Puppies are full of energy, particularly during the first couple of years after their birth. A puppy usually sleeps a lot more compared to an adult dog. In fact, a puppy on average (depending on their age) sleeps between 16 to 20 hours a day.

If you have recently brought home a new puppy and are curious to know what time should a puppy go to bed, then this article is for you. We discuss everything from a puppy’s sleep schedule and bedtime routine to how to help them sleep through the night along with other useful naptime tips.

How much does a newborn puppy sleep?

Puppies sleep a lot. A newborn puppy sleeps much more than an adult one. After their birth, puppies are completely dependent on their mothers for food, interaction and assistance in everything. Puppies spend approximately 22 hours of the day sleeping and the remaining time nursing from the mother.  

As they get a bit older, your puppy will need approximately 20 hours a day of sleep. They generally like to enjoy naptime after lunch as well. However, their hours of sleep per day get reduced as they grow.

How much sleep is enough for puppies?

A puppy sleeping in-between a stack of blankets. Image by Sdf Rahbar from Unsplash.
A puppy sleeping in-between a stack of blankets. Image by Sdf Rahbar from Unsplash.

8 weeks old

Between 8 to 10 weeks old is the general time period where you can collect your puppy from the mother and take them home full time. At this age, 20 hours of sleep per day is required for the little bundle who is 8 weeks old. This is also the time when you can begin crate training.

10 to 12 weeks old

Around the age of 10 to 12 weeks old, your puppy should be sleeping between 18 to 20 hours a day. 

14 to 16 weeks old

At about 14 to 16 weeks old, puppies require 18 hours per day for a good night’s sleep.

16 to 18 weeks old

During the 16 to 18 week mark, your puppy is growing and developing more than ever and this period is quite important in the development of your puppy’s brain. During this time, they need plenty of sleep so as to learn their lessons in the best possible way. Don’t be alarmed if your puppy is still asleep more hours than they are awake. Their little bodies still have a lot of growing to do. 

Older puppies

Your pup should be awake a lot more at this stage. About 14 hours of sleep is required to get enough sleep for older puppies.

Bedtime Routine to Help Your Puppy Sleep Well

A black and white colored Boston Terrier puppy enjoying a nap. Image by Julie Marsh from Unsplash.
A black and white colored Boston Terrier puppy enjoying a nap. Image by Julie Marsh from Unsplash.

Before understanding what time should a puppy go to bed, it is important to learn about a healthy sleep schedule that young puppies need for healthy development. This section will shed light on how to help your puppy sleep soundly. By doing the following few things, you can help your pup have a proper routine for bed time and good sleep habits. 

How to set a puppy sleep schedule?

Just like the feeding schedule and daily activity schedule, the sleep time schedule of your pup is also important. It is suggested to set a sleeping schedule as soon as possible after bringing your new puppy home. It helps them adjust well to the bed time routine.

  • As soon as the dinner is finished, make arrangements to take them out for a walk. This gives them time to empty out their bladder and bowels as well.
  • Once you are back, plan for some playtime or exercise with them. You want to try and get out the last bit of energetic behavior from your puppy to tire them out for sleep. 
  • You can probably give them some chew toys to enjoy on their own before they go to sleep.
  • You can also give them a treat if they behave well as one last thing before bed time.
  • Make sure to prepare a comfortable and warm bed for the puppy.
  • The place should be quiet and devoid of any noise. This is not the time for play.

How to Make Your New Pup Sleep Through the Night?

Puppies enjoy a great sleep at night just like human babies. Here, we have some tips that will help your puppy to enjoy a peaceful sleep throughout the night.

  • Establish a routine and sleep habits for bedtime. There is no ideal time for a puppy to go to bed. It can be whatever time suits your schedule at home. What matters is to have a bedtime routine that includes a definitive amount of steps like night stroll, playtime, etc. This will signify to your pup over time, that it’s time to start winding down for bed time at night.
  • If you are crate training, you can make the crate interesting for a good nap time by adding in some toys and comfortable bedding. Due to the nature of puppies and their curiosity, they are likely to chew and damage their bedding and toys placed in the crate or their safe space. We suggest purchasing inexpensive bedding in case of if they do destroy it. 
  • Maintain a quiet environment. A room that is dimly lit and calm will be ideal for a canine to spend their time napping. This will help the puppy know that it is time for him to sleep. When the pup has settled in his crate, leave him undisturbed.

How do you tire a puppy when it is bedtime?

