We’ve all been there – one minute your puppy is tearing into your slippers, and the next he’s curled up in your lap asleep. We watch every move they make adoringly, whether it’s taking an afternoon nap or frolicking through tall blades of grass in the backyard. Parenting through puppyhood is not without its difficulties, and you may be wondering if something’s wrong when they sleep for most of the day.
Making sure your puppy gets enough adequate sleep is integral to their physical, emotional, and mental development, but how much napping is too much, and should you be concerned? Here’s what you need to know about your puppy’s sleep schedule and what you can do to help them along.
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Why Puppies Sleep So Much
Puppies on average sleep from 18 to 20 hours a day. This may seem excessive, but puppies grow at an incredibly fast rate compared to other living creatures – including us! Healthy puppies sleep so much that they can take up to 20 naps a day, according to Daily Paws. Though it may seem like your puppy is oversleeping, rest assured they’re just growing big and strong.
Why It’s Important for Puppies to Sleep
Puppies need lots of time to sleep to rejuvenate, rest, and recover. Every time your puppy is awake, they’re using their brains and bodies to discover and play. As they explore their new surroundings, from their new home to the great outdoors, they expend a lot of energy. Since puppies grow at an extremely fast rate, their little growing bodies need extra sleep. They are constantly taking in what they can and cannot do behaviorally, learning about their environment, understanding their senses, and mastering the art of play. When you add all these things on to a very young formative puppy that’s quickly growing mentally and physically, it makes sense they need all the naps they can get.
An Ideal Naptime Set Up For Your Puppy
Since naptime is so integral for young pups, it’s important they have a safe and tranquil set-up to maximize their naptime. Providing your puppy their own personal napping area can not only help them feel comfortable but help you when you need to get tasks done. Letting your puppy nap in a high-traffic area of your home can hinder their naptime results. Here’s what you can do to make sure your puppy gets enough rest to grow optimally.
- Set them up in a private room or area of your home.
- Get them their very own cosy bed.
- Make sure bedding is cleaned regularly.
- Adorn them with cosy blankets!
- Provide chew toys and other enrichment rich activities.
- Play classical music.
How to Get Your Puppy to Sleep Comfortably
Getting your puppy to sleep comfortably begins with tuckering and tiring them out with playtime! If you have another dog that loves your puppy as much as you, then let them step up to the plate to show them the ropes of how to be a dog. Dogs are largely intuitive creatures with great memory recall. Though they don’t possess standard episodic memory, dogs remember puppyhood through how they were trained at that point in their lives. Your dog should recall what they learned at your puppy’s age and can help tire them out with gentle and encouraging play that teaches them boundaries.
If your puppy is your only dog, chew toys are a must! If your puppy is constantly getting into things they shouldn’t (which is inevitable at times in puppyhood), chew toys will become your and your pup’s best friend. Treat your pup to a basket of chew toys and watch them flourish! Enrichment is also a great tool for puppies. This can be as simple as using a Kong with peanut butter and kibble or tying off the ends of a paper towel roll and filling it with treats. Enrichment is a wonderful way to fully engage their developing minds and bodies to tucker them out.
After playtime, put them to bed in their special naptime set up, and they should be set until their next bout of play!
Your Puppy Thrives Off of Sleep!
Though it may seem like your puppy is sleeping a lot, which they are, their frequent naps and time spent snoozing is totally normal. By helping them get set up on a sleeping schedule and priming them for sleep with lots of playtime and enrichment, they will flourish into the dog they’re meant to be thanks to all their quality sleep!