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21 Apr Is my puppy sleeping too much?

Ever wondered if your puppy is sleeping too much? The answer, in most cases, is probably not. Puppies tend to sleep from 18-20 hours per day on average and variations from these limits are not unusual.

Just like human babies, as your puppy gets older they’ll gradually need less sleep with adult dogs sleeping for 14 hours per day on average.

Read on to find out the signs your puppy is getting the right amount of sleep, the science behind puppy sleep and how to create a sleep schedule.

Signs your puppy is sleeping too much

The best way to tell whether your puppy is getting the right amount of sleep is to observe how they are when they are awake. 

If they’re bouncy, bright and playful during their waking hours, they are most likely fine. 

However, if they are lethargic or disengaged during their waking hours, it may be time to seek advice from your vet.

If you need to monitor your puppy’s activity and sleep, PitPat can help. Using our dog activity monitor you can see how much time they have spent playing, walking, running and pottering, and see how much rest they are getting, indicating time spent asleep.

The science of puppy sleep

Sleep is crucial to your puppy’s development. At this age, they are growing incredibly quickly, experiencing new sounds, sights and smells and playing constantly during their waking hours. They need sleep to help them recoup their energy, process the new things they are seeing and learning, and more.

Whilst the many benefits and purposes of sleep are still being researched, it’s believed that sleep:

  • Provides energy to brain and body
  • Contributes to a healthy immune system
  • Balances appetites
  • Releases hormones, including hormones essential to growth and development

All this is as true for you and it is for your puppy and just as human children need more sleep than their parents, so do puppies need more than adult dogs.

Creating sleep schedules for your puppy

The best way to ensure your puppy gets the right amount of sleep is to stick to clear sleep routines, especially in their first few months at home with you. Follow our step-by-step guide to create a healthy routine:

  1. Designate an area for your puppy that is comfortable and calm. Make sure the whole family, especially children, understand that your puppy should not be disturbed in this area. A dog crate with a comfy bed inside and blankets draped over the top to stop light getting in is ideal.
  2. Familiarise your puppy with this area. Give them treats whilst there to make sure they have positive associations with it. 
  3. Have set times for waking up in the morning and going to bed at night, and avoid letting your puppy sleep too much in the hours before bedtime.
  4. Allocate time for naps throughout the day – such as after a vigorous play session or a walk. Your puppy will begin to expect the quiet time and gladly bed down.
  5. As your puppy gets older, adjust your routine to suit them. They’ll have more energy and need less sleep, so naps won’t be needed so regularly – they’ll also become good at taking themselves off to their quiet place when they are tired without you having to step in at all.

 How can I check how much sleep my puppy is getting?

You can use a PitPat to check how much activity your dog is getting, as well as how much time they spend resting. 

Simply attach a PitPat to your puppy’s collar or harness and download the PitPat app to start tracking their resting time. Keep an eye out for major differences in their resting time (but bear in mind that they might rest more if they’ve had a particularly active walk or playtime!)

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