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When Do Puppies Sleep Through the Night: A Guide for New Puppy Owners

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

when do puppies sleep through the night

Welcoming a new puppy into your home brings joy and a bit of a challenge, especially when it comes to sleep. Many new owners wonder about puppies sleeping through the night: how long do puppies take to sleep through the night, and what can be done to facilitate this?

In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies for getting puppies to sleep through the night, providing tips for nighttime puppy potty training, and discussing techniques to help your puppy sleep soundly. Understanding these aspects can make the transition smoother for both you and your puppy, ensuring that everyone gets a good night’s rest. Join us as we delve into the essentials of creating a comfortable and consistent nighttime routine for your new companion.

Understanding sleep behavior with expert canine behaviorist like Rachel Kinsman in dogs can help us identify when puppies should start sleeping through the night and how dog owners should facilitate more sleep for their puppies to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

It’s vital to note that puppies have smaller bladders and higher metabolism rates than adult dogs, which means they may need to go outside to relieve themselves more frequently. As a general rule, puppies can hold their bladder for one hour for every month of age, plus one. For example, a three-month-old puppy can typically hold their bladder for four hours.

My own mini Bull Terrier Puppy, Arthur, began sleeping through the night around three months old. However, I needed to instill a night time routine where I cut off his water around 6 pm, and allowed to go potty one last time at night around 9 pm. Even so, he still wakes me up every morning at 6 am (which is better than the previous 5 am wake up howls). 

Knowing how much puppies sleep and their sleep pattern can go a long way in preparing you for sleep deprivation before you bring the bundle of joy home. Puppies start to sleeping a full night at different ages, depending on their breed, age, and individual characteristics.

Newborn puppies (zero to two weeks old) spend most of their time sleeping. They have short but multiple sessions of seep throughout the day. At this stage, they will wake up every two hours or so.

Two to four weeks, they begin to sleep for slightly more extended periods without potty breaks, but they still need to be fed and cared for regularly throughout the day. They might start to go for two to three hours between feedings and potty breaks.

Around four to eight weeks of age, puppies can start to sleep for longer stretches at night, with some puppies going four to six hours without needing to wake up for food or potty breaks. By eight to twelve weeks, some puppies can sleep through the night, which is typically considered six to eight hours without interruptions.

Factors Affecting Whether Puppies Can Sleep Through The Night

Cocker Spaniel and ginger kitten sleeping on bed
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Sleep is vital as it influences how your dog responds to their environment. Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation in dogs is associated with stress, aggression, anxiety, and inability to cope with changes in their emotions.

Sleep also plays a significant part in growth and development in both dogs and humans. However, several factors can affect a puppy’s sleep pattern. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common factors that can impact a puppy’s sleep.

1. Age

Newborn puppies spend 90% of their day sleeping. They require more sleep than adult dogs, and their sleep patterns change as they age. Younger puppies may sleep for up to 20 hours per day, while older puppies may sleep for 16-18 hours per day.

However, it is good to note that sleep is influenced by factors like the level of exercise, the amount of food they take, and the comfort of their crates or beds.

2. Breed and Size

Breed and size can also play a role in a puppy’s sleep pattern. Large breeds are approximated to sleep for 16 to 18 hours, 12 hours for medium-sized dogs, and  14 hours for smaller breeds. 

A PubMed study shows that brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short snouts) may be more likely to have sleep apnea. This is because excessive weight puts pressure on the throat, compressing the airway, causing them to stop breathing and snapping out of sleep temporarily.

3. Health

A puppy’s health can also impact their sleep pattern. Illness, injury, or pain can make it difficult for a puppy to sleep for longer periods at night. In some cases, a puppy may sleep a lot without eating, while others with digestive issues may need to go outside more frequently, which can disrupt their sleep.

As puppy owners, it’s essential to be aware of these factors and make adjustments as necessary to ensure our dogs get the rest they need.

