The first thing that every first-time puppy owner will realize is that it is very difficult to sleep at night with these little guys. One of the most asked questions when it comes to puppies has to do with how to make a puppy go to sleep. If you are experiencing this for the first time, there is no reason to be alarmed, as this is perfectly normal. The main reason why puppies struggle to sleep at night is that they have been stripped off their normal weaning source – their mothers. As a result, they have been deprived of the comfort, ease, and bond that comes with having their biological mother around. This is because most puppies are taken from their mothers before they’re nine weeks old. In this article, we will take a look at puppy sleep training and how to get your puppy to sleep through the night.
Preparing for Bedtime
The good news is that it is easier to get your little canine housemate to sleep than you may think. The first thing you need to do to get your puppy comfortable and ready for bedtime is to create a bedtime routine. Consider it this way; humans have certain rituals or routines that they do before bedtime. These include brushing your teeth, taking a quick shower, name them. Coming up with a bedtime routine for your puppy is of the best ways of preparing it for sleep time, as doing so will help your puppy to associate something ‘good’ with bedtime and get its body ready for rest. Some of the bedtime routines that you can try include petting your puppy and giving it some early evening exercise. The latter option has been proven to be very effective. This is because exercise helps to stimulate your little guy and get its body tired and naturally ready to doze off. You do not need to get your puppy out for a run. You simply have to engage it in quality playtime that involves activity. You can also opt for dog toys that will draw your puppy into some physical activity. Good examples of such toys are laser and hanging feather toys. You can also tease your dog with some dog treats to get it to follow you around the house. Don’t forget to actually give it some of the treats to encourage it.
Use a Dog Crate
Another common question that most first-time puppy owners asked is, where should my puppy sleep at night time? This brings us to our next puppy sleep aid suggestion – use a dog crate. Letting a puppy sleep in bed with you may not help improve the situation if you have not trained it to sleep properly. And one of the most effective sleep training options is using the dog crate. Instead of letting your puppy sleep on your bed with you, place the dog crate close to your bed. Always make sure that the crate is in close proximity to where you sleep. The idea is to let your puppy know that you are closeby. And do not bother about falling asleep. In fact, you will be helping your puppy to fall asleep quicker if you go straight to bed. This is because a dog’s reflexes will keep it awake to sudden movements. As a result, if you are constantly waking up to check on your dog, you will be interrupting its effort to go to sleep, and this will be bad for its health. Also, most puppies naturally fall asleep when their owners do.
One of the reasons why your dog’s crate needs to be in close proximity to your bed is for your dog to be able to smell you. Dogs are comfortable around scents that they are used to. Thus, as long as your puppy can smell you, it will feel less uncomfortable. As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why puppies struggle to sleep at night is because they long for their littermates and mothers. Keeping your dog’s crate near you will help to reassure it of your presence. Once you realize that your puppy no longer has a problem sleeping in its crate, you can then move it to another room (that is if you do not want it sleeping next to you every night), or you can allow it to share your bed. The idea of using a dog crate is not to punish your puppy. It is to train it to get used to its personal space. You can add some comfort to your dog’s crate by placing a sleeping blanket in it.
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If your puppy is not used to a dog crate, you can introduce it by putting the little guy in the crate for several minutes throughout the day until it becomes used to it. Don’t forget to make a lot of treats available to encourage your pup.
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Potty Breaks at Night
Another reason why your puppy will wake a number of times during the night is when it needs to go outside to do its little business. This is the reason why early potty training is very important. Naturally, most dogs do not like to mess up their sleeping areas. If your puppy will be using a dog crate, then it is a good idea to ensure that the crate has a pee pad lining is a great idea. Otherwise, you have to make sure that your puppy gets at least one last potty break at night immediately before its bedtime. At this point, you may be asking yourself this question – when do puppies sleep through the night? Or how much do puppies sleep? But one thing you should bear in mind is the fact puppies do not have the natural ability to hold their bladder for too long. As a result, the quality or length of their sleep will be dependent on how often they have to wake to pee. Thus, potty breaks right before bed will help. But that will not guarantee a full night sleep without waking up. As a result, you have to expect your little guy to wake up not less than once every night.
The good news is that, as it gets older, it would be able to hold its bladder throughout the night. One helpful tip to try is this – if you notice that your puppy wakes up around the same time at night, you can set your alarm clock to wake you up about fifteen minutes before time. But always keep potty time straightforward and quick. This will help to check unnecessary time-wasting behaviors such as whining.
We have mentioned earlier about how dogs feel comfortable when surrounded by familiar objects or smell that they are used to. One thing you can also do, if it becomes necessary, is to surround your puppy with familiar objects and smell. This could be a piece of clothing it is used to or its favorite toy. This trick comes in handy, especially when your dog is spending the night outside of its home. The point of all this is to give your puppy familiar objects that will help create a comfortable sleeping environment for your little guy. Some dog experts suggest investing dog calming collars. Such collars pheromone-based, and are ideal when it comes to giving your dog the calming effect it needs to have a sound and uninterrupted sleep. Aside from collars, pheromone products come in different types, such as sprays and diffusers. These pheromone products work by simply mimicking the pheromones produced by mother dogs. And they help to soothe and reassure puppies of a loving and comfortable environment. Take a look at our review of calming supplements for dogs for more options.
Something to Chew On
You will be surprised by just how effective chewing is when it comes to calming it. This also helps if your puppy is struggling with the discomfort of teething. You can speak with your vet for some recommendations concerning the best dog chews to buy for your puppy. You have to be careful, however, not to give your puppy a full meal before bedtime as this is a very bad idea. If you decide to opt for a dog chew toy, be sure that it does not come with any squeaky or distractive sound. Another benefit of giving your dog a late-night snack is the fact that it helps to prevent midnight hunger. This is especially true for puppies with healthy appetites. As mentioned earlier, it is a bad idea to feed your puppy late at night (depending on how old your puppy is). Thus a late-night snack to chew on will go a long way in keeping your puppy satisfied and prevent mid-night hunger cries.
So if you have just adopted a puppy, the chances are that you are searching for answers about how to help your little friend sleep better at night. The good news is that you are not alone. The better news is that there are ways to get your puppy to sleep through the night. The best news is that it is easier than you think. All you need to do is to follow the sleep training suggestion given in this article, and your puppy should be fine. Don’t forget to always consult your vet as often as you need to.