How to help your puppy get a better night’s sleep
Sleep: it’s a restorative force that all animals rely on and dogs are no exception. While cats have a reputation for sleeping most of the day, dogs sleep nearly as much, needing between 12 to 14 hours as an adult and as much as 20 as a puppy.
The problem with puppies is that they tend to be excitable and anxious, in part because they’re not yet used to your home. As they get older, they often find it easier to sleep, but the early going can be difficult – and that makes your life harder too.
Here are some tips to encourage a good night’s sleep as the day winds to a close.
Crate your puppy
A dog crate is a type of pen that’s designed for the dog to enter and exit. A major benefit of a crate is it gives the dog the sense that it’s enclosed in something, and that it’s safe. To the pen, add a blanket or cushion to make it comfortable, and if your pup is particularly anxious, situate the crate next to your bed.
Make exercise a priority
We always talk about the importance of exercise, but we do it with good reason: it feeds into every part of a dog’s wellbeing – young or old.
Since your dog is young and not ready for a walk outside, invest in some toys and games from Amazon (or your preferred doggy retailer) to keep them stimulated throughout the day. This will not only keep the mind developing, it’ll tire the puppy out so that he’s more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
Invest in a routine
Dogs are happiest when they have a roadmap they can follow. Stick to a consistent routine, with mealtime, playtime and bedtime set to specific times of the day. This will help the dog settle down more quickly for the night.
As an aside, try to keep bedtime and playtime nicely spaced apart: this will ensure your dog isn’t overly excitable just before he’s supposed to get some sleep.
Chewable toys are a good idea
Shop around for bones and chewable toys suitable for pups. Even if they’re teething, they’re still going to get enjoyment from this activity, and they’ll find it calming too. This is a good tip for a dog of any age because studies show that chewing keeps our beloved animals occupied and in a state of zen.
Let them pee and poo before bed
Try to serve the final meal of the day a few hours before bed. This will give your dog time to digest the food and go to the toilet. Like all animals, dogs that have satisfied these base urges are likely to get better sleep. It will also mean they’re not going to be stimulated by the sights and sounds of the outdoors (while they’re doing their business).
With a bit of persistence and a nice, stable routine, you should have your pup curled into a cute ball in no time at all. If it doesn’t work at first, keep trying. Routine really is key.