How Much Do Puppies Sleep?

puppy sleep on dog bed

Key takeaways

  • Most puppies sleep between 18 to 20 hours a day.


  • Puppies need to sleep most of the day while they’re growing as it’s crucial for the healthy development of their brain, muscles, and immune system.

  • To promote sleep, keep your puppy on a sleep schedule.

In this article

How much do puppies sleep?

Most puppies sleep between 18 to 20 hours a day, so they actually don’t spend as much time playing as you might initially think. 

How much sleep do puppies need?

Puppies need a lot of sleep while they’re growing as it’s crucial for the healthy development of their brain, muscles, immune system, and central nervous system. Most puppies will spend almost the entire day sleeping, at least until they are 12 months old.

At around 6 months old, puppies normally sleep for around
16 hours a day. Once a dog has reached their first birthday, their sleeping habits will almost be on par with adult dogs, typically snoozing for roughly 14 hours a day.

Adult dogs sleep for between 8 to 13.5 hours a day, though some breeds snooze more frequently and for longer. Interestingly, adult dogs sleep for longer periods during the night than puppies do, with most of their napping occurring between 8pm to 8am.

Ask the Vet - How much sleep does my puppy need?

Ask the Vet - How much sleep does my puppy need?

"How much sleep a puppy needs depends on several factors including how old they are, their breed, their genetics, and their activity levels. Your dog is an individual and there are no hard rules here. You will soon get used to what is normal for them, which may be anything from 12 to 20 hours in a 24 hour period."
- Dr Linda Simon MVB MRCVS

Labrador puppy asleep

Watch: Why do puppies sleep so much?

Puppies sleep so much because they’re still growing and need ample time to rest to properly develop. In addition, pups require plenty of sleep to replenish their energy and process new sights, sounds, smells, etc.


In most cases, it’s never a bad thing if your puppy sleeps a lot – it’s completely natural. 

Credit: Housemydog

How long do puppies sleep at one time?

As mentioned earlier, puppies are less likely to sleep through the night than adult dogs. Most pups only sleep between 30 minutes to a few hours at a time, so it’s not uncommon for them to wake up several times at night.

In addition, puppies cannot hold their bladders for long durations, especially under 16 weeks old. Pups who are 8 weeks old or under can only hold their bladder for a couple of hours. You’ll need to take your puppy out a few times during the night to relieve themselves, so be sure to set an alarm.


Read our full guide on how to help your puppy sleep through the night.

Boxer puppy sleeping

Puppy sleep schedule

Getting your puppy on a sleep schedule early on is important as it makes it much easier to establish a bedtime routine. Dogs thrive on routine, so alongside a feeding and exercise schedule, a sleep schedule should be put in place as soon as possible.

Mid-morning: At this time of the day, try and encourage your puppy to take a nap if they haven’t done so already. Place them in their crate and go about your normal mid-morning routine. This will also help teach your puppy that they sometimes need to be alone and can’t be with you 24/7.

Tips for helping puppy get morning sleep

  • Show your puppy their sleeping area.
  • Leave your puppy alone.
  • Stick to a schedule.
  • Don’t let your puppy get overtired

Afternoon: After your pup has woken up from their mid-morning nap, take them outside to relieve themselves. Next, offer lunch, then another bathroom break. Set some time aside to play or train your puppy after they’ve used the toilet so they can let off some steam. At this point, your puppy will probably be ready for another nap, so take them to their sleeping area to rest.

Tips for helping puppy get afternoon sleep

Mid-evening: Take your puppy for a quick walk, followed by some bonding time to help your puppy settle before bedtime.


Evening: Let your puppy outside to use the bathroom before bed, then guide them over to their crate/sleeping area. If your puppy cries or barks, don’t be tempted to go over and give them attention. Bear in mind that very young puppies may need several bathroom trips throughout the night.

Beagle puppy sleeping

You might be interested in our guide on what to do if your puppy is twitching in its sleep.

How to improve your puppy’s sleep

If your puppy never wants to take a break, you can improve their sleep by making sure they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day to help them feel more tired or calmer when they need to sleep.

You also should make sure you take your puppy outside to use the bathroom regularly during the day, especially before a nap to prevent any disturbances to their sleep.

Should your dog sleep in bed with you?

As long as your puppy is getting enough sleep per day (remember, they need between 18 to 20 hours daily), it doesn’t matter when your pooch decides to take a nap. That said, you may want to avoid letting your puppy sleep just before bedtime, otherwise, they won’t be tired at night.

It’s entirely up to whether you let your dog sleep in bed with you, and there are both disadvantages and advantages to doing so.

Written by: Joshua Gordon

Written by: Joshua Gordon

Head of Research and Editorial, Joshua has over 7 years of experience as a finance and automotive research consultant. He is a childhood pet owner and dog enthusiast.