Having a tiny puppy at home is similar to having a newborn (human) baby. Sleepless nights are part of helping your new family member adjust to your routine. Even so, there are ways you can help your puppy sleep through the night.
Where Should My Puppy Sleep?
Crate-training your puppy can help prevent accidents. Dogs generally do not like to pee or poop in their “den”. However, if you leave your puppy crated for too long, they may still have an accident.
Sometimes your puppy will cry in their crate when they need to go potty. At other times though, they’ll cry or bark when they’re bored, lonely, or scared. As grating as those shrill cries can be at 3AM, your puppy never cries to intentionally cause trouble.
It’s okay to keep your puppy’s crate in your bedroom, or camp out on the couch during their first few weeks. As it will be your puppy’s first experience away from their brothers and sisters, they’ll need time to figure out that their crate is their new safe space. Having you close-by while they sleep will help minimize excessive whining due to loneliness. That means when they do bark, it will be because they need to go out.
Bringing the puppy to bed with you can, in some cases, be a good idea. If you’re a light sleeper, you’ll be able to get up when puppy stirs, and you’ll be able to get them outside in time to go potty. However, this can be a surefire way to ruin a mattress. The biggest perk is that your puppy will feel safe and secure, and they’re unlikely to bark or cry.
Minimizing Nighttime Potty Breaks
Your puppy should need no more than one to two potty breaks during the night.
You can feed dinner earlier if you’re finding that they constantly need to go out at night. You should not restrict your puppy’s water intake, even in the evenings. Restricting water can lead to over-drinking when they do have access to it, and it can also lead to health issues like a UTI, which can lead to a backslide in your puppy’s training.
When your puppy barks in their crate, you should take them for a quick potty break outside. Avoid playing with them or going for a long, fun walk.
Your puppy may bark in their crate, only for you to take them outside and for them to not go potty. They may even have an accident indoors as soon as you take them inside. Don’t be discouraged. Soon, you’ll get into a routine with your puppy. At first, it’s better if you take your puppy out too frequently, than to ignore whining when they need to go out.
The key to keeping your puppy asleep is to make sure they get enough exercise, stimulation, and attention. Keep in mind that puppies sleep for around 15-20 hours per day. They do not need a lot of walks or playtime to make them tired enough to sleep all night. In fact, playing too close to bedtime can lead to an overtired, hyper puppy who is difficult to settle. There’s a sweet spot when it comes to how much activity your puppy needs, and when. With time, you’ll figure out a schedule that works best for your pup.
It Takes A Village
Raising a puppy is overwhelming, whether it’s your first time or you’ve raised a few dogs from puppyhood. Working with a trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement training based in behavioural science is the best way to stay sane through those growing pains.
Healthy Houndz dog training works remotely with dog parents worldwide, as well as locally with dog parents of Toronto and North York. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation call today.