4. Diet

Feeding schedules and the type of food can impact a puppy’s sleep. Some diets may lead to your puppy pooping a lot at night, distracting their sleep and yours. Ignoring your puppy calls can lead to constipation, which can lead to unproductive straining and loss of appetite.

5. Exercise

Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to restlessness at night. Puppies need regular play and activity to tire them out.

6. Socialization

Puppies that have not been adequately socialized may be more anxious and can lead to panic attacks, leading to sleep disturbances.

7. Separation Anxiety

Many puppies experience separation anxiety, especially if they were taken away from their mother and litter at an early stage. Gradual training and desensitization to your absence can help ease this anxiety.

8. Sleep Environment

The puppy’s sleeping area should be comfortable, quiet, and free from distractions. Use a comfortable bed, crate, or designated sleeping space. Ensure the pup hasn’t outgrown their sleeping area to avoid waking up at night to find a comfortable position.

9. Stress and Changes

Significant life changes, such as moving to a new home and being around new people, can cause stress and affect a puppy’s sleep. Be patient and provide comfort during these transitions.

A Study by NCBI shows that dogs with positive interactions during the day sleep more soundly than those who experienced negative interactions.

10. Inconsistent Routine

Puppies thrive on routine. Consistent feeding, playtime, and sleep schedules can lead to clarity and disrupt sleep patterns.

11. Teething

Teething is the process of growing and cutting milk teeth. It is painful for puppies and causes discomfort, which may lead to restlessness and nighttime waking, looking for something to chew to alleviate the discomfort.

12. Human-dog co-sharing a bed

When humans and dogs sleep in the same space, it affects the humans’ quality of sleep. The opposite is also considered to be accurate, where humans sharing a space with their dog affects the dog’s sleep.

How do I get my puppy to sleep through the night?

Exercise and Activity

Puppies have a lot of energy, and if they don’t get enough exercise or play time during the day, they may be too wound up to sleep at night. However, avoid too much exercise as it can easily damage their growth plates and joints. Limit their exercise to short walks and multiple short play sessions.

Cut off Food and Water at Night

Another tip is to cut off your puppy’s food and water intake a few hours before bedtime. This will help prevent them from needing to go potty in the middle of the night, which can disrupt their sleep and yours.

Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment

Ensure your puppy has a comfortable sleeping environment. This means providing your puppy with a cozy bed or crate. You may also want to consider using a white noise machine to help drown out any outside noises that may disturb your puppy’s sleep.

Be Consistent

Be consistent with your puppy’s sleeping schedule. Try to establish a routine that you follow every night, such as taking them for a walk, giving them a treat, and then putting them to bed in their crate. This will help your puppy understand that it’s time to sleep, and they will be more likely to settle down and sleep through the night.

Creating a Sleep Routine for Your Puppy

A good sleep routine is essential for your puppy’s growth and development. Setting a consistent bedtime is crucial for your puppy to develop a regular sleep pattern.

Puppies need around 14 to 16 hours of sleep per day, so it’s essential to establish a routine that allows for enough rest. We recommend setting a bedtime that is consistent every night so your puppy knows when it’s time to settle down and sleep.

Dealing with Puppy Sleep Issues

If your puppy is having trouble sleeping through the night, there are a few things you can do to help. Here are some common puppy sleep issues and how to address them:

Positive Reinforcement

When your puppy sleeps through the night or follows the established routine, offer praise and rewards to reinforce good behavior. If you’re using a crate, ensure your puppy associates it with positive experiences. Gradually introduce your puppy to the crate during the day with treats and toys.

Be Patient

Remember that puppies have different sleep patterns than adult dogs. They may need more sleep and have shorter wake periods. Be patient and understanding as your puppy grows and develops. 

Puppies may have a hard time adjusting to a new home. They may miss their littermates and mothers. Gradually transition your puppy to sleeping alone by initially placing the crate or bed near your bed and then moving it further away over time.

