If you’ve welcomed a sweet little puppy into your life, you may be concerned about whether or not your new pet is getting enough rest. After all, puppies are still growing, and they need plenty of sleep to develop as they should; however, it may occasionally be a challenge to get Fido settled in so he can snooze peacefully through the night. To help you create more positive sleeping habits for your pet, we’ve compiled a helpful quick guide that is chock full of expert advice.
Here are some things to think about as you plan your canine pal’s sleeping schedule (and learn to care for your new pup):
Your Puppy’s Whining is a Signal – If you’ve just brought Fido home and he’s making plenty of anguished noises during the night, try to be understanding. Being taken away from his mother and other puppies may be causing his distress. Puppies are pack creatures; when one is separated from the rest, the lone animal will call out to the rest of the pack. It’s actually a plea for rescue.
The only way to soothe the emotions and innate pack instinct of your beloved pet is to be patient and to create the right sort of environment for rest. In time, your puppy will adjust to new surroundings. This will happen faster if you are loving and compassionate. However, being loving does not mean reacting to every distressed noise; it’s actually better to ignore whining if you can.
Make sure your puppy has everything he or she needs, but don’t come running when your young dog whines at night. It always helps to be aware of your pup’s underlying motivations. If you react to every noise, you’re puppy will constantly “summon” you, and the whining will go on for a long time.
Put Fido in Your Bedroom – Some pet owners choose to keep their puppies in their own bedroom areas; while this may be a good way to comfort a young dog in a new home, you should not put your dog in your own bed unless you want to share your intimate sleeping space with him or her every single night! Start as you mean to go on; if you don’t want your puppy in your room, don’t begin that way. Changing things later on will only confuse and upset your puppy and more changes will surely disturb everyone’s rest!
Create a Tranquil Sleeping Area – Consistency is the key to getting your puppy on a good sleeping schedule; a carefully-organized, quiet sleeping area will help you and your pup to stick to a more consistent schedule. To make the idea of sleeping more appealing to your pet, create a serene sleeping area that includes a crate lined with plenty of newspaper. Put a dog bed or old, clean pillow in the crate or kennel, so your pup has a nice, soft place to rest.
The best way to find the right spot is to wait for your puppy to lead you there. Your young dog will naturally gravitate to certain parts of the home, crate, or outdoor kennel area; by waiting to see where your puppy really wants to be, you may find an ideal corner or quiet space that hopefully works for pet and owner! Once you’ve located this “sweet spot”, it will be time to set up your puppy’s bed, and to gently enforce a consistent schedule that helps your pet (and you) to get sufficient rest.
Feed Your Pup Early – If you want to sleep through the night (and you also want your little puppy pal to snooze until morning), you need to consider feeding your puppy earlier. Late feedings lead to late-night trips outside or messy accidents indoors. Never feed your pup his second of third feeding later than seven p.m. in the evening. If you feed him or her later than this, you’ll be up all night taking your young dog out to go to the bathroom.
Very young pups can need up to three feedings per day, and older pups (sixth months and up) usually need two feedings per day. Schedule carefully, and give your pup some quiet time after he or she eats. Take your dog out before you go to bed, and then get him or her settled in a crate or quiet area. Staying with this schedule is extremely important. Try not to leave food out for your puppy. Puppies are perpetually hungry, and they aren’t great judges of how much they should eat. This can lead to plenty of late night “accidents” that keep everyone awake.
With a little forethought and organization, it will be possible to help your canine friend sleep through the night. Caring for a new puppy is a lot like caring for a baby; however, there are some basic differences. While a crying newborn should always be held and catered to, a crying (or whining pup) should probably be ignored. As long as you’ve taken care of your little pet, he or she will be fine for the night. Eventually, your puppy will get comfortable and realize than whining serves no purpose. At this point, you will both sleep easier.