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How Much Do Puppies Sleep? Complete Guide to Puppy Zzzz’s!

how much do puppies sleep

How much do puppies sleep? Puppies are little bundles of energy that need to run, play, and explore. They also take several naps a day which makes us wonder ‘How much sleep do puppies need?’ and ‘Is my puppy getting adequate sleep?’

We all know sleep is important for kids and the same holds for our furry kids. Optimum sleep in puppyhood can help a puppy grow into a healthy, alert adult dog. Puppies that don’t get enough sleep can be hyper and behaviour problems like puppy biting and jumping up can be a sign that your puppy is overtired.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following topics: 

  • How much do puppies sleep? Why do puppies need to sleep this long?
  • What happens if your puppy does not get adequate sleep?
  • How to ensure your puppy gets adequate rest?
how much sleep do puppies need at 6 months

How much do puppies sleep?

how much do puppies sleep need by age

An adult dog needs at least 16-17 hours of sleep daily. Puppies need more than that. The AKC recommends that puppies should sleep at least 18-20 hours every day. This means that in your puppy’s early days, if it has been awake for an hour, you should put it down in its crate for a nap. Crate training will help your puppy to calm down and go to sleep, this is especially helpful at night time.

Of course, the exact amount of sleep a puppy needs will vary based on the puppy’s age and overall health. When a puppy is going through a growth spurt, it will need a lot of sleep between those growth spurts. So, you should let your puppy sleep when it wants to.

How do you know your puppy is tired and needs a nap? A tired puppy is like a fractious overtired toddler. Of course, your puppy won’t throw a tantrum or scream like a toddler, but it will start nipping at everything.

Put your overtired puppy in its crate, with a tasty stuffed Kong or long-lasting chew and turn off the light. Ensure you practise crate training with your puppy in small sessions throughout the day. Crate training during the day will help your puppy build the life skill of independence, leading them to sleep better during the night. If your puppy is howling and whining take them outside to potty and ensure they aren’t hungry.

Never play with your puppy when you take them out to potty. You don’t want to create a behaviour chain for example; when they cry in their crate, they get to go outside to play with you. You can reassure them when they are crying, by placing your fingers in the crate and speaking to them with a calm, reassuring voice. If all their needs are met, they will stop whining as soon as sleep takes over. Your puppy should be calm and easy-going as soon as it wakes up again.

Why Do Puppies Need So Much Sleep?

how much do puppies sleep at night

18-20 hours of sleep may seem like a lot but puppies need this much sleep to grow and develop. In its waking hours, your puppy is taking in a lot. It is discovering new places and getting to know different humans. It is also burning a lot of energy as it trains and plays. The world is an exciting place for your little fur baby. Adequate sleep of 18 to 20 hours helps your puppy in the following ways:

Promotes A Healthy Appetite

Sleep is linked to hormones that stimulate appetite in your pet. A healthy puppy that gets adequate sleep will also have a healthy appetite which is necessary for growth and development.

Regenerates Cells and Tissues 

Your puppy’s muscles undergo a lot of wear and tear as it bounces around playing and training. Sleep helps promote cell and tissue regrowth and heals your puppy’s body.

Improves Immune Function

Your puppy’s body develops protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies during sleep. This helps it fight off infections and diseases while also reducing the recovery time and speeding up the body’s natural healing.

Improves Your Puppy’s Mood and Cognition

Healthy sleep also elevates your puppy’s mood. It makes it happier and more open to learning new things. It enhances cognition and enables your puppy to absorb new concepts with ease. Sufficient sleep will ensure your puppy training goes smoothly and sets you both up for success.

What Happens If Your Puppy Does Not Get Adequate Sleep?

how much do puppies sleep at 12 weeks

While more research is needed to assess the exact effect of sleep deprivation on a dog’s health and well-being, studies on other species show that lack of sleep can negatively impact a dog’s health, mood, behaviour and the ability to cope with stressors.

There is no doubt that lack of sleep can have a negative impact on a puppy’s health, behaviour, and overall welfare. It can lead to frustration, irritability, and even aggression in the long run.

