A consistent sleep schedule is so important for puppies. It plays a huge role in their overall development and well-being.
Just like us humans, puppies need a regular routine to establish healthy sleep patterns. When they have a consistent sleep schedule, it helps regulate their internal clocks, making it easier for them to be trained to fall asleep and stay asleep.
This means they’ll be well-rested and ready to take on the day. Puppies that are well rested tend to be more calm, receptive to training, and less likely to exhibit destructive or hyperactive behaviours.
It’s definitely something worth keeping in mind as you raise your new puppy.
Preparing for bedtime
Establishing a bedtime routine
A well-rounded bedtime routine for puppies starts by creating a consistent schedule for feeding, exercise, and potty training.
For a few hours before bedtime, take your puppy out for a final potty break and then engage in some quiet playtime or training exercise.
Once your puppy is tired, give them their dinner. After dinner, take your puppy outside and give them a few minutes to sniff around and do their business. Praise them and give them a treat if they successfully go potty.
Let them relax then and settle in their designated sleep area.
As a final step, establish a bedtime routine such as reading a story or giving a belly rub to signal your pup that it's time for sleep.
This routine will help your puppy understand when it’s time to wind down and prepare for bed.
Training and consistency
Bringing your new pup home the first time might keep you up all night because of their curious noses sniffing all around your space.
Training your pup with a bedtime routine will help them adjust to their new surroundings and make it easier for you to predict and manage their behaviour.
Here are a few tips to be consistent with your puppy’s bedtime routine:
1. Set a consistent time for bed.
Just like with children, puppies thrive on routine and predictability. Try to put your puppy to bed at the same time every night, and make sure they have plenty of time to play and expend energy before bed.
2. Give them a potty break before bed.
Make sure your puppy has the opportunity to go outside and relieve themselves before bedtime. This will help prevent any accidents during the night.
3. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend in their sleeping area.
You can start by placing their bed or crate in a room where you spend the most time, such as the living room or family room.
Allow them to sleep there for short periods of time, such as a few minutes and gradually increase the amount of time as they become more comfortable.
4. Use positive reinforcement to reward your puppy.
Positive reinforcements such as praises or treats are also helpful in encouraging them to stay in their sleeping areas for longer periods of time.
Also make sure that their sleeping area is comfortable and has everything they need like cosy beds and blankets, toys, and fresh water.
5. Don’t give in to whining or crying.
It can be hard to listen to your puppy cry at night, but giving in to their cries will only reinforce the behaviour.
Instead, wait a few minutes before going to check on them to see if they settle down on their own.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to training your puppy to sleep through the night. Stick to a routine and be patient, and soon your pooch will be sleeping soundly!
Managing Night Time Wake-ups
Handle night time wake ups calmly and without punishment.
When your puppy wakes up at night, remain calm and not react with punishment. This means not scolding or yelling at them, as this can only aggravate the situation and make them more nervous and anxious.
Instead, try to understand that this is a normal behaviour for puppies as they are still adjusting to their new environment and may be experiencing separation anxiety.
One way to handle night time wake ups is to simply get up and take your puppy outside to go potty. This will give the opportunity for your pup to relieve itself and a chance to get some exercise and burn off some energy.
After your puppy has gone potty, bring it back inside and place it back in its crate or sleeping area.
If your puppy continues to wake up during the night, it may be helpful to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviourist for additional guidance and support.
Use gentle techniques to bring them back to sleep.
Soothing words and gentle petting are known to calm puppies down when they are anxious. This can be done by speaking in a soft, reassuring tone and gently stroking their fur. It encourages your puppy to relax and feel safe in your proximity.
Another technique that can be used to help puppies settle down is guiding them back to their sleeping area. Gently pick up your puppy and carry them to their bed or crate. A calm and firm tone establishes a sense of safety and security for your pup.
Also, providing them with a favourite plush toy or blanket to cuddle with helps them to relax and settle for the night.
Underlying medical or behavioural issues disrupting your puppies’ sleep
One potential underlying medical issue that may be disrupting your puppies’ sleep is a condition named sleep apnea.
This is a condition where the puppy experiences periods of interrupted breathing during sleep, which can cause them to wake up frequently and struggle to get back to sleep.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea in puppies include loud snoring, choking or gasping sounds during sleep, and restlessness or tossing and turning.
Your puppy can also suffer from isolation distress. Like all dogs, puppies are social animals and thrive on being with their pack (their human family).
When left alone, they may experience distress that can manifest in a lot of ways, including difficulty sleeping.
Your puppy may whine, bark, howl, or pace when left alone, and may even become destructive with your furniture.
Consult a veterinarian or professional trainer if necessary
Consulting a veterinarian is essential for puppies as they need regular checkups and vaccinations to ensure they are healthy and protected from diseases.
A veterinarian can also give guidance on proper nutrition, weight management, and behaviour issues that may arise during the puppy’s development. Regular visits to the veterinarian will help ensure that your puppy grows into a healthy adult dog.
Working with a professional trainer is also important for puppies as they need to learn basic obedience commands and socialisation skills. A professional trainer can teach your puppy how to respond to commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel.
They can also help your puppy interact with other dogs and humans appropriately, as well as specific behavioural issues like aggression or excessive barking.
With the help of a professional trainer, your puppy will become a well-trained and well-behaved companion.
Getting your puppy to sleep through the night may take some time and patience.
A consistent routine and comfortable sleeping area for your pup is always a great idea for helping them settle down. Training your puppy to sleep in their designated area and using positive reinforcements encourage them too.
Remember to be patient and don’t give up, as it may take a few weeks for your puppy to fully adjust to sleeping through the night.
With a little effort and consistency, you’ll have a well-rested and happy puppy in no time!