The short answer to this question is actually loads, but I bet you’ve had some sleepless nights and felt like your puppy never sleeps. Then during the day, they’re face down in their bowl of chow and sleeping all day. You then wonder why does my puppy sleep so much? You just can’t win, can you?

The truth is puppies need an incredible amount of sleep. Both in the daytime, and yes at night too. It might not feel like it will ever happen, but sleeping through the night will come soon, don’t worry. 

Here at Zigzag, we wanted to let you know all about puppy sleep, so get ready to learn all about those puppy Zzzzz’s

  • Why do puppies need so much sleep?
  • How often do and should puppies sleep?
  • Why does my puppy sleep so much?

If you’re losing sleep over your puppy because they won’t sleep through the night, won’t stop barking at night, or any other issue, we have a team of Zigzag puppy coaches ready to help you with any issues you may have. Our Zigzag puppy training app also has a step-by-step sleep training programme, so you and your puppy will be snoozing in no time.

black pug puppy yawning on a mattress
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Why do puppies need sleep?

We all need our shut-eye, don’t we? Your puppy is no exception. Sleep is essential for several reasons, and puppies can require as much as an unbelievable 18 hours a day!

Puppies need sleep for their mental and physical development, it helps them grow into happy and healthy adult dogs. Sleeping helps everything to recharge and reset.

During sleep, your puppy’s brain takes time to process all of the new information they are learning – and it’s such an incredible amount. It’s basically kindergarten and all of primary school, in just a few months. Truly mind-blowing!

How often should puppies sleep?

If your puppy sleeps a lot and you’ve asked yourself ‘how often should my puppy be sleeping?’ let us put your mind at ease.

The answer is that your puppy will often sleep all day and all night. But in short bursts with breaks for playing, eating, peeing (hopefully not on your carpets, but it happens!) and training.

Puppy naps are vital for your puppy’s mental and physical development. If your puppy is struggling to sleep in the daytime, then it’s a good idea to get them into a daily puppy routine and give them structured times for eating, playing, training and importantly sleeping!

Puppies will sleep 18+ hours a day, whereas adult dogs sleep around 14 hours. Dogs really do love sleeping. They’ve got the right idea really, haven’t they? Oh, to have daytime naps!

brown pug puppy wrapped in a blanket, tired.
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Why does my puppy sleep so much?

Puppies sleep a huge amount, and truthfully adult dogs sleep a lot too. If you’re wondering ‘why do puppies sleep so much?’, we’ve outlined a few reasons for you below.

Your puppy sleeps a lot because they’re growing so fast

Puppies grow like weeds; all that speedy growth means their body needs to rest and recuperate. It’s almost like their feet get put into grow bags while they’re sleeping too. If you don’t believe us, try weighing them every week.

By the way, all that growth needs loads of food, so they’ll also be eating a lot! Check out our article on puppy nutrition to make sure your puppy is getting the right number of calories and nutrients needed for growth.

Puppies sleep so much as they’re learning all about the world

All of those new sights, sounds and experiences are simply mentally exhausting. It’s a bit like us meeting a roomful of new people. We’re exhausted after all of that social interaction, and so are our puppies. And no, they can’t remember people’s names either. Glad it’s not just me, phew.

Life is a steep learning curve for your puppy, and in those first few months, they have to learn so much it’s really no wonder they fall asleep everywhere. Cute, isn’t it?

Setting memories

All of that shut-eye allows your puppy to store all of the important memories from their day and discard what they don’t need to keep hold of. It’s at this time you’ll see your puppy go into REM sleep. We think of this as our puppy dreaming as it often looks like they’re going for a run or barking and woofing at someone, who knows what they’re thinking, but it’s super cute.

Your puppy uses a lot of energy, so sleeping lets them recharge

Uh oh, yes, that does mean they’re primed and ready to go after a nice nap! Unlike the Duracell bunnies, puppies can’t go for long without sleeping, and they don’t go on and on without needing a nice nap.

Sleep helps to reduce the zoomies

Does your puppy get the zoomies? Well, that might be because they need to sleep. That bitey, snarly puppy doing a wall of death dance all over and around your furniture is usually a sign that it’s time for a siesta…don’t mind if I do, actually.

Being overtired is not a pleasant feeling for your puppy

Your puppy needs to sleep when they’re tired. If your puppy is biting you a lot, being barky, or irritable, this is a clear sign that they need something from you, and it’s often for you to tuck them up in bed. Aww.

Different puppies will require different amounts of sleep

I know it’s hard, but try not to compare your puppy to other people’s. Every puppy has different sleep needs, and there isn’t a one size fits all amount of sleep. Genetics, environment, schedules and pet parent lifestyle will alter how much that puppy sleeps.

Just as a side note, any sudden behaviour change is worth taking notice of. If you have a puppy who has suddenly started sleeping a lot and wasn’t before, check with your vet to rule out anything medical

puppy cuddling a giraffe toy in bed
Photo by Alison Pang on Unsplash

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that it kept you interested and reading rather than sending you to the land of nod. While you’re here, why not have a read of our puppy facts article, you’ll be amazed.

If you have any burning training questions or just things you’ve often wondered about puppies but weren’t sure who to ask, then get in touch with our Zigzag puppy coaches. They’re available at the touch of a button inside the Zigzag puppy training app, a bespoke puppy training app based on Life Skills not just obedience. Our app is tailored to your puppy’s breed and age, taking into account key areas of development to get the best out of your puppy.

You don’t just have to take our word for it. We’re endorsed by leading training and behaviour organisations too.