There’s no denying the excitement and happiness that comes with welcoming a new puppy into your home. With their cute faces, wagging tails, and seemingly endless energy, it’s easy to forget that puppies are not actually immune to fatigue. Just like human babies, puppies need plenty of sleep to live a fruitful life. And while it may be tempting to have them fetch the ball until they drop, there is such a thing as too much exercise.
In this post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of puppy snooze time. We’ll review how much sleep they need, what happens if they don’t get enough of it, and how you can help them catch those much-needed “Zzz”s.
The lowdown on dogs and sleep
First, let’s get a straightforward answer to the question: How much should my new puppy sleep? The answer may surprise you! Young puppies need a substantial amount of sleep to support their rapid growth and development. In fact, they require about 18-20 hours of sleep per day.
Rest assured, this slumber time is crucial for their well-being and helps set the foundation for a happy, healthy life. Ensuring your puppy gets the right amount of sleep is an important part of responsible pet parenting. As you embark on this journey together, keep a close eye on your pup’s sleeping habits and make any necessary adjustments to promote their overall health.
Another thing to understand about dog sleep is that they also experience Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles, just like humans do. During REM sleep, they may twitch, bark, or even seem to be running in their dreams! So don’t worry if you catch your dog twitching its legs occasionally – they’re most likely dreaming of chasing those cats again.
It’s best to follow your puppy’s natural rhythm when it comes to rest. If you notice that your little fur ball seems drowsy, allow them to take a well-deserved nap. While the temptation might be strong to nudge them for playtime or cuddles, remember how important sleep is for their growth and overall well-being.
What happens if your puppy doesn’t get enough sleep?
A lack of sleep can lead to various issues for your puppy, many of which are comparable to what a sleep-deprived human would experience. Let’s delve into some of the potential side effects that may arise if your pup doesn’t get the rest they need.
That’s right! Just like us, puppies can become irritable and grumpy when they’re not well-rested. Giving them enough time to sleep will help maintain their cheerful disposition and prevent any cranky behavior. If you don’t want your dog to growl and bark for no reason, a nice nap is a good place to start.
You might think that a tired puppy would be calmer, but in reality, a lack of sleep can lead to overstimulation. And that leads to hyperactivity. Tired pups struggle to self-regulate their emotions and may end up bouncing off the walls instead.
Sleep also plays a role in cognitive development. When dogs don’t get enough shut-eye, it can negatively impact their ability to learn and retain new information. A well-rested pup will be more attentive and better equipped for puppy training sessions. Sounds a lot like high school students, doesn’t it?
Weakened immune system
The immune system is a vital part of many living organisms, and puppies are no exception. When they don’t get enough sleep, their bodies become more susceptible to illnesses and infections. The stress dogs feel from sleep deprivation may also contribute to a weakened immune system.
Factors affecting puppy sleep
Now that we know the importance of sleep for our fur babies, let’s discuss some factors that can influence how much a puppy sleeps.
- Breed: Different breeds may have varying sleep needs due to factors such as size and energy levels. For example, larger breeds may require more sleep than smaller ones.
- Age: Younger puppies need more sleep than older ones as they expend more energy during growth spurts.
- Activity Levels: A puppy’s activity levels also affect its sleep needs. More active puppies require more rest to recover from their daily adventures.
- Health: When a dog feels under the weather, it might require more rest to recuperate and regain strength. Monitor your furry friend’s health and consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in their sleep habits.
Tips to help your puppy get enough sleep
While some factors affecting your puppy’s sleep are out of your control, there are steps you can take to create the ideal snoozing environment for your four-legged companion. Here are some tips to help them get the recommended amount of sleep:
Establish a routine
Consistency is key when it comes to helping your puppy establish healthy sleep patterns. Set a regular bedtime and wake-up time, and try to stick to it as closely as possible. This will not only help your dog’s internal clock get in sync but also make it easier for you to predict and plan around their sleep schedule.
Create a comfortable sleep environment for your puppy
A cozy and serene sleeping area can work wonders for your puppy’s sleep quality. Make sure their designated sleep spot is free from distractions and disturbances. Whether in a crate, a dog bed, or a dog house with a comfy blanket. Adding soft toys and a familiar scent, like a piece of your clothing, can also help them feel more secure and relaxed.
Introduce enrichment activities
Enrichment activities allow your puppy to engage their brain and learn new skills. Simple training exercises—such as offering to put on a collar, walking on a leash, or responding to their name— can work wonders to stimulate their minds. At the same time, it helps them burn off some energy. Combining mental and physical stimulation is the perfect recipe for a restful nap afterwards.
Note that even a short, but fun training session is enough to tire out your energetic pup and secure a good night’s sleep. If your puppy already has the basics down, try some other fun, mentally tiring exercises such as the ones in our Foundation for Agility program.
The benefit of OneMind Dogs training
Our online training platform offers a variety of helpful lessons for dog owners. Whether you’re focusing on basic obedience, like chilling out and coming when called, or trying out the super fun and accessible Agility Training (no equipment needed), our courses cater to pups of all skill levels and interests. We can help you and your puppy build a strong connection while they get the mental and physical enrichment they need.
After training, take them out to toilet and then place them in a crate or playpen with a yummy chew. Give them some quiet time in their sleeping area by themselves and see how quickly they settle down and go to sleep. Plus, since our training program exercises are a daily 10-minute endeavor, you’ll be teaching your pup consistency.
What about those “overly energetic” pups?
While puppies need to get enough sleep, it’s also completely natural for well-rested pups to have an abundance of energy. This zest for life is one of the many endearing qualities of young dogs, but it can sometimes become overwhelming for their human companions.
The secret to managing this boundless excitement lies in finding the right balance between rest, play, and mental stimulation. Provide your puppy with a structured routine that includes plenty of sleep, engaging activities, and proper training. You’ll help them channel their high spirits in a positive and productive manner, ultimately creating a more harmonious living environment for all.
Our Agility Foundation program is the perfect solution if you’re looking for an engaging, easy and fun way to do that. Agility training encompasses all the stimulation you need to tire your pup out and get them to sleep and you can do it from home with no fancy equipment needed.
Bottom line on puppy sleep
Ensuring your new puppy gets enough sleep is paramount for its overall health, growth, and development. By implementing the tips mentioned above and taking advantage of the OneMind Dogs Training programs, you can provide the support and guidance your new friend needs to thrive.
So, why not sign up today and start building that magical bond with your pup!
Learn more about puppy training by OneMind Dogs from one of our happy customers: