Being a puppy parent is hard work. When should I start potty training? What puppy food is the best, and how much do puppies sleep? Learning all this can be stressful, but we can all agree that it’s worth it!

Newborn puppies spend 22 hours a day sleeping. I wish I had this much free time.

Sleeping is important for doggies’ health. While they sleep, their brains regenerate, their bodies grow, and the immune systems develop. That’s why a puppy needs up to 18 hours of sleep daily after its newborn stage passes.

Keeping a sleeping schedule and providing your puppy with enough exercise and nutritional food will help you raise a healthy and energetic puppy. 

But there’s more to a puppy’s sleeping routine than that, so let’s explore:

Puppy Development

When puppies are born, they’re entirely dependent on their mommies. They’re blind, deaf, and almost unable to move.

During the first few weeks of their lives, puppies spend more than 22 hours a day sleeping. This amount of sleep is crucial as it helps the doggies grow and fully develop their senses.

How Do Sleep Routines Differ Between Dogs and Humans?

We love our Zzz as much as our dog best friends do. But dogs spend a lot more time sleeping than us.

So do puppies sleep a lot?

Depending on their age, dogs spend around 12–14 hours a day sleeping. When they’re little, sleep time takes them even longer — up to 22 hours a day.

While the human sleep cycle lasts around an hour and a half, a doggy can only sleep 45 minutes at a time and would go through two sleep cycles in this time.

Another difference between human and dog sleeping routines is that dogs are polyphasic sleepers. This means that they get their sleeping hours by napping throughout the day, while humans are monophasic and only sleep at night. 

Do Puppies Sleep Through the Night?

Puppies up to two months old need to go to the toilet pretty often. They can’t control their bladders or bowels, so they need frequent potty breaks even at night.

Older puppies, which already have some control over their toilet needs, can go through the night without a problem.

How Many Hours a Day Do Puppies Sleep?

Depending on their age, puppies sleep 14–22 hours a day. Younger puppies need more sleep as their bodies are growing rapidly. They’re still developing their sight, hearing, and smell, and they need to learn to walk and run.

Older pups would sleep around 14 hours a day, depending on their activity level. Large breed puppies tend to sleep more, as they become tired more quickly.

three sleeping puppies - The time a puppy would spend sleeping largely depends on its age.

How Long Do Puppies Sleep?

The time a puppy would spend sleeping largely depends on its age. But its activity level, diet, and breed also have an impact.

How Much Do 8 Week Old Puppies Sleep?

During the critical age of 8–16 weeks, puppies pick up every rewarded behavior and start learning how to be a real dog (instead of a cuddly plush).

In this stage, a pup would sleep 18–20 hours a day. It might sound a lot, yet small puppies don’t have enough energy to keep them up all day. They would wake up, eat, go to the toilet, play for 15–20 minutes and sleep again.

But when they’re awake, they’ll make sure to turn your house around, especially if you haven’t learned how to potty train your puppy.

How Much Do Puppies Sleep at 16 Weeks?

Around the fourth month, puppies usually start sleeping at night without the need to eliminate every few hours. But they’ll still need to spend most of their day sleeping. 

How Much Do Puppies Sleep at 6 Months?

At half a year, puppies still need plenty of sleep. 16–18 hours a day is an average amount of sleep for such a young dog. During these months, the puppy is learning all the time and growing rapidly. 

They’re also full of energy, but that doesn’t last long. Puppies would run, play, and jump around in one moment, and in the next, they’ll be snoring peacefully in their beds.

How Much Do Puppies Sleep During the Day?

Young puppies typically nap every hour, from 30 minutes up to two hours. It might sound excessive, but puppies need that to grow. Just think about human babies. They also spend most of their days sleeping when they’re little.

When the newborn stage is over, doggies start napping less often until they reach four to five hours of daytime napping. 

How to Get a Puppy to Sleep Through the Night

Crate training a puppy is one of the best methods for housebreaking your new pet. It’s also an awesome way to implement a sleeping schedule as it provides a dark, safe, and comfortable space.

But what are some other ways to improve your puppy’s nighttime sleep

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Here’s one of the most common questions every new puppy parent wonders:

Where should your puppy sleep at nighttime? It’s best if your pup remains close to you.

At the beginning of their lives, puppies need frequent potty breaks. So having their crate or bed near you would be a bonus, because you’ll be able to hear them call when they need a break.

