Puppies are just baby dogs and demand the treatment as a newborn baby. Your puppy has not conquered all developmental milestones, like toilet training, obedience and that nighttime means bedtime. Below are tips on how to make a puppy sleep through the night.
As funny as it may sound, bringing a new puppy home is much like adding a new baby to the family.
Teaching your puppy to sleep through the night without crying, even if it’s awake is important. If it constantly whimpers, it will affect your whole lifestyle, making it difficult for you to function during the day.
Sure, it isn’t an easy process — just imagine a toddler who can’t sleep at night. In the same way, puppies don’t like being left alone, or they may not feel sleepy, and instead may feel like playing at night.
Read also: How to Socialize a Puppy – And Why!
It’s an adjustment period, plain and simple
Tips on How to Make a Puppy Sleep Through the Night
First of all, it’s important to understand the issue at hand:
When puppies reach the age of eight weeks, that’s when they begin to understand the day and night routines of the family.
At around twelve weeks, puppies can pretty much sleep through the night. But, since this is the age that puppies are often rehomed, it can cause a disruption in the integration of the routine.
That means that you probably won’t be able to start teaching your puppy to sleep through the night until they feel safe and settled in your home.
Do Food and Drink Times Affect a Puppy’s Sleep Routine?
The feeding and water schedule plays a big role in your puppy’s sleep routine.
- Make sure to provide the day’s last meal around three hours before your designated bedtime for proper digestion and a toilet break.
- If you feed your puppy closer to bedtime, you are setting yourself up for a middle of the night bathroom trip.
- Along the same lines, try to teach your puppy to drink water a couple of hours before it’s time to sleep, so they can pee beforehand and avoid going to bed thirsty.
Bathroom Before Bed
Have your dog to go to the bathroom directly before bedtime each day for these reasons:
- This will increase the likelihood that your puppy will sleep through the night sooner.
- At the same time, it will also begin to create the association between bedtime and the last bathroom break of the day.
- After a bit of time, your puppy will understand that the nighttime toilet run is their last chance until morning.
Never miss a day of taking your puppy out before bedtime. Even if they don’t go to the bathroom, they will still understand that this is their last toilet visit of the day.
Tire Your Puppy Out for Sleepiness
A puppy bouncing off the walls with energy right before bedtime usually means that the chances of it sleeping through the night are slim.
Try these tips to tire your puppy:
- Be proactive and plan a good playtime session before bedtime.
- Use the couple of hours leading up to sleep to take your puppy for a walk, play games, or simply keep them active.
- The closer you get to bedtime, the calmer your interactions with your puppy should be.
Allowing your puppy to blow off their own steam will help them simmer down for the night and transition to sleep naturally.
For your puppy to sleep through the night, it’s vital to make its sleep area attractive. It should be:
- Positively reinforced
- Never a place of punishment
Use a hot water bottle to provide your puppy with warmth and to give it the sense that its mother is there, which could stop its whining and whimpering.
Your puppy’s bed should never be used as punishment when they don’t behave. Otherwise, it will create a negative association with the space. This would lead the puppy to believe that bedtime (and the many hours of sleeping alone) is a punishment.
Instead, it should be a place that your puppy gravitates to on its own.
Also, try putting something that smells like you, such as a shirt or sheet, in your puppy’s sleeping space for extra comfort. You may find that your puppy also appreciates having the radio playing softly for a couple of hours leading up to bedtime.
Address Your Puppy’s Crying and Whining
The first week or two with your puppy may include crying and whining when bedtime rolls around. This is completely normal. It is simply adjusting to the feeling of learning to sleep alone.
Consider how a puppy sleeps in its natural world — with the safety of its mother and the warmth and companionship of its siblings.
A bit of crying or whining is expected. But, if your puppy begins engaging in continuous and loud crying at bedtime, it’s something you’ll want to address right away to avoid creating a lifelong pattern.
If your puppy starts crying as soon as you put them to bed, wait a few minutes to give them the chance to calm down on their own.
If its crying and whining does not stop, use a firm ‘No’ command to show that these behaviors are not accepted at bedtime.
Avoid spending too much time reacting to crying (this rewards the behavior with attention, no matter if it is positive or negative). This will only teach your puppy that crying gets them what they want!
The important thing to understand when learning how to make your puppy sleep through the night is that it’s all about YOUR ACTIONS and REACTIONS. You must be patient and act accordingly.
- 5 Things You May Not Know about Boxer Dogs – Boxer Dogs in Real Life
- 11 of the Best Small Dogs for First-Time Dog Owners
- Puppy Nipping and How to Stop It Fast and Effectively