Before initiating bedtime for your furry friend, you want to make sure that they are sufficiently tired before attempting to put them to bed. This can be done in the form of several ways and there is no one size fits all approach for everyone. 

Consider stimulating the puppy by providing toys to play indoor games either alone or with you. Taking them for a walk after dinner can also help tire their little legs out before nap time. This is a great way to get some of the left over energy out from the day before going to bed at night. The amount of exercise your pet will need will depend on the breed and stamina of your dog.

You can also have great bonding time with your furry friend by cuddling and playing with them. This is where you can teach them obedience as well to help them understand rules. 

These types of tactics will help to make the puppy exhausted before going to bed. By using these techniques, you can have a puppy who sleeps well as it takes a lot of brain power for our friend to perform these tasks.

Tips to Help Your Puppy Sleep Soundly at Nighttime

Sleep provides the much-needed rest for a healthy and happy pup. If the pup is well rested, it will keep them happy and active the whole day and keep you sane during the meantime. Here are some tips to ensure that your puppy sleeps through the night.

  • Arrange the sleeping area well and provide some sort of house training for at least a couple of weeks. This will make them feel familiar with bedtime. 
  • Take your puppy for a stroll right before bedtime. Going for a walk outside with your puppy will be a good idea if they wants another potty break or spend some time sniffing around. 
  • Just like human beings, puppies also like to sleep with lights switched off. So, make it a point to turn off the lights for creating a conducive environment for the puppy to enjoy a lot of sleep.
  •  It is a great idea to play calming music at night time after you have figured out what time should a puppy go to bed. Soothing music will help your puppy sleep better and longer at night.
  •  If you have a puppy that is a little grown up, and you have brought the puppy to your house only recently; provide them with some clothing or object that has the smell of their previous home. This will help them be at ease in their new home. This will help them sleep peacefully and learn how to adapt to new surroundings as well.
  • Just like humans, puppies also like the company of fellow dogs. If you have suitable sleeping arrangements for multiple dogs, this can help your new pup feel more comfortable when sleeping.
  • Like humans, if you’re unwell, your sleep can be affected by it. The same goes for canines when they are affected by conditions such as fleas or mites.
  • To start the toilet training process to help your furry friend wait until morning before emptying their bladder, you can delay their potty break by a few minutes per night. By the time they are three months old, they will get used to it and enjoy sound sleep without a bathroom break throughout the night.

FAQs on Puppy Sleep Habits

A puppy sleeping on a couch with it's tongue hanging out slightly. Image by Samantha Jean from Unsplash.
A puppy sleeping on a couch with it’s tongue hanging out slightly. Image by Samantha Jean from Unsplash.

What about puppy sleep music?

Music can definitely help out with a good sleep schedule for your dog. It has been found that classical music is more effective to make puppies fall asleep compared to other types of music at naptime. Also, reggae and soft rock can help the puppy sleep well.

What if my puppy wants to sleep in my bed?

If you’re comfortable with that, we suggest you don’t let this happen until your dog is potty trained and not suffering from any allergies. However, if this is made into a habit, your pup can become restless and anxious if their sleeping arrangements are suddenly changed.

Why does my puppy cry/whine at night?

When you first bring a puppy home, you can expect them to cry and whine a little at night for the first few nights. This is due to it being an unfamiliar environment for them as well as separation anxiety. Your puppy will get used to the environment in a few days and it won’t be as scary for them as it once was. It is also possible for your puppy to cry or whine at night if they are suffering from any kind of discomfort or medical conditions. These little canines also suffer from boredom. So, this can also be one of the reasons for crying or whining at night.

What time should you stop feeding your puppy at night?

It is a good idea to feed your puppy a meal at least 3 to 4 hours before going to bed at night.

When should I be worried when my dog is sleeping too much?

Sleep provides rest and helps the furry beings recharge. However, at times you need to be careful when your pup is sleeping excessively. Sometimes when the pup is overtired, chances are that they will be sleepy early and sleep more than usual. Other reasons are changes in diet, change of place, or some medical conditions. If you are unable to figure it out why your pup is sleeping excessively, it’s best to see a veterinarian.

Final Thoughts on New Puppy Sleep Schedule and Naptime

Ensuring that your puppy is healthy and happy requires a lot of work. If you take care of their day as well as nighttime routine well, you will have great company to cuddle with and have lots of fun. Last and most importantly, it is not important what time should a puppy go to bed. But what works for you, your puppy and your schedule.

You can choose any comfortable time as per your household. However, make sure you follow the puppy routine for sleep and tips mentioned in the article to help your puppy be able to sleep when needed.