Being close to you will also make your puppy less afraid of the new environment. Don’t forget that just a couple of days ago, Cookie was surrounded by her mommy, brothers, and sisters all the time. Now, you’re the only one she has.

Your pup’s sleeping place should be dark and distraction-free. Playing some music can be soothing, but don’t go too loud — your puppy needs its rest.

Adjust for Routine Changes

Wondering how much sleep do puppies need to grow healthy and energetic? Figuring out your doggy’s particular sleep needs will take some time.

Observe your pooch closely, and write down how often it falls asleep during the day. It’s best to also record how much your pup sleeps, so you’ll know what to expect in the future.

For example, if you’re going trekking with your puppy, you could predict when your pet needs some rest. Beware that new experiences tire puppies more quickly and adjust the routine from there.

Keeping a sleep diary will also help you spot any concerning dysregulations in your puppy’s sleep patterns.

Manage Hydration

A puppy sleeping can be affected by the amount of water it drinks before bed. As pups need to go to the toilet every two hours, you should consider taking them out to pee before you put them to bed. That’s how your pup could keep the much-needed zzz’s uninterrupted by its tiny bladder. 

Have Patience

Puppies wake up pretty often throughout the night. They might need to go to the toilet, they might feel alone, or maybe they’re simply still adjusting to the new home. Be patient with your new puppy. As time passes, it’ll start sleeping longer.

Nutrition for Better Sleep

Nutrition is immensely important for proper puppy development. Food provides energy for your doggy’s growing body — it strengthens the bones and helps with concentration and command-learning. Also, proper nutrition will allow your doggy to spend more time playing, resulting in better sleep at night.

So how much do puppies sleep? It depends on the puppy’s nutrition. Big dogs get tired more quickly, and high-quality large puppy dog food would provide them with the needed energy to run and play happily.

Always look at the dog food label. The first ingredient should always be meat protein. Also, try to avoid filler ingredients, such as rice and grains, as puppies don’t need these.

german shepherd puppy sleeping -Teething also affects your puppy’s sleep.

Puppy Teething and Nipping

Teething also affects your puppy’s sleep. Like human babies, puppies experience pain as their permanent teeth grow and their milk ones fall out.

So they want to chew on everything to decrease the pain and gum itching. And when I say everything, I mean everything — doors, shoes, clothes, tables — the list is endless. Not only can it ruin your home, but it’s also dangerous for your puppy.

How do you deal with this horror? 

  • Get your hands on the best dental chews for dogs on the market.
  • Take your puppy to the pet shop so it can choose a chewy toy.
  • Consider giving CBD oil to your pup to decrease the teething pain.

Why Is My Puppy Sleeping so Much?

It’s essential for a young doggy’s development. Sleep aids the brain in clearing waste material, modulates the immune system and allows for a well-deserved rest after an active training session.

When they’re small, puppies learn all the time. That’s why puppyhood is the best time to start training your dog on some of the basic commands like “Sit,” “Potty,” and “Stay still.” Remember that your pup needs to rest so it can learn all that quickly.

When Puppies Don’t Sleep Enough

If your puppy doesn’t sleep enough, it might become cranky and sluggish. Its immune system will stop being as effective, and your pet might fall ill more easily. Sleep-deprived puppies also tend to develop unwanted behaviors such as biting and barking when disturbed.

A tired puppy that can’t get enough sleep throughout the day might become restless and unable to sleep at night.

Provide a safe and comfortable space for your puppy to rest as much as it needs. Don’t disturb it while sleeping, and make sure other pets or children don’t, too. 

Sleeping Schedule

Still not sure how much do puppies sleep normally? You might find the schedule below helpful. You can use it as a guide to create one for your puppy’s personal needs.  

Morning Puppy Schedule

In the morning, it’s crucial to take your puppy out to the toilet. After your pup finishes its business, you can stay out and play with it for 15 minutes, or you can head back home and play inside.

After that, feed your puppy and take it to the toilet again. Then, it’s time for the first daily nap

Puppies form sleep habits early in life, so make sure you stick to a routine.

When your doggy wakes up, repeat the steps, but instead of a meal, add some more playtime or command training. Then, off to bed.

Afternoon Puppy Schedule

In the afternoon, take your puppy to the toilet and go for a longer walk. When you come home, give your furball some lunch. Allow 30 minutes for your pup to process the food and take it to the toilet. Then, it’s nap time.

After a long walk, your puppy might spend more time resting and regaining its energy. Don’t pet it or take pictures of its cute fluffy face — just let it sleep.

