Updated March 7, 2021
After bringing home a new puppy, I quickly learned how to get your puppy to sleep through the night. At least until I put her in bed with me! haha
Ever watched the classic movie, Lady and the Tramp? Remember the scene where they bring the puppy home and she sneaks in their bedroom?
She’s barking all night because she doesn’t want to sleep alone? Cuteness!!! But only when it's on the big screen. Not for living it in actual life. No way!
Dogs are sleepers; they close their eyes and drift off without a second thought. They snooze up to 18 hours a day!
Puppies adjusting to sleeping without Mom & Siblings
Why do some puppies have trouble sleeping through the night? It's just because they need to learn how to sleep on their own.
Eventually, your puppy will get used to sleeping away from you, but it takes some time for him to adjust.
The first time a puppy has to face the reality of being alone at night, it can be a nightmare for both of you. One of the best things you can do to help your puppy learn to sleep through the night is to make sure he’s exhausted by bedtime.
If he still won’t sleep, make sure that you have a travel crate that he will feel comfortable in and that is accessible in the middle of the night.
Most dogs will eventually sleep through the night if they are in a safe place that they feel comfortable in, however, do not expect it to happen immediately or overnight.
Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Puppy to Sleep Through the Night
Congratulations on getting a puppy! Your puppy will fill the next few months with joy, excitement and love.
Like any new parent, you're in for some sleepless nights. You may wonder, how do I get my puppy to sleep through the night?
It's your job to set up your puppy for a great night's sleep.
What To Expect On Your Puppy’s First Night Home
Your puppy's first night home could go one of two ways:
They'll be tired from the long day and sleep or have trouble getting comfortable. Even the smoothest of introductions to a new home can be overwhelming.
Ask your dog's breeder, foster family or rescue organization for a toy, towel or small blanket smells like your puppy's mother or siblings to put in their dog crate at night. These smells will help them relax and settle down at night.
There's a chance your puppy won't be able to sleep all night long at first. Puppies don’t like to soil the places they sleep, so if they need to do the potty during the night, they’ll fuss and cry.
When they cry, bring them outside to walk for a little while, then bring them inside so they can get back in their crate. By three to four months, they sleep through the night and are ready for a dog bed.
Pick Your Puppy Up In The Morning
This will give you and your puppy some time to adjust being without its mom and siblings before having to get your puppy to sleep through the night.
This will be an exciting day for you and your puppy, which will help to tire him or her out that night.
Take A Blanket or Toy to Rub on Mom and Siblings
If your breeder doesn’t have a blanket with mom and your dog's siblings on it, bring a blanket with you when you pick up the newest member of the family and ask the breeder to rub the blanket on mom and the siblings.
Having the mom and sibling scents on the blanket will help to keep your dog calm and relaxed.
Buy A Snuggle Puppy
This stuffed animal toy mimics a puppy's mother's heartbeat, helping your puppy to sleep and relax at night.
How Long Should A Puppy Sleep?
By the time your puppy is three or four months old, he or she should sleep through the night. This means that you can expect a few weeks of disrupted sleep and midnight bathroom breaks. This often shocks first time puppy parents!
How to Stop Your Puppy Crying at Night
All puppies cry, they're just trying to tell you something.
Maybe it’s that your puppy is feeling scared, lonely, or needs to go potty. After all, your puppy's been used to sleeping with their mom and siblings, and now they have to sleep on their own.
Or they may tell you they need to go to potty. If your puppy is crying at night, take it outside to go potty.
- You want to praise them calmly, but not too much (this isn’t playtime).
- Then take them back to their bed.
- Sometimes just letting your dog sniff your hand makes them fall right back to sleep.
Your puppy might also whine for your attention because it’s feeling alone. You'll soon learn which sounds to pay attention to and which to ignore. Just be patient. Sometimes it's hard when you're exhausted with a new puppy.
How Long will a Puppy Cry before Falling Asleep?
Research shows that puppies who cry more become more distressed. In addition, you're likely to find that they're covered in poop if they're left to cry.
By sticking to a good bedtime routine and house training your puppy at night, you will soon get back to those eight-hour sleeps you used to have before puppies.
Help them get Plenty of Exercise
You know that old saying “A tired puppy is a good puppy!“ Plan your day with your puppy to keep them active when awake and playing.
Stimulate your puppy’s mind and body throughout the day by playing with toys such as the Kong Puppy Dog Toy.
If you let your puppy play during the day, they'll sleep better at night.
Even if your puppy not allowed out on walks yet because he hasn't been completely vaccinated, it is still really important to keep him busy both mentally and physically at home and, hopefully, in a secure yard.
Play games, chase each other around, and work on your training. Your puppy can start getting used to wearing a leash outside and walk laps around the property. Feed your dog puzzle toys rather than dog bowls to keep him busy while he eats.
