How much sleep is normal for a puppy?

6th February 2022

Having a new puppy in the house is a bit like having a newborn baby, and most new pet parents are familiar with those first few sleepless nights! If you’ve not been a puppy parent before, it is common to be woken up in the night by your pup whining or crying out during the night, or just being restless as they often wake a few times throughout the night. Many new pup parents also worry about whether their pet is getting enough sleep or too much sleep. It’s normal as a new parent to worry about whether you’re doing things right, and whilst every pup is different, it’s completely normal for them to be a whirlwind of fun and energy one minute and curled up dreaming peacefully the next!

How many hours does a puppy sleep?

Puppies need around 15-20 hours of sleep every day. That might sound like a lot of rest time, but your puppy is constantly growing, learning, and exploring the world, and that uses up a lot of energy. Lots of important things are going on in your pup’s little body while they are sleeping, and the right amount of rest is essential to ensure that they grow up happy and healthy.

When will my puppy sleep through the night?

The first few nights when you bring home a new puppy can often be tricky and restless. Your new pup  has always been used to the comfort of their mum and brothers and sisters around them, and now they are settling into their new surroundings. So it’s natural for it to take some time to settle down in their new surroundings.

Every puppy is slightly different, and whilst some will sleep through the night within days or weeks, for some pups it takes up to four months for them to regularly sleep through the night. 

Puppy sleep training tips

There are a few things you can do as a new pet parent to make sure that your pup’s sleep schedule is on track, and puppy sleep training is the best way to ensure that everyone gets all the rest they need! 

Routine 

Puppies love and need routine, and they quickly learn when it’s time to play or when it’s time to nap. Sticking to the same schedule when it comes to meals, play, and rest will help to establish a regular routine and bedtime. It will also help your pup while they are house-training! For example, a good routine might be to go to the toilet first thing in the morning, followed by a breakfast and walk, then a nap or rest time. Every pup is different, and will have different energy levels throughout the day, but most pups will enjoy another exercise/play session in the afternoon followed by a trip to the toilet and another nap before their next meal. Play or exercise before rest time will help to wear your pup out ready for sleep.

Bedtime 

You want your pup to go to sleep at the same time as you do to ensure that you and your pup are getting a good rest and on the same routine. So creating the right environment is important – turning out the lights, and turning off anything that produces a sound will help your pup to understand that it is bedtime. Take care not to allow your puppy to sleep too much during the day, as it might mean he stays awake during the night! Young puppies will sleep more throughout the day as they need more rest and reset time, but as they grow they will do less of this. 

Finding the right balance of rest and play can be difficult but you and your pup will soon establish a routine. Playtime followed by a toilet trip can be a good idea before bedtime to make sure they are ready to sleep through the night!

Crate training 

A lot of new pet parents ask the question – where should my puppy sleep? It’s important that your pup sleeps somewhere safe, where they can’t wander off. A crate is the safest place for your puppy, and it should be kept in a separate, quiet part of the house, away from where you sleep. Their area should contain a cosy bed, somewhere to go to the toilet, water, and a few toys. If you put your pup in their crate when it is time to sleep, and leave them undisturbed, they will quickly understand that this is their safe place to rest not just during the day, but at night too.

Conclusion

Your new puppy will be growing, learning, and exploring each and every day so it’s important that they also get all the rest they need to recover, develop, and grow. New pet parents often worry about their pup’s sleeping habits, but hopefully, through a good routine, and understanding how much rest is normal, both you and your new puppy will sleep well! Puppies need an average of 15-20 hours of sleep a day, but every dog is different and has slightly different needs according to their age and breed. You will soon get to know your pup’s sleeping patterns as they will actively choose to rest when they need it, but if you are concerned that your pup is excessively sleepy, then speak to your vet for advice.