled with dog treats or dog food to keep your dog happy and occupied while in the crate. This will keep them engaged while having fun inside the crate and would want them to go back to their crates often. Don’t forget to leave a dog bowl for fresh water.
When crate-training your puppy, frequent potty breaks are critical. Dogs hate sleeping in soiled or wet areas. Frequent, scheduled potty breaks will help reduce unscheduled interruptions and accidents to a minimum at night. During day time, keep to a regular routine of taking your puppy outside at least every two-to-four hours and after every change of activity. At night, this can be more like four-to-six hours as long as you don’t forget to take him for a potty break before he goes to sleep.
Getting the right crate for your puppy or dog requires some amount of thought based on the size of your puppy, the breed and how big the puppy will be grow up to be. We will have a separate blog in future dedicated to crates.
Give Your Puppy Something To Chew
Chewing is an excellent activity for dogs of all ages and breeds. Teething pups may enjoy it even more. Some owners give their puppies treats or edible chews at bedtime to help with the soothing process while working through this challenging time in his life.
Don’t Get Upset
It’s not easy to train your puppies to sleep the whole night, but it can be done. You’ll need patience and positive reinforcement so that you don’t get frustrated or give up. Training them from an early age will allow their brains time for development which means they won’t make as many mistakes in future nights.
The good news is that your puppy will learn to sleep through the night with help from you. However, it may take a few weeks or months for this to happen. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to make life easier on both of you during these long nights.