So, your new best friend is cute, fuzzy, and apparently a bit of an insomniac. Why isn’t your puppy sleeping through the night? If your puppy won’t sleep through the night then might be a thing or two that you can do to help them along. A lot is going to depend on their age and their daily routine. Let’s start by discussing how long puppies usually DO sleep and we’ll go from there!
When will my puppy sleep through the night?
Part of this problem is going to be age and your puppy might not start sleeping all night until they reach 16 weeks of age, in some cases. Generally you will see it sooner, though. For instance, an 11 week old puppy can sleep through the night in most cases, because in general they sleep 18 – 20 hours a day. With younger pups who have consequently weaker bladders, there will be a lot more chance of them waking up in the wee hours fairly often.
Have you considered crate training?
One thing that you can do to get your little one to sleep more regular is to adopt a firmer schedule and introduce a little crate training. So, what is crate training? This involves setting aside a space in the house where you can make a doggy-den. This can be a crate or other large container or even just an isolated space where they cannot get in trouble, such as a bathroom or laundry area. Properly fenced in so your pup has to stay there, the crate becomes their home for the nighttime. So, after dinner and the last walk of the day, your pup goes in the crate for bedtime.
What do I put in the crate that will help them to sleep?
Your crate will contain an assortment of things to make it more homey for your pooch. small dog bed, for one. A bowl of water and a few doggie toys to pass the time a little before bedtime is good as well. If your puppy is fairly young, it’s also good to add a pee-pad on the off chance that your dog has a bathroom emergency. As a rule dogs don’t generally like to use the bathroom where they sleep, but when they are very young they haven’t gotten very good at ‘holding it’ until their morning walk so it is better to be safe than sorry. Pee pads come in a variety of forms, from standard, disposable pad to faux and even real grass varieties that may be cleaned and re-used as needed.
When will my puppy sleep through the night with crate training?
Some puppies will take to it right away but for best results, focus on your daily schedule. Make sure that your pup’s daily walks are for a good 20 or 30 minutes at least, rather than quick 10 minute sessions, or you’ll find yourself with a frustrated, bored, and energetic little mischief maker when you get back home. If you have taught your dog the ‘fetch’ command then this is a simple way to get them to expend a little energy without having to expend too much yourself. Lastly, there is another thing that you can try if you don’t mind a few late-night wake ups for a good cause. Like you would with a young baby, you can set an alarm and start getting up at 1 or 2am each night to take your puppy out for another walk. With younger puppies this can help a lot, as their tiny bladders tend to fill up quite quickly and the last walk of the day doesn’t always cut it for
“Dogs with a urinary tract infection will display it by urinating frequently.”
them. Usually you will only have to do this for 2 to 3 weeks but whether or not you try this approach is all going to depend on your schedule and your patience.
When puppies still do not sleep through the night
If you find that your puppy is still quite the insomniac, despite your best efforts, then it might be time to consider a vet visit. Sometimes the little ones can eat something bad when they are walking outside and pick up a parasite, for instance. Dogs with a urinary tract infection will display it by urinating frequently. Generally things of this nature will be expressed by some visible symptom of discomfort so if you are worried then it certainly can’t hurt to rule out any medical issues by taking your furry friend to the vet for a checkup.
For the fitness minded puppy owners
If you are fitness minded and happen to have a treadmill at home then there is another way to tire your doggy out a bit that you can try. Some dogs, especially particular energetic breeds such as Goldendoodles and Retrievers tend to like playing on a treadmill if introduced to it early enough. Try setting your treadmill to the lowest speed and calling your dog to you while it is running to see if you can get them to walk in place. If you can, this is excellent, as you might find that your doggie rather enjoys the exercise and a few minutes a day can help to get them tired down a bit and ready for a good night’s sleep. Who knows, in time maybe you’ll be working out together!
Just like humans, puppies sometimes just don’t sleep the entire night. Crate training is a good strategy that can help you to manage this, along with extended walks, more playtime at the park, and other creative methods that you may devise in order to tire the little ball of joy down just a bit. Keep in mind that some breeds are more energetic than others and that your vet may have some good suggestions as well that you can collect on your next checkup. Mostly we recommend patience, especially with the younger ones. In time they will adjust to their new home and the both of you can get some well-deserved rest!