Evening Puppy Schedule

A puppy would nap at least five times a day while it’s little. So we advise a little nap in the late afternoon.

In the evening, it’s not important what time you put your puppy to sleep. Just make sure you tire it out before that with playing, command training, or a walk. Also, try to evenly space your pup’s naps throughout the day.

It’s a good idea to set up a few nighttime alarms to take Pooch to the bathroom. 

Is My Puppy Sleeping Too Much?

The easiest way to check if your dog’s sleeping too much is by analyzing its behavior. If Fluffy is energetic and happy, finishes his food, and responds well to training, then he’s most probably fine.

In contrast, if he’s moody and seems overly tired even after he’s spent an entire day napping on the couch, you might want to call your vet. A lot of sleep isn’t always a positive thing. Your puppy might be suffering from a health condition.

three puppies sleeping in a cardboard box

Can Dogs Have Sleep Disorders?

Puppies’ sleeping disorders aren’t common, which is a relief. But they do exist.

Insomnia

Insomnia is quite rare in dogs and usually a symptom of another issue. Painful arthritis in older dogs, itchy flea or tick bites, and kidney diseases, causing frequent toilet breaks can all lead to your doggy’s insomnia.

Visit the vet if you notice your puppy appears tired and sleepy during the day.

Sleep Apnea

It’s a condition that disturbs the puppy nap, causing your pet to wake up frequently, unable to breathe. Even though it’s relatively rare in dogs, obese and short snout pups, like pugs, are predisposed to sleep apnea.

It’s a frightening condition that can be life-threatening, so contact your vet if you notice your puppy struggling to take a breath during sleep.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD)

This Alzheimer’s-like dog condition isn’t considered a sleeping disorder. But it usually prevents your elder doggy from falling asleep, and your pet becomes tired and cranky over time.

If your old furry friend is pacing around the house at night, distressed and whining, visit the vet.

When to See a Vet

A young puppy would sleep at somewhat regular intervals throughout the day. If your doggy is regularly undersleeping, it might develop health problems due to the weakening of the immune system. 

So when should you call your vet?

Activity Level

Puppies usually sleep a lot, and when they’re awake, they should be energetic and playful. A sudden drop in your pup’s activity might indicate that something’s going on.

It’s always worth talking to a vet if you’re worried that your puppy isn’t getting enough sleep. 

Personality

A sudden change in a puppy’s sleeping habits can result in altered behavior

Sleep is essential for proper brain functioning, as well as general well-being. Just like us, puppies get cranky and reactive when they can’t get their much-needed zzz’s. Over time, undersleeping can make dogs aggressive and antisocial.

If your puppy is suddenly acting differently than its usual cheerful self, call your vet. It might be a symptom of a more severe issue.

Appetite

Puppies adore food, which is why we use edible treats for training. Food is the easiest instrument to make a dog listen to you. 

If your puppy’s sleep has been compromised, it might eat less. A lack of appetite, especially in young pups, can also be a warning sign for more serious issues than just undersleeping, so call the vet and ask for advice.

Over-Excitement

Puppies are generally easy to entertain — show them a new plushy, and they’ll be over the moon with excitement.

But everything has its limits.

When the puppy’s sleep schedule is jeopardized, your pet might become over-excitable to the point of jumping at every little sound. If that’s the case, call the vet.

Conclusion

Puppies sleep 18–22 hours a day when they’re little. It sounds like a lot, but they need their naps to grow and stay healthy. How much a puppy sleeps depends on factors like its age, breed, diet, and activity level.

To make sure your puppy takes its much-needed naps throughout the day, create a sleeping schedule and follow it strictly. Adjust the schedule as your pet grows to allow for more playtime and socializing. Exercising your pup and providing it with high-quality food can also improve its sleep.

So how much do puppies sleep? 

There’s no universal answer. The best thing you can do is supervise your doggy constantly. You’ll know if your pet needs more sleep when it becomes moody.

I know it’s a challenge, but be patient and enjoy the process. After all, puppies grow incredibly fast.

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Avatar for Meg Petrova
Miglena loves spending time with friends and talking about science over a glass of wine. Born and raised in a small town, she’s always been surrounded by animals. Cats, dogs, chickens, cows, and goats have all been her companions from an early age. Her passion for the animal kingdom became even stronger after she went to study microbiology in Scotland. Miglena’s love for writing, combined with her curiosity, makes her a valuable member of the pawsome advice team.