It may take a couple of nights at home for your puppy to settle in and sleep through the night but with these handy tips, you’ll be peacefully catching the zzz’s together in no time.
Tips for having your puppy sleep through the night
Tire your puppy out
Stimulate your puppy with fun toys and activities during the day. Have a variety of items so your puppy doesn’t get bored – regularly swap out chase toys that will encourage your puppy to exercise, with mentally stimulating toys like a classic Kong toy filled with treats. Let them use all their energy during play time so at the end of the day, your puppy is ready to sleep right through the night.
Create a routine
Puppies can be taught to understand routines and so get them into the habit of calming down before it is time to sleep. The hour leading up to bedtime should be for winding down and you should not excite your puppy with any more activities. A soft chew toy will soon pacify your puppy and have them ready to hit the hay. It is also useful to teach your puppy to do their business right before bedtime so they will stay asleep for longer. Remember, if your puppy is sleeping in a crate, they will not be able to hold their bladder all through the night and so they will have to be let out in a few hours.
Keep your puppy close
But not too close! As cute as they are, resist putting your puppy in your bed. Not only will it become a hard habit to break as they grow older, it can also be unsafe for your puppy. Instead, you can place their bedding close to yours until they settle.
It is not uncommon for young puppies to suffer from some separation anxiety at this time and they may whine or try to leave their bed. If you notice your puppy displaying this behaviour, simply correct them in a firm but gentle manner. For example, if your puppy has wandered away from their bed encourage them back and use the command “stay.” While your puppy might be too young to respond to the command, training starts from day 1 so continue to use the right techniques to get the result you’re after. Crate training can be a great way to make your puppy feel safe and secure retreating to their own den at night.
This might be your puppy’s first time away from their mother and their other siblings so it’s understandable if they might be feeling lonely and lost. Providing a snuggly toy for your puppy to cuddle with will help them feel less isolated. Ask the breeder or shelter for an object like a towel or toy that has the familiar scent of their mother and littermates to help your puppy settle in for the night. As you’re now your puppy’s family, include an item with your scent on it as well so they learn to feel safe with you.
If you create a routine and boundaries and stick to them, your puppy will soon fall into step and learn the appropriate behaviour at bedtime. If you have any more questions or need further advice on how to get your puppy to sleep through the night, get in touch with your local Greencross Vets who will be happy to assist you.