Getting a new puppy can be extremely exciting, but you are probably also wanting to know how to keep your puppy awake so you can get them to sleep at bedtime. Puppies will tend to sleep at all different times of the day similar to a baby, but if you can keep them awake before bedtime then you can ensure that you will get them on a good schedule and sleeping through the night.
How do you keep a puppy awake before bedtime?
You can keep your puppy awake before bedtime by going for a short walk, providing mental stimulation for your puppy, working on training prior to bedtime, and planning your puppy’s schedule accordingly.
Keeping your puppy awake before bedtime is an important part of establishing a good routine with your puppy so they can learn when bedtime is and start to sleep through the night.
The information in this guide has been provided by dog experts and trainers in order to provide you with accurate information to help you keep your puppy awake before bedtime.
Ways to Keep Your Puppy Awake Before Bedtime
Although puppies will sleep throughout the day, there are ways to help them prepare for bedtime and keep them awake so they can get on a good sleep schedule.
1. Go For A Short Walk
One of the best ways to get a puppy to stay awake until bedtime is to tire them out throughout the day. Puppies have a lot of energy and will want to play throughout the day.
However, one of the best ways to keep them awake directly before bedtime is to give them some sort of exercise prior to needing them to go to sleep.
One of the best ways to do this is to take them for a short walk around the block. Puppies do not have the stamina that full grown dogs do so they do not need a long walk to wear them out. A walk that is 10 minutes long will be plenty for your puppy.
If you plan for a walk about 30 minutes before bedtime then you will be able to time it properly so your puppy will be ready to fall asleep.
2. Provide Mental Stimulation
If your puppy has not had all of its vaccines and cannot go on a walk just yet, then another great way to tire them out prior to bedtime is to provide stimulation.
You can buy great brain games that will allow them to mentally wear themselves out so they feel more prepared to go to sleep. A puzzle feeder is a great way to feed them dinner and slow them down so they are forced to use their brain.
In the event you want a stimulating game right before bed, you can buy treat balls that will make the puppy use their nose to push it around and get the treats out or you can also buy a lick mat and put wet food or peanut butter so your puppy must slow down and lick the food off of it.
Something as simple as a brain game before bed can mentally tire out your puppy and have them ready to go to sleep at bedtime.
3. Work On Training
As your puppy begins to get older, you will most likely want to start working on obedience training. This can actually be exhausting mentally and physically for your puppy so it can be great to work on some training prior to bedtime.
Puppies will learn with repetition so you may work on training at one point during the day, but before bedtime is a great time to spend 15-20 minutes and work with your puppy. Teaching things just as sit, down, and stay are simple and easy for puppies to work on.
By using the time before bed to work on training, you are not only getting an extra training session in but your puppy will most likely be worn out and ready to go to sleep afterwards.
4. Plan Schedule Accordingly
One of the most important things you can do to keep your puppy awake before bedtime is to plan their day accordingly.
Make sure they are eating their meals at the same times every day and try to plan for bedtime at the same time each evening. Once your puppy realizes that bedtime is at a certain time each night, they will begin to understand when they need to settle down for the night.
Puppies will want to play throughout the day, but it is a good idea to not play too hard early in the day and leave them exhausted and sleeping in the evening before it is bedtime. Let them play during the day, but leave some of the playtime to before bed so they can burn off any remaining energy and be ready to sleep.
How Can You Get Your Puppy To Sleep All Night?
Once you have figured out how to keep your puppy awake before bedtime, the next challenge will probably be how to get your puppy to sleep through the night.
There are certain things you can do to make your puppy comfortable and relaxed, which will allow them to sleep through the entire night.
1. Sleeping Location
You want your puppy to have a comfortable location to sleep. It can be good for them to sleep in the same room as you so they feel the comfort of your presence.
Since puppies have been used to sleeping with their siblings and mom, you do not want to isolate them alone in a room at night. This can cause anxiety and result in your puppy crying through the night.
Although it is a good idea to have your puppy sleep in the same room as you, it is best to not have them in bed with you. Giving them their own bed in a crate is a good starting point to get your puppy comfortable sleeping in their own space.