Create a sleep environment
Decide where your puppy will sleep and stick to it! The best spot for the crate is in the room with you. It helps soothe new puppies to have you close by.
Choose a bed for your puppy in advance. If they cry and giving you sad eyes, you'll be less tempted to let them sleep with you if you prefer them to sleep in a crate.
If you sleep with your puppy in the beginning, he or she will most likely sleep with you forever. You can sleep with your dog as long as you choose to! Both my dogs sleep with me. It's totally fine to do that or teach them to sleep in a crate.
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Make it feel like bedtime.
When it’s your puppies bedtime, make their sleeping space feel comfy-cozy. Put on some soft music and give your puppy a place to snuggle up. Try including a piece of your clothing in their bedding to make them feel close to you.
I highly recommend a snuggle puppy. This is a stuffed animal type of toy that simulates a puppy mother’s heartbeat.. It helps soothe your puppy to sleep.
What Does Sleeping Through the Night Mean?
In the beginning, “sleeping through the night for a puppy” may mean waking up at 6 a.m. for a potty break.
When your puppy is young and still learning how to sleep through the night, she might be awake and full of energy first thing in the morning. Getting up early and taking your puppy on a potty break is part of being dog parent.
If you want to get more sleep, you could confine puppy in a larger area rather than crates so she can potty without waking you up. If that doesn’t work, see if your puppy will sleep a little longer after a potty break if you put her into your bed and let her snuggle with you.
Prepping Your Puppy for Bed
Just as you can brush your teeth or read to your child before bed, having a bedtime routine for your puppy will help create a positive association with bedtime.
If your puppy is hyped up at night, it may be your puppy isn’t getting enough stimulation during the day.
It’s always recommended to exercising your dog early in the evening, a few hours before bedtime. Puppies get the “zoomies” before settling down to sleep. This is a natural part of prepping for bed and helps tire them out.
It helps to get your puppy tired so, he will be more content and want to sleep.
Try Soothing Sounds
During bedtime, soft music can soothe your puppy's whining and anxiety, while also drowning out other noises or unknown sounds that might disturb or arouse your puppy.
Surround Your Puppy With Familiar Objects
If you can, put an item of clothing with the scent of the environment your puppy came from near him while he sleeps.
It will help him feel comfortable and help him transition to his new home. Over a few days, the smell will gradually fade, allowing him to get used to the smell of your home.
Using a pheromone-based dog calming collar or spray for the first four weeks can help keep your puppy calm. These products smell like pheromones from their mother dog.
Middle of the Night Potty Breaks
Your puppy will probably wake you up because he needs to go outside until your puppy is a little older. It isn’t until they are about 3-4 months of age before their bladders are large enough to hold it all night.
If your puppy is in a crate next to you, they’ll probably wake you up first and let you know before your puppy needs to go. If you or your puppy is a good sleeper, you could set an alarm to avoid accidents in the crate.
Remain as calm as possible when you get up in the middle of the night to take your puppy out, don’t let them think it’s playtime. Speak in gentle tones. Don’t make it fun. Essentially, you want to be as boring as you can be.
As soon as you take your puppy outside to go potty, stand in one spot. As soon as your puppy goes potty, calmly say "good dog.” Offer your puppy some water, then calmly take them back inside and put your puppy back into its crate. Walk away and go back to bed.
Giving your puppy too much attention in the middle of the night can lead to them to waking you up just to get attention, even if they don’t have to pee.
Over time, your puppy will have bladder control and should be able to sleep through the night without needing to go to the bathroom as frequently.
A puppy's urine holds up for their age in months, plus one converted to hours. So, if you sleep for eight hours, your puppy will need a bathroom break at least once during the night.
If your puppy's bathroom schedule doesn’t follow this pattern or suddenly increases, it could be a sign that he has a bladder infection or some other health problem, so talk to your vet.
An Example of a Puppy's Schedule:
- 6:30 a.m. - Wake Up, outside or pee pad to go potty.
- 7:00 a.m. - Breakfast, outside for a walk, morning playtime
- 9:00 a.m. - Naptime
- 10:00 a.m. - Playtime, time to bond, walking
- 12:00 p.m. -Lunchtime, outside to the potty or pee pad.
- 2:00 p.m. - Naptime
- 5:00 p.m. - Dinner time, outside to go potty or pee pad.
- 7:00 p.m. - Playtime
- 8:30 p.m. - Bedtime routine (hair brushing, teeth brushing, etc)
- 9:00 p.m. - Bedtime
It's easy to give your puppy lots of love and affection!
There's nothing cuter than puppies getting lots of cuddles and playing with their humans.
Remind the kids to follow the rules too (such as only rewarding positive behaviors with fuss), so your puppy doesn't get confused.
Lots of love, entertainment and exercise makes for a well behaved and sleepy puppy!