A small brown puppy looks sad

You wake, roused by the desperate cries of your new addition. It’s the third time that night and you’re so tired you can barely think, but on autopilot, you stumble out of bed to settle your little charge.

Parent of a newborn? Not exactly – well, not the human kind anyway. If you have a new puppy you can relate to the sleepless nights that all new parents experience. As adored as they are, no doubt you’re wondering how to curb the night time wails. The good news is that most puppies start sleeping through the night from the time they’re around 16 weeks old, but they will need a hand from you to help them get there.

Why is my puppy crying?

The number one reason your puppy is crying comes down to natural instinct – they want their family to come find them. So, when you tuck them in for an evening, try giving your puppy an item that has the scent of their family or mother on it. It’s also a good idea to get your puppy to start thinking of you as their new family, so try giving them an item with your scent too, like a snuggly plush toy.

Will letting my puppy sleep with me help?

The closer you are, the less chance there is of your puppy thinking they’ve been left behind to fend for themselves. Consider keeping their sleep area close to yours during your early days together so they are comforted by your presence and less inclined to cry at night.

However, it’s vital that you keep your bed off limits. Sharing a bed could be could be dangerous for your puppy if you’re a heavy sleeper (and you roll over and squash them). Sleeping separately also sets a good precedent and helps you avoid potential behavioural problems as they get older. If you’re struggling to keep your bed off limits, crate training is an option. By using your puppy’s crate to mark your own boundaries, and show areas, which are no-go for them, they’ll start to learn what’s not acceptable behaviour.

Why else might my puppy be crying at night?

Puppies go to the toilet around 12 times a day so they may be crying at night because they need to do their business but don’t want to soil their sleeping area. Stick to routine feeding and drinking a few hours ahead of lights out to help with midnight toilet trouble. And when you do take your puppy out at night for the equivalent of ‘going to the potty’, be sure to stick to business. You definitely don’t want your pal thinking it’s playtime at 2am. Puppy pads are a great way of teaching your puppy where to toilet if your dog doesn’t have outside access.

Be sure you have lots of playtime with your puppy in the lead-up to bedtime, as the more exhausted your pup is, the more sleep you’ll get too! To have all your burning questions about how to stop your puppy crying at night and more, reach out to your local Greencross Vets who will provide you with expert advice on puppy behaviour.