How Can I Get My Puppy To Sleep
There is no such thing as a full night’s sleep
If you have a young puppy, chances are you haven’t had a full night’s sleep in awhile. Well, that is absolutely normal. It’s just part of being a puppy parent.
Puppies just can’t hold it for the entire night when they are young, so you’re going to have to get up to take them out. There’s no trick to avoid it. But, there are a lot of things you can do to help your puppy get to sleep faster, and stay asleep longer.
Where should my puppy sleep?
The first decision you need to make is where your puppy is going to sleep. And it’s an important decision because once you decide, you should stick to your choice. So, let’s look at the options:
A lot of puppy owners choose to have their puppy sleep in a crate at night. It’s a good way to make sure they are in a confined, safe space while you’re sleeping, especially if you tend to be a heavy sleep, and won’t hear them if they get up.
- You know where they are at all times
- If you choose a crate that is the right size (not so big that they can make a corner the potty area), they are less likely to have an accident before you can come let them out.
- They are not in your bed. If you don’t want a full-sized dog in your bed when they are older, don’t let them in the bed when they are puppies.
- It is a hard adjustment from sleeping with their littermates to sleeping in a cage by themselves, and will most likely cry quite a bit. (If you rescued a puppy, they may be used to a cage)
- They can get hurt trying to escape
- They are not able to bond with their ‘pack’ (you) by sleeping with them.
In Your Bed:
Some puppy owners choose to have their puppies sleep in their beds with them. I have done it with some of my puppies, and it went well, but make sure you’re a light sleeper. If your puppy starts to move around or jumps out of the bed, you want to be up quickly to take them out before they pee.
- Your puppy doesn’t have the shock of going from a litter of puppies to sleep with, to a crate where they sleep alone. Since dogs are pack animals, this can be hard for a puppy to adjust to.
- It is a bonding experience for you and your puppy.
- They warm up the bed for you. 🙂
- You need to have one ear on them all night so you don’t miss them having to go out.
- You will end up with a full-grown dog in your bed for many years to come. (unless you like that, and then it’s a pro!)
- You might wake up to a puddle
In a confined area:
Some people choose to put their puppy in a small room or area that is gated off with a bed, and some pads if they need to go. Although it might buy you some sleep, it will be much harder to housebreak your puppy if they are allowed to pee inside at night.
- Your puppy has a safe space and is confined to one area
- It will take much longer to housebreak your puppy
- You might not hear your puppy if they need to go out causing lots of accidents
- Your puppy might not be near you and be confused about being alone since they are pack animals
How to get your puppy to fall asleep faster:
- Make sure they get lots of exercise
- Take them out to potty right before bed
- Dim lights before bedtime and maybe even play relaxing music
- Make their bed comfy and if they are not in your bed, add a piece of your clothing
- Rub their belly before bed
- If crating, keep the crate near you in the bedroom
- Use a heartbeat toy
- Stick to a schedule where they go to bed at the same time every night
- Don’t react if they whine and cry when they are first going to sleep and you know their bladder is empty. If they whimper or cry in the middle of the night, take them out.
How often should I take my puppy out at night?
No matter where you chose for your puppy to sleep, you’ll need to plan for potty breaks through the night. If they wake you up by crying, or moving around in the bed, you’ll need to jump up and take them out right away. But even if you don’t hear them, you should get up and make sure they are getting potty breaks. A good rule of thumb to figure out how long your puppy can hold it is one hour for every month they are old. So if your puppy is 3 months old, you should be taking them out every 3 hours.
When you take them out, stay quiet and calm and don’t play with them. You want them to stay sleepy so they will fall back to sleep easily.
You learn pretty quickly when you have a puppy that sleeping through the night is not going to happen for a while. I feel like one of the biggest untold secrets about having a puppy is that you have to take them out for nighttime potty breaks until they are about 7 months old (unless they are a larger breed that can hold it sooner). But with these tips, you can create a routine, and get your puppy to sleep easier and for more hours.
Remember they are babies, and they need a lot of care at first. Soon they will grow up and you’ll be missing all of these crazy, exhausting puppy days. So, stick with it, and know it won’t last forever.
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