Getting a new puppy can be very exciting. They’re so cute, rambunctious, and playful, but what some people don’t think of is how tiring it can be to take care of a puppy. Puppies are just like babies. They need you to feed them, clean them, teach them, and take care of them. They’re up all night if you let them, which can mean that you end up losing out on sleep.
If you don’t get this problem under control early on, you can end up with a dog that isn’t on a good sleeping schedule. These dogs tend to cause a fuss at night, barking and running around when you need them to be quiet. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to train your new puppy to sleep through the night so this doesn’t become an issue.
Here are 8 effective tips on how to get your puppy to sleep through the night:
1. Decide on your nightly routine
When you first get your new puppy, it’s important to get them settled into a regular routine that you want them to follow long-term. This routine should include when and where your puppy will sleep each night. Of course, you can’t expect things to go perfectly right away. Some puppies might catch on early, while others might take more time and patience.
2. Take Your Dog Out Before Bed
Puppies can’t hold their bladder for very long, so it’s important that you give them ample opportunities to do their business if you don’t want accidents in bed at night. A washable pee pad is also recommended. A good rule of thumb to follow is the last person who goes to bed should be the one to take the dog out.
Also read: The best indoor dog potty
3. Be Prepared for a Middle-of-the-Night Pee Trip
Even if you take your puppy out before bed, it’s important to keep in mind that since puppies have smaller bladders, chances are they’ll need a middle-of-the-night trip to pee too.
One way to be proactive about this is to keep the puppy’s crate close to your bed at night so you can hear when they wake up or cry to go out. A few helpful tips for these pee trips is to keep clothes and your puppy’s leash close by so you’re ready when it’s time. Don’t play with your puppy while they’re out and don’t rush. Give them enough time to do their business.
Also read: What does puppy pet insurance cover?
4. Do your best to ignore their cries
Your puppy may cry when you put them to bed for the first few nights but if you firmly tell them to go to sleep and ignore it they will learn not to. Shortcuts like soothing the puppy every time it cries might be tempting (especially when your sleep is being disturbed), but by doing this you run the risk of forming unpleasant habits that will be harder to break later.
Once your puppy learns that this behavior won’t get the reaction they want from you they will stop crying at night.
5. Get a comfy bed he won't want to leave
Whether you choose to sleep with your puppy next to you, on the floor, on a dog bed, or in a crate, make sure they are comfortable. Placing things like soft toys and blankets in your puppy’s sleeping space can be an effective way to keep them calm if they are feeling anxious in a new and unfamiliar environment.
Also read: The best beds for small dogs
If you choose to train your puppy to sleep in a crate, proper crate training is important. This means teaching your dog to use their crate as a den or safe space, not using it for punishment. You should also keep your puppy’s crate close, so they can see and hear you. If you put your dog’s crate far away like in a garage they’re more likely to cry and bark to get your attention.
6. Exercise Your Puppy in the Day to wear them out
One of the best ways to prepare your puppy or a good night’s sleep is by making sure that they get plenty of play time and exercise during the day. If you let your puppy lay around the house and take long naps during the day, it’s no surprise that they’re going to be awake and ready to play when bed time comes.
Just like it’s important to have a nightly routine, keeping your dog on an exercise and play routine is a clever way to make sure they are always getting the activity they need to sleep well. This should include regular walks and exercise in the afternoon and evenings. Taper off play time and exercise a few hours before bed so your puppy doesn’t get wound up.
7. Create a Calm Atmosphere at Bedtime
Do your best to make sure that things are kept calm and quiet before bedtime, so your puppy doesn’t get excited when you want to go to bed. This means not playing with your dog when you take them out at night to pee before bed or when you take them out during the middle of the night.
A few other ways that you can create a calm atmosphere for your puppy before bed are:
Creating a calm atmosphere should be part of your nightly routine. By following a similar routine daily, your puppy will learn to associate these things with bedtime.
8. Give them toys/chews
While you don’t want to get your dog excited at night, leaving soft toys that don’t squeak and/or a chew in their bed can be a good thing.
Chewing can be a relaxing activity before bed that helps your puppy calm down until they get tired. Conversely, having a toy around can keep your puppy occupied if they wake up before you do.
If you just got a new puppy you might be wondering if you’ll ever get a full night’s sleep again.
Not to worry!
If you follow these tips and create a healthy routine for your puppy to follow, they should learn to sleep through the night in no time.
Also read: The best toys for puppies