Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting experience, but that experience can become frustrating when you can’t get your pup to sleep through the night. The truth is that puppies are a lot like babies in that they need to be fed, cuddled, and played with regularly.
But don’t expect your puppy to naturally go to sleep in their bed in the evening and then stay there until the sun rises. You will likely hear some whining and crying during the night, especially when the puppy’s needs aren’t met.
With a little practice and patience, your puppy is sure to be comfortable sleeping through the night in no time. You’ll need to commit to the process of putting your pup down to bed for the night – and you’ll need a few tips and tricks to rely on that will help make the process easier overall. Here are a few simple ideas you can use to help ensure that your new puppy sleep starts sleeping through the night, so you don’t have to sacrifice your own sleep.
1. Set the Scene
Setting the scene is an effective way to make it clear to your puppy that it’s time to go to bed for the night. This will help set its expectations and get it comfortable so it can start falling asleep with ease. To set the scene for your puppy, turn the lights down low in the room that it’s sleeping in. Consider putting your pooch in a kennel so it doesn’t have free reign of the room and it’ll be less likely to become active in the middle of the night.
You can put a soft bed in the kennel (we recommend this self-warming nuzzle bed) to provide your puppy like it would enjoy when still with its mother. You may even want to play some soothing music that will help drown out other noises that your family is making throughout the house. You could even place a light blanket over the kennel to warm things up and minimize sight stimulation so your pooch can more easily relax.
Chewing helps calm dogs down as well. And chewing can help relieve the pain of teething, which is something all puppies go through. By providing your puppy with a safe and natural chew treat to work on when it goes to bed, the pup will relieve tension until sleep comes. The chew treat will give your pooch something to do if it wakes up in the middle of the night while you’re still sleeping. Try an option such as the Nylabone Healthy Edibles Puppy chew treats.
2. Make Potty Breaks a Priority
A puppy can’t usually hold its pee all night long. In fact, many puppies find themselves in need of a poop break in the middle of the night – occasionally, at least. You can cut down on midnight bathroom breaks by making sure that your puppy has plenty of opportunities to go outside before bedtime. Try not to rush your pup when taking them out for their last bathroom break of the day so they don’t end up having to hold it until they have to wake you up in the middle of the night.
Give the dog several minutes to sniff around bushes and spend time in the grass before putting it to bed, and chances are that another bathroom break won’t be needed until first thing in the morning. Younger pups may need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night even if they do get a long pee break before bed. But as the dog age, it will be able to hold their pee and poop until you get up and are ready to it outside.
3. Take Time to Exercise
A well-exercised puppy will be much more likely to sleep through the night than one that is full of energy. Puppies tend to sleep for about 18-20 hours every day, so sleeping through the night isn’t too much to ask.
Therefore, before taking your pup to bed it’s a good idea to take time for a walk around the block or play a game of fetch in the yard. The exercise will get rid of any pent-up energy that is left over from the day and help ensure that your puppy gets a deep, good night’s sleep with little interruption.
Sleep is extremely important for puppies because it helps them make sense of their experiences throughout the day. Sleep is also necessary for the proper growth of a puppy. Taking time for exercise is the perfect prescription for puppies that haven’t had a chance to get a lot of exercise during the day.
4. Invest in Some Ear Plugs
Even if your puppy has used the bathroom and has been exercised well before bedtime, it may try to be freed of its kennel or sleeping space by whining and crying out in the middle of the night. If you know that it’s been less than three or four hours since the last bathroom break, chances are that your pup is just trying to goad you into getting up and playing. Don’t take the bait!
You should ignore the whining and crying until your puppy settles back down and falls to sleep again. If you can’t handle the noise, put a pair of earplugs in. You’ll still hear the pup if they become distressed. But you’ll better be able to sleep through the noise, so you aren’t exhausted in the morning. As your puppy realizes that you won’t let it out just because it is making a fuss, you can expect quiet nights and a happier, more rested pooch in the morning.
These surefire tips should help you power through the nights you share with your puppy as it ages. We’d love to hear about any tips or tricks that work for you! Feel free to share your experiences in the comment sections below.
Featured Image Credit: JACLOU-DL, Pixabay