It’s no secret that babies take naps. In fact, it’s pretty much a given that whenever you have a young child in the house, there will be at least one nap (or two, or three) during the course of the day. But what about puppies? Do they need naps too? How much sleep do puppies need? Let’s explore why your puppy needs rest to grow.
The short answer is yes! Puppies need naps just as much as babies do, and for many of the same reasons. Sleep is important for puppies’ physical and mental wellbeing and helps them to learn and grow. Let’s explore why naps are so important for puppies and how to make sure your puppy is getting enough shut eye.
How Much Sleep do Puppies Need?
On average, puppies need about 16-18 hours of sleep per day. This may seem like a lot, but when you break it down, it’s not so bad. Most puppies will sleep for 6-8 hours at night, and then take a few short naps during the day. Depending on their age and activity level, puppies may also need an additional long nap in the afternoon or early evening.
Why are Naps Important for Puppies?
Naps are important for puppies because they help with physical growth and development. While puppies are sleeping, their bodies are able to rest and repair any damaged cells. Naps also help with mental development; during sleep, puppies’ brains are able to process all of the new information they have learned during the day. When your puppy is able to have good sleep, they retain their training better.
In addition, sleep helps to boost immunity, which is especially important for puppies who are still developing their own natural immunity. A good night’s sleep can also help to reduce stress and promote a healthy appetite.
Finally, naps help to keep puppies’ energy levels in check. A well-rested puppy = a less over stimulated puppy = a happier family! If your puppy is well-rested, she is less likely to get into mischief during the day. Now, let’s be reasonable- puppies are still puppies so there will still be plenty of shenanigans to get into. It’s unrealistic to think that naps will solve all our puppy predicaments. However, over tired puppies tend to bite more, jump more, grab onto your clothes, more, and leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated (not unlike a mom with an overtired toddler who missed nap time).
How to Help Your Puppy Get Enough Sleep
There are a few things you can do to make sure your puppy is getting enough sleep:
- Set a regular sleep schedule: Just like human babies, puppies do best when they have a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed at roughly the same time each night and getting up at roughly the same time each morning.
- Create a calm environment: Puppies should nap in a quiet place where they won’t be disturbed by noise or activity. A crate or dog bed placed in a corner of your bedroom or another quiet room in your home should do the trick!
- Limit activity before bedtime: To help your puppy wind down before bedtime, avoid playing or exercising too close to his or her usual bedtime. A short walk around the block or some light playtime indoors should be sufficient (save that romp in the yard for earlier in the evening).
Do a Sleep Assessment
Take a moment to do an assessment on what kind of sleep your puppy gets during the day? Is your puppy really resting and rejuvenating or is your puppy getting little cat naps during the day with interrupted sleep as you move around the house?
It’s been my experience that most puppies are not receiving quality sleep. Could your puppy’s sleep schedule use some changes?
Puppies need naps just as much as babies do – possibly even more! Naps help with physical growth and development, mental development, stress relief, immunity boosting, and energy levels. Creating a regular sleep schedule and a calm environment for napping free from noise and activity is one of the easiest adjustments you can make to your daily routine to promote better well-being for both you and your puppy. Your puppy is growing at a rapid rate and that takes a lot of energy!
Need help navigating puppyhood? Book your free Discovery Session to find out how we can help you achieve your goals. Yes, I could use help.