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How much do puppies sleep?

By Lea Jaratz

dachshund sleeping on rug

Congratulations on your new puppy! If you’ve got a second to read this, it’s probably because your puppy is asleep. Fortunately for those in the throes of housebreaking and puppy-proofing, puppies give us a chance to catch our breath when they snooze. Take this time to recover, hydrate, maybe grab a protein bar – your energetic friend will awake up before you know it.

How long do puppies sleep?

Do puppies sleep a lot? Well, yes. Just like human infants, they tire themselves out trying to understand the great big world they’ve entered. Your puppy will likely sleep on and off for between six to ten hours a night. 

Bonus: Puppies also nap during the day! Expect them to conk out for 30 minutes to two hours, sometimes without warning. If they’ve gotten to play and have a full tummy, you’re about to have some peace and quiet.

When do puppies sleep through the night?

The good news is that puppies are way ahead of human babies when it comes to figuring this out. For the first few weeks after you bring them home, they’ll probably need a potty break in the middle of the night but should outgrow this by about four months old.

What are weird things puppies do in their sleep?

  • Sleeping on their back. This is normal and perfectly safe. They’re feeling comfortable and relaxed and like to spread out however they feel best. It’s possible they like the feeling of the cool air on their soft, bare belly. No need to move them.
  • Twitching or shaking in their sleep. Also totally fine. Most adult dogs still shake, whimper, cry, or twitch in their sleep. Puppies still have a number of newborn reflexes that account for some of these funny movements, but jerking and wiggling in their sleep is just a sign that they’re dreaming.
  • Breathing fast in their sleep. Totally scary, but totally normal. Puppies breathe at a much faster rate than adult dogs, especially when they’re asleep. If everything else seems normal, don’t worry about this. Increased respiratory rate is possibly due to heat or stress but is much more likely due to REM stage sleep.
  • Falling asleep while playing. Puppies eat, play, and sleep. Sometimes there just isn’t much of a transition. If your puppy dozes off in the middle of chewing on their new toy or chasing a ball, they’ve just hit their limit for fun.

How to get a Puppy to Sleep Through the Night

It can be hard on your puppy’s first night since it may be their first time away from their mom or in a new home. If your puppy is crying at night, there are ways you can comfort them.

  • Exercise before bedtime. Plenty of high energy play before bedtime might be enough to make them too tired to feel anxious. Stick to a scheduled bedtime, take them to a quiet place to rest, and let them fall asleep on their own.
  • Provide safe comfort items. Until they’ve gotten over the chewing phase don’t let them sleep with a bed or blanket. Sturdy, chew-proof puppy toys can give them something to do when they’re feeling anxious until they fall asleep.
  • Play tv, music, or have white noise. A white noise app with a “heartbeat” sound is my favorite way to help a puppy self-soothe. Talk radio or a quiet tv show may help your puppy feel like someone is in the room.
  • Move their bed or crate to your room. Letting them be close, (but not in the bed) might help them feel more secure. If they can smell you, or perhaps smell an article of your clothing nearby, it might help them to settle down in their crate.

Wait, is that the sound of the puppy waking up? Good luck!

For more about helping your puppy sleep and how to take care of a puppy, check out our blog.

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