Many puppy