Sleep deprivation and puppies kind of go hand in hand. Are you a sleep-deprived new puppy owner? You might be wondering how much your puppy is supposed to sleep. Or perhaps you’re tearing your hair out, wondering if your puppy will ever sleep through the night? We get you, there is pretty much nothing worse than a lack of sleep. 

Honestly though, there is good news, your puppy will learn to sleep through the night, it just takes time. We completely get it’s really tough but your puppy’s natural sleeping patterns are just different to ours. Despite what you might think, they aren’t crying all night just to spite you.

We’re here to help everyone get a great night’s sleep. We’ll give you the lowdown on puppy sleep. We’ll help you understand how long a puppy generally sleeps for, how long a puppy sleeps at night, when you can expect your puppy to sleep through the night, why your puppy might not be sleeping for very long and how you can help your puppy to sleep more. Sounds great right? Well don’t nod off just yet keep reading…

While you’re here and still awake have you downloaded the Zigzag Puppy Training app? Puppies are always learning, even when they’re sleeping, yes, really. Download a trial and teach them all of the life skills they’ll need to learn, yes sleeping through the night is one of them. We even have a team of puppy trainers on hand at all hours of the day and night, so you needn’t be alone during those sleepless nights.

puppies cuddling
Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash

How long does a puppy sleep on average?

You probably don’t believe it right now but your pup will sleep up to 20 hours a day. It’s amazing how much puppies sleep, not all in one go though. They’ll nap through the day and go from crazy zoomies to snoring in a second. They really can sleep anywhere.

The reason your puppy sleeps so much is that they’re physically growing at a fast rate. ‘Growing like weeds’ is no understament. Your puppy will sleep more 

when they’re having a growth spurt. You might even find you get your puppy up from a nap and they seem bigger than before. 

It’s not just bodies, puppy brains are also growing and developing; they need plenty of sleep to recharge those batteries. Sleep helps your puppy to not only have a physical rest, but they are also learning all of the time, so they need a mental break too. 

How long does a puppy sleep at night?

So, a puppy sleeps anything from 6-10 hours a night in the beginning. Your puppy’s circadian rhythm, will be different to yours, so they’ll be awake at different times. As your puppy matures, their internal body clock adapts, and starts to mirror your behaviour and sleep longer at night. Yippee!

 When will my puppy sleep through the night?

If we had a pound for everytime we were asked this! In general, puppies will start sleeping through the night from around four months of age, but don’t be surprised if it lasts a while longer. Some puppies will sleep through the night straight away, but most puppies will wake up several times, they’ll need the toilet or they’ll need to know they’re not alone. 

In the first few weeks of owning a new puppy, you should expect them to wake up at night, early night and morning coffee will become your friend! You’ll need to wake up and take them out to the toilet as they don’t have much bladder control. It’s also quite an emotionally challenging time for them, being away from their mother and littermates is hard and they’ll wake up and realise they’re alone and cry out for you

We suggest a nighttime routine, including letting them sleep near you first. You need to hear when they wake up so you can take them to the toilet as this will help to prevent accidents like peeing in the crate, and you’re also close by to comfort and reassure them to go back to sleep. 

puppy sleeping on sofa
Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Why doesn’t my puppy sleep for very long?

There can be a few factors as to how long your puppy sleeps. Dog sleep cycles are very different to humans, even if their body clock adjusts to our human time zones, the cycles are much shorter, lasting only around 45 minutes, so naps will be frequent!

Puppies will also surprise you with how quickly they wake up and are raring to go. This is normal. Any small noise or chink of light and they’re up and ready, this can be challenging in the summer when the mornings get light so early and is often a reason for people struggling to work out why their puppy doesn’t sleep at night. 

Nutrition will also be a factor in how long a puppy sleeps. Make sure you’re feeding them a balanced diet and the right amount of food. Many puppies will sleep longer overnight if you adjust their feeding times. No one wants to wake up hangry, do they? 

Make sure your puppy’s general health is good. Any signs of parasites like worms or fleas, or illness like sickness or diarrhoea are going to make them uncomfortable and should be looked at by a vet.

Similarly, if you spot signs of pain that make your puppy irritable and fractious, they’re not going to be likely to sleep long.

As your puppy gets older, they’ll need less sleep during the day but will sleep longer at night, phew. Dogs generally will still sleep a lot. Expect 15 hours of sleep, depending on the breed. 

How to help my puppy sleep longer

To help your puppy sleep through the night and sleep for longer, we suggest these tips

  • Have a daily routine so your puppy knows when nap times will be
  • Have their crate or bed in a low traffic and quiet area of your home
  • If using a crate cover it with a blanket but leave the front uncovered so they can still see a little
  • Make sure where they sleep at night is dark and quiet – blackout blinds will help with this
  • Get them into a good night time routine so they know what’s what

Read our full guide to how to get a puppy to sleep through the night for more information and help with getting those precious 40 winks.

black and white puppy sleeping
Photo by Julie Marsh on Unsplash

Hopefully, you’ve learned how long your puppy should sleep, and some tips and tricks to help them sleep through the night. At first, it can be a bit of a shock at how much they sleep in each 24 hour period, but not necessarily at the same time as you! Your puppy will get into your day to day groove the longer they’re in your new home. 

Now we’ve got you safe in the knowledge that your puppy’s sleep habits are probably quite normal, we hope you can sleep tight. Or, how about reading some more tips for new puppy owners, and if you’ve just adopted a rescue puppy we have a guide for you too. Teaching your puppy to sleep through the night, and when you can teach your puppy to sleep outside of their crate is all covered in the Zigzag puppy app. We have a personalised programme that covers your puppy’s developmental milestones and teaches them all about