Also, consider enrolling in puppy training classes to learn effective training techniques, including those related to sleep and crate training.

Nighttime Anxiety

Puppies can sometimes experience anxiety at night, which can make it difficult for them to sleep. To help ease their anxiety, try the following:

  • Ensure your puppy has a comfortable and safe sleeping area. A cozy crate or bed can help them feel secure.
  • Put toys in their crate to engage them when they are alone.
  • Make time for play and walks to rule out boredom, which can lead to anxiety. You can also decide to buy pheromone products for your dog to help relieve stress and anxiety, as Wayne Huanthausen DVM suggests.
  • Put their crate next to your bed or where they see you and can have access to you if they want to. However, too much dependency can result in separation anxiety.
  • Socialize your pup by allowing them to meet new people and pets as early as now to help them grow into a well-adjusted adult dog.

Excessive Nighttime Activity

Puppies are naturally energetic, but excessive activity at night can disrupt their sleep. To help your puppy settle down at night, try the following:

  • Make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise during the day. A tired puppy is more likely to get a full night’s rest.
  • Establish a bedtime routine that includes calming activities, such as a gentle walk.
  • Avoid stimulating activities, such as rough play or training, right before bedtime.
  • Consider using a crate or playpen to limit your puppy’s movement at night and encourage rest.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

If your puppy is not sleeping through the night despite your best efforts, it may be time to consult a veterinarian. There are a few reasons why your puppy may not be sleeping well, and a veterinarian can help you determine the cause and provide guidance on how to address it.

Some potential reasons for your puppy’s sleep troubles include:

  • Health issues: If your puppy is experiencing any health issues, such as an upset stomach or a urinary tract infection, it may be causing discomfort and preventing them from sleeping well.
  • Anxiety: Puppies can experience anxiety just like humans, and it may be keeping them up at night. Other signs of anxiety in dogs include pacing, drooling, withdrawal from their owner, and may turn aggressive.
  • Training issues: If your puppy is struggling with crate training or other sleep-related training, a professional can guide you on how to adjust your training techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long should a six-month-old puppy sleep at night?

At six months old, a puppy should be able to get a full night’s rest for six to eight hours without needing to go outside to pee. Puppies thrive on routine, and It’s crucial to establish a consistent bedtime habit to help your puppy adjust and feel secure.

How long do puppies sleep at eight weeks?

At eight weeks old, puppies need a lot of sleep – up to 18-20 hours a day! However, they need potty and food breaks throughout the day. As they grow older, they gradually sleep for fewer hours. By the time they are six months old, puppies should be averaging 10 to 14 hours of sleep daily.

When can puppies sleep through the night without peeing?

Most puppies can have an uninterrupted night’s sleep without needing to go outside to pee by the time they are three to four months old. However, this can vary depending on the individual puppy and their training progress. It’s important to continue reinforcing good bathroom habits and providing opportunities for them to go outside as needed.

How long should a five-month-old puppy sleep at night?

At five months old, a puppy should be able to for six to eight hours without needing to go outside to pee. It’s essential to continue providing a consistent bedtime routine and reinforcing good sleep habits.

How long should a puppy sleep in your room?

It’s recommended that puppies sleep in the same room as their owners for the first few months of their life. This can help them feel secure and reduce anxiety. As they grow and become more independent, you can gradually transition them to sleeping in their own space.

Final Thoughts

One of the most important things you can do to help your puppy sleep through the night is to establish a consistent bedtime routine. It’s also essential to make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise during the day. Puppies need a way to use up their energy to avoid unwanted behavior. However, it is recommended not to overexert as it can affect their growth.

Remember, getting your puppy to sleep through the night is a process, and it may take some time and patience. But with a little effort and consistency, you can help your puppy develop healthy sleep habits that will benefit them for years to come. It is also  important to remember that every puppy is different, and there are a lot of factors that can affect their sleep patterns.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.