Dogs and humans have different sleep schedules, but if you suspect that your puppy is sleeping too much, it can be a little worrying sometimes. Does my puppy have an underlying condition? What should I do?
That’s why we wrote this article – to help you figure out what could be wrong with your puppy that makes them sleep too much. Oftentimes, oversleeping is not alarming but if they do it too much, it doesn’t hurt to take it to the vet for more accurate and professional advice.
Can a puppy sleep too much?
Not necessarily – dogs need about 14 hours of sleep a day, but puppies may need about 18 to 20. It’s normal for pets to sleep longer than humans so don’t be surprised for your puppy to sleep a lot more than you think they should.
Sleep is part of the development process of any individual living being – puppies included. Just as a human baby needs naps for growth and development, so does your puppy.
How do I know if my puppy is getting the right amount of sleep?
Even though we’ve said before that your puppy is less likely to get any adverse effects from sleeping too much, here are some indicating factors for you to know if your puppy is getting just the right amount of sleep for their age:
1. Is your puppy playful and energetic when they wake up? That’s a sign that your puppy is well-rested and you don’t need to worry about anything. This also applies to when your pet wakes up in your expected timeframe based on your routine.
2. Is your puppy feeling lethargic or off-mood when they wake up? That could be a sign that your puppy isn’t feeling well or they haven’t slept that much. You can ask your veterinarian for advice on this matter.
Why your puppy needs a lot of sleep
Just like in humans, sleeping provides a lot of benefits to your puppy. Here’s why your pup needs sufficient amounts of sleep:
1. A burst of energy
Puppies will recover the energy they’ve lost during playtime when they sleep. Just like when humans get tired throughout the day because of various activities, puppies experience something similar. They need all the rest they can get to recover the energy that they will use for the next day.
That’s a reason why if your puppy feels lethargic (as mentioned above), they might not have gotten enough sleep for their age.
2. Strengthens their immune system
One benefit of sleeping for puppies (and for humans) is that it will strengthen their immune systems. In this way, your pup will less likely get sick and this will also help you cut down on the veterinary and medical fees. Having a puppy that will grow healthily into an adult dog that doesn’t get sick too often is always something good.
3. Repairs internal organs
When all living creatures – including puppies – “hit the hay” for the night, their internal organs start their “maintenance schedule”. When your puppy sleeps, its systems will recover.
4. Improves their appetite
Just like with the way sleep helps internal organ repair and the immune system – your puppy will also have an improved appetite if you get them to sleep on schedule.
5. Solidify their memories and training
Remember when you can’t memorize a poem or review properly for a test for the next day? Try reviewing and studying the night before, and then going to sleep. In the morning, you’ll likely easily remember what you just studied the night before.
This concept applies to puppy training – sleep will help solidify memories that we’ve formed throughout the day. Regardless of whether puppies dream or not, sleeping will help them improve their instinct as you set your daily routine with them.
6. Release important hormones for growth and development
This is also why we mentioned that sleep is important for puppy growth and development – important hormones are released when your puppy is sound asleep. This will help them to grow healthily, especially during their younger months and weeks.
How do I create a sleeping schedule for my puppy?
To ensure that your puppy gets the right amount of sleep, setting a sleeping schedule or routine is a great way to do it. Many pet owners, breeders, and vets recommend setting up and establishing this sleeping schedule as early as a couple of months old. Here’s how to do it:
1. Set a quiet place for your puppy to sleep
When you consider a spot for your puppy to sleep calmly, make sure it doesn’t have distractions. If you have kids around, don’t let them go nearby or inside the room where the puppy sleeps to avoid frightening or distracting them. The same is true for guests – don’t let them go near the sleeping area.
For best results, we recommend putting the sleeping area in a dim room with little to no light. Puppies associate comfort with silence and darkness so they won’t be so stimulated. Ensure that the bed is comfortable and just the right size for your puppy. Moreover, make sure it’s dry!
2. Make positive associations with this area
You can offer some treats or add some toys to the area to enforce positive association with it. This will get your puppy to feel comfortable sleeping in this specific area.
3. Set schedules on when it’s time to go to bed
To do this, you may want to let them play around a little more before it’s time to go to bed. This will help them to sleep faster and better rather than have them feeling distressed in the middle of the night because they still have energy left or an urge to play.
4. Young puppies are allowed for short naps
In the afternoon, after you play with your puppy, you can allow them to nap for a little bit. Naps are normal for your puppy if they are still young.
5. Adjust your puppy’s sleep routine as they get older
Naps are no longer needed by much older puppies so you can take them out of the routine to avoid bedtime hassle.