Where Should Your Puppy Sleep?

Where your puppy sleeps can depend on various factors and should be decided according to individual cases. Here are some general considerations to make when deciding where your puppy sleeps:

  • Dogs are social animals that prefer sleeping in packs. If your puppy has been recently separated from its littermates and dam, you need to habituate it gradually to sleeping alone. In the first few days, provide it with some clothing that has the dam’s smell. The best dog breeders will provide you with a toy or blanket that has the scent of the puppy’s siblings and mother.
  • crate is ideal for sleep training your puppy. You can place the crate in your room by your bed or in another room. Note that owners’ sleep can get disturbed if their dog wakes up frequently at night. So, choose the crate placement wisely. 
  • As part of your potty training schedule, you should also provide your young puppy with a couple of potty breaks at night, at least in its first few weeks. Set an alarm around 1am to take your puppy to a designated potty area to let it relieve its small bladder. Immediately put the puppy back in its crib/bed/crate/playpen and do not play with it. This nighttime potty routine can be eased as the puppy grows. Play with and exercise the puppy in the evening so it gets tired and can sleep at a stretch.

Puppy sleep schedule by age:

how much do puppies sleep at 3 months
Age of puppyHours of sleep per day
8 weeks20 hours per day
10 weeks18-20 hours per day
12 weeks/3 months12-16 hours per day
6 months10-14 hours per day
Foresight Dog Training Puppy Sleep Schedule by Age

How to Ensure Your Puppy Gets Enough Sleep?

Here are some tips to ensure your puppy gets an adequate amount of sleep throughout the day:

Provide it With a Designated Sleeping Area

As mentioned above, a crate or playpen is ideal for puppies to sleep. Cover the crate partially with a cloth to create a cosy den-like atmosphere. Add some toys, chews, treats, and soft bedding or blankets to make it more welcoming.

Make sure that your puppy’s sleeping area is away from direct heating vents, AC ducts, and open doors and windows. The area should be warm but not too warm. Keep it away from direct sunlight and cold-wind draughts.

Establish a Routine

All puppies need a routine to thrive- set fixed times for meals, naps, and play times so your puppy knows what to expect. 

A tired puppy will sleep well at the designated time. So do make sure you exercise and play with it in between nap times. It is a good idea to provide it with ample potty breaks before and after meals and naps.

Do Not Disturb Your Puppy During Its Daytime Naps

how much do puppies sleep at 8 weeks

Should you wake a sleeping puppy? Never! It could startle and scare the puppy! Make sure no one disturbs the puppy during its daytime naps. Your children must also know this. Place its crate/playpen away from noisy places like the TV room and your kids’ play area. If you live in a noisy area with ambient noises, consider playing some white noise or soothing music to mask those sounds.

FAQs – How Much Sleep Do Puppies Need?

How much do puppies sleep at 8 weeks?

8 week old puppies need about 20 hours of sleep per day. Some of this sleep will happen at nighttime and the rest will be broken up into naps throughout the day. 8-week old puppies eat, play and sleep. If puppies don’t get enough sleep they can become overstimulated and grumpy.

How much do puppies sleep at 10 weeks?

10 week old puppies need 18-20 hours of sleep per day.

How much do puppies sleep at 12 weeks?

12 week old puppies need between 12-16 hours of sleep each day.

How much do puppies sleep at 3 months?

3-month-old puppies need 14-16 hours of sleep per day to be happy and healthy. A sleep-deprived puppy will be easily distracted and hyper.

How much do puppies sleep at 6 months?

6 month old puppies need 10-14 hours of sleep each day.

Should I let my puppy sleep all day?

Very young puppies should be allowed to sleep as much as they want to. Healthy young puppies will sleep for at least 18-20 hours a day.

How much does a 5-month-old puppy sleep?

A five-month-old puppy will typically sleep for 12-14 hours a day.

Puppy Training Resources

If your puppy is struggling with sleep training, contact Foresight Dog Training to help prevent behaviour problems from developing.

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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney
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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney

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