If you decide to crate train your puppy, you may find that covering the crate helps to provide an added level of security.
You can always try this out by placing a towel or blanket over their crate and see if that helps. If covering the crate helps your puppy, there are crate covers that you can purchase that will allow more airflow through the crate so your puppy does not get too warm.
2. Give Your Puppy Comfortable Bedding
Along with finding the right spot for your puppy to sleep, you also want to be sure to provide a comfortable bed or bedding for your puppy.
If your puppy is uncomfortable or the temperature is off then your puppy may cry through the night. It can potentially take some experimenting in order to find the right bedding for your puppy.
You can provide your puppy with a bed and a soft blanket if you want or if they are in a crate then a crate pad along with a blanket can be comforting. Since your puppy is adjusting to sleeping on their own, you want them to feel safe and relaxed when they go to sleep.
Some puppies may be tempted to shred and chew on their blankets and bedding. If they are doing this, you may need to invest in bedding that is sturdier and chew proof. This will also help to prevent your puppy from not only chewing up their bedding or bed, but also ingesting it which could lead to serious health problems.
3. Play Calming Sounds
There are quite a few options on what type of calming music is best to help puppies sleep at night. Sometimes playing something relaxing will help your puppy worry less about their new surroundings as well as the new noises they hear throughout the night.
If your puppy seems to not like the music, then you can always play nature sounds or even just white noise. Just like with a baby, it can be helpful to block out external noise that will wake or distract your puppy.
4. Provide A Snuggle Buddy
If you have tried several things and you are still struggling to get your puppy to sleep through the night, you can try purchasing a stuffed animal that actually has a heartbeat inside of it and provides a small amount of warmth. These little stuffed animals can help your puppy feel as though they are cuddled up with their siblings.
Some puppies will have a harder time adjusting to sleeping on their own so this can be a beneficial way to provide some added comfort during the night especially in the initial weeks of transitioning to your home.
5. Take a Potty Break Right Before Bed
Puppies do not have large bladders so they typically cannot hold it through the entire night at first. A great routine to get into with your puppy is to take them to go to the bathroom directly before bed.
It may take some practice to get them used to going to the bathroom at certain times, but if you keep at it then you will find that they understand they need to go to the bathroom before they go in for the night.
This will allow them to empty their bladder and potentially help them to sleep through the night.
6. Soothing Scents
Sometimes adding soothing scents to the room can also help relax a puppy along with music or white noise. You can use something called dog appeasing pheromones or DAP.
These pheromones mimic what their mother releases when nursing them, which can provide added comfort when they are adjusting to life away from their mother.
You can buy a diffuser that will emit these scents as well as spray. If you find that the diffuser is not providing enough then you can always spray the room as well as the puppy’s bedding.
When Do Puppies Sleep Through The Night?
If you have recently gotten a puppy and you are struggling to get them to sleep through the night, you are probably wondering when they will actually sleep the entire night on their own.
Most puppies will start sleeping through the night around 16 weeks or 4 months of age. If you bring home a puppy that is 6 to 8 weeks old, do not be surprised if they cannot sleep through the night.
They are going through a lot of adjustments and changes. It will take them time to get comfortable in their new environment and they are also not potty trained at this point. Their bladders are too small for them to sleep through the night at such a young age so expect them to wake you up to go to the bathroom or for a few accidents to occur overnight.
How Much Sleep Do Puppies Need?
A young puppy that is around 8 weeks old will need anywhere from 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day. This may seem like a lot, but puppies are growing and this requires energy.
You will most likely notice your puppy napping frequently throughout the day, especially at such a young age.
Although you may be tempted to keep your puppy awake in order to get them to sleep through the night, if you try to keep them awake all day long it may have the opposite effect. A puppy that is overly tired may struggle to sleep at night.
It is okay to let your puppy take normal naps throughout the day, but if possible, try to keep them up for the couple of hours leading up to bedtime. This will ensure that they are tired and ready to go to sleep at bedtime instead of thinking that it is playtime.