puppy sleep on dog bed

How Much Do Puppies Sleep?

In this article

How much do puppies sleep?

Puppies are professionals when it comes to sleeping, often spending the majority of the day in a deep slumber. And when they’re not fitting in a quick nap, they’re wreaking havoc and keeping you on your toes!

 

However, not all pups are interested in sleeping, preferring to play and spend time with their owners than take a rest. This can be frustrating, as both you and your pup need a break to rejuvenate and refresh.

 

So, how much do puppies sleep? Here we’ll be going over everything you need to know about puppy sleeping habits, including tips on how to help your puppy sleep during the day and at night.

How much sleep do puppies need?

When puppies are awake, they’re full of energy and vigor, often getting into mischief or running rings around you. All that playing is exhausting, so it’s not surprising to find your pup suddenly flop down for a snooze, usually in the strangest places and positions.

 

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.

Labrador puppy asleep

How many hours 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. Caring for a young puppy is hard work, so it can certainly feel like they’re awake for longer!

 

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.

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. Simply let them take a moment to recharge, as well as yourself for that matter!

Boxer puppy sleeping

How to get a puppy to sleep through the night

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.

 

Aside from bathroom breaks, there are a few ways to help your puppy sleep through the majority of the night. This includes establishing a bedtime routine, making your dog’s crate comfortable, and keeping their sleeping area quiet and dark.

 

You can make your pup’s crate cozy by lining it with a couple of soft blankets, making sure to pop a puppy pad underneath to prepare for any accidents. Steer clear of wool blankets as they can be torn into long strings, which could be a choking hazard.

 

Keep your puppy’s sleeping quarters quiet and dark to help them understand the appropriate time to go to sleep, as well as make it feel more den-like. You can also put a cover over the top of your crate if it’s wired for added security.

Getting your puppy on a 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.

Morning puppy 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.

 

Early morning: Let your puppy out of their crate and take them outside to go potty. Once your puppy has relieved themselves, dedicate some time to playing and bonding.

 

Breakfast: Offer your puppy some food, making sure to only leave their food bowl down for a maximum of 15 minutes. 

 

After breakfast: Take your puppy outside to eliminate again as most pups need to pee/poop after eating. After doing so, spend some more time playing/training your puppy. If they’re old enough, you can even give your pup a brief walk.

 

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.

If your puppy appears tired, guide them over to their bed, crate, or a safe place where they can rest. Take your puppy to the same area whenever they seem sleepy to help them recognize it as a spot for napping.

 

  • Leave your puppy alone.

While your puppy is sleeping, don’t disturb them. Simply let them rest for as long as they need to. Keep an eye and ear out for when your pup wakes up so you can take them straight outside to use the toilet. 

 

  • Stick to a schedule.

Schedule your puppy’s day so that playtime/exercise comes before quiet time. Your pup is likely to be tired straight after an activity like a walk, so take them over to their crate or sleeping area for a nap.

 

  • Don’t let your puppy get overtired

It’s easy to get caught in the moment when you’re playing with a puppy, but you mustn’t let them exhaust themselves. This can be detrimental to their health and development. Even if your puppy still seems raring to go, guide them over to their crate or sleeping area to relax and take a breather.

Afternoon puppy schedule

Noon: 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.

 

Mid-afternoon: Once your pup is awake, take them outside to use the bathroom. You can then squeeze in some bonding time with your puppy before dinnertime.

Beagle puppy sleeping

Tips for helping puppy get afternoon sleep

  • Don’t let your puppy get overstimulated

As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to overtire your puppy, but you also don’t want to overstimulate them. This is especially true before a nap, otherwise, your puppy will be all hyped up and won’t want to sleep.

Evening puppy schedule

Dinnertime: Feed your puppy dinner, followed by a bathroom trip. If you and your family have dinner around the same time, put your puppy inside their crate with a chew toy or Kong toy. That way, you can enjoy your meal in peace without the worry of your puppy getting into trouble.

 

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.

How to improve your puppy’s sleep

Although a good night’s (and day’s) sleep is important for puppies, not all puppies are overly keen on the idea of cutting a playtime session short to fit in some ZZZs.

 

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.

 

Your puppy’s crate/sleeping area should be warm, comfortable, and inviting to make it feel safe and secure. Puppies are more likely to feel calm and drift off if their bed is cozy and den-like. 

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.

What else does your dog’s sleep reveal about them?

Puppies are known for being big nappers, but sometimes oversleeping can be a sign of something more serious. Observe your puppy after they’ve woken up and examine their behaviour.

 

If they’re eating/drinking normally and being their energetic, playful self, then it’s unlikely to be anything concerning. However, if your puppy appears lethargic, disinterested, is reluctant to eat/drink, or displays any abnormal behaviour and symptoms, take them to see a vet as soon as possible.

 

On a more positive note, did you know that there are meanings behind your dog’s sleeping positions? There are countless dog sleeping positions, but some of the most common ones include the donut, superman, lion’s pose, side sleeper, and cuddle bug!

Is it normal for puppies to sleep a lot?

It’s completely normal for puppies to sleep a lot, so as long as you don’t notice any concerning symptoms or behavior in your pooch, let them nap for as long as they want to. 

 

Adequate sleep is crucial to your puppy’s health and wellbeing and helps with a number of things, including providing energy to their brain and body, balanced appetites, assisting with a healthy immune system, and releasing hormones that benefit growth and development. 

 

So, let sleeping dogs lie!

Does it matter if your pup sleeps when it suits them?

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

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.

Disadvantages of letting your dog share your bed

Both dogs and humans have different sleep cycles, so your quality of sleep could be affected if you let your dog sleep in your bed.

 

Dogs normally have 3 sleep/wake cycles per hour during night-time as they are polyphasic sleepers, while humans are monophasic sleepers, meaning they snooze for a single period of sleep over a 24-hour cycle.

 

As a result, your dog is likely to be up and down during the night, which could wake you up. Additionally, even while dogs are resting, they have a keen ear for sounds and noises and are far easier to wake than humans. If your dog hears something out of the ordinary, they could bark or jump up to investigate.

 

Letting your dog sleep in your bed can also cause issues with separation anxiety, especially if you decide to keep your bed off-limits in the future. There is also a small risk of disease transmission between dogs to humans, as well as territorial issues, particularly in dogs with existing behavioural problems.

Advantages of letting your dog share your bed

Although there are disadvantages to allowing your dog to share your bed, there are also various benefits.

 

Countless studies have shown that owning a dog can improve your physical and mental health, so letting your pooch sleep in bed with you could potentially enhance these advantages by increasing the bond between you and your dog.

 

Secondly, co-sleeping with your dog can offer reassurance as you’ll know your puppy will alert you if something is amiss, eradicating any feelings of worry or anxiety as you sleep.

 

Thirdly, dogs offer companionship and warmth, helping you feel less alone and cozier at night-time. Lastly, who doesn’t want to be greeted by a happy, bouncing dog with the waggiest tail after waking up? Nothing quite beats that!