Having a new puppy is a magical time, but just like babies, they can deprive new pet parents of priceless sleep. This begs the question, "How long do puppies sleep?" After all, understanding how much your puppy needs to sleep can give you a good idea of how to create a good puppy sleep schedule.
It's also vital to know when your puppy is sleeping too little, as this can affect their development, or too much, since this could signal an underlying health issue. So let's look at what's normal for sleeping puppies so you can properly schedule those naps.
- How Long Should Puppies Sleep
- Why Do Puppies Sleep So Much
- Puppy Sleep Chart By Age
- When Can Puppies Sleep Through The Night
How Long Should Puppies Sleep
Puppies should sleep 12 to 20 hours daily, depending on their age, breed, and environment. When puppies are newborns, they sleep 90% of the time, but this will gradually decrease to 10 to 14 hours by the time they are six months old. So it's perfectly normal for puppies to sleep a lot.
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Puppies usually nap during the day for about 1 to 3.5 hours at a time (or an average of 2 hours). They are generally only awake for 1 to 2 hours between naps, totaling about 5 to 6 hours during the day when they are little (8 to 12 weeks).
Keep in mind that many factors influence how many hours a puppy sleeps. For example, a bulldog or pug puppy may love to sleep long hours, but their short noses may give them sleep apnea and make it hard for them to rest as much as puppies need.
On the other hand, according to NCBI study, some working breeds, like the Belgian Malinois, are genetically programmed to be extremely alert and active. This means that even as puppies, they often don't want to settle down as often as they need to.
A good schedule with a puppy ensures they get enough sleep. It also helps solve any problems, like potty training, when raising a puppy.
Crate training your puppy is essential for this, as the crate is to the puppy what the cradle is to a baby. A regular nap and sleep schedule for puppies means regular time to settle in the crate.
Your puppy may not be asleep the entire time (set up a Petcube Camera nearby to monitor them), but they can have chew toys to keep them settled during their designated crate time.
My own very active 12-week-old Bull Terrier puppy, Arthur, has three scheduled 2-hour naps during the day at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3 p.m. During the night, he usually sleeps from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Why Do Puppies Sleep So Much
Puppies sleep so much because sleeping lets the brain process everything they have learned and store new memories. So a nap after obedience training sessions is a great way to help your puppy learn. Sleeping also conserves the energy they need for their growing bodies and aids their immune system.
So there's usually no need to worry if your 8-week-old or 3-month-old puppy sleeps a lot. They need this time for their brains and bodies to develop and learn.
However, if your puppy suddenly starts sleeping much more than usual or you have an older dog, such as a 4-month-old puppy, sleeping all day, it may be time to see a veterinarian.
When regular sleeping becomes lethargy, such as when your puppy is listless, weak, and only wants to lay down to sleep, it could be very serious. Possible reasons for lethargy in puppies include:
- Infections like distemper, parvo, or leptospirosis;
- Low blood sugar (in more miniature puppies);
- Severe conditions like liver or heart issues;
- Certain medications;
- Diseases or malnutrition from parasites like intestinal worms, heartworms, or tick-borne diseases.
Puppy Sleep Chart By Age
To answer questions like "How much do puppies sleep at eight weeks?" and to give you an idea of what your puppy's sleep schedule should look like, we put together this puppy sleep chart by age.
By noticing when your puppy is sleeping abnormally, you can better understand whether you may need to dip into your Emergency Fund, which is special insurance for pets. With this insurance, you can protect all your pets from emergencies for less than $1 per day. Subscribe now and get 24/7 vet support and compensation for the treatment of your dog or cat.
|Puppy Age||Daily Hours Asleep|
|Newborn puppy||Newborns will sleep 22 hours a day, only waking up to feed. As they get older, they start to spend more time interacting with each other and their environment.|
|8-week-old||An 8-week-old puppy will sleep roughly 16 to 20 hours a day.|
|3 months||A 3-month-old puppy typically sleeps 12 to 16 hours a day.|
|4 months||At 4 months (16 weeks), puppies sleep between 11 and 15 hours a day.|
|6 months||At 6 months, puppies start to sleep about as much as they do as adults, averaging about 10 to 14 hours.|
|12 months||At 12 months, the average puppy sleeps at least 10 hours a day. This differs according to individuals and breed, with some dogs sleeping up to 15 hours.|
When Can Puppies Sleep Through The Night
Most puppies can sleep through the night when they are four months old (16 weeks). However, small-breed puppies may be physically limited by their tiny bladders to go 6 to 8 hours without waking up because they need to pee. Large breeds may start sleeping through the night by three months.
Remember, if your puppy suddenly starts waking up at night or having accidents when they were potty trained, immediately get them checked out for a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Do puppies snore?
Many puppies snore. Short-nosed breeds like Pugs or French Bulldog puppies can snore nearly 100% of the time they are asleep. Other breed studies show that breeds that often snore as puppies include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, and, surprisingly, even the English Cocker Spaniel.
Why do puppies sleep with one eye open?
It's normal for puppies to sleep with one eye or even both eyes slowly open sometimes. This is because they have a third transparent eyelid (called the nictitating membrane) covering their eye when they sleep, giving the appearance of an open eye.
However, certain conditions, like Brachycephalic Ocular Syndrome, mean the dog can't close the eyelids. Neurological issues like epilepsy or narcolepsy can prevent the eyes from shutting when they're asleep.
Puppies need ample sleep to support their growth, development, and well-being. By understanding their evolving sleep patterns at different ages and providing them with a suitable sleep environment, you're setting the stage for a happy, healthy, and well-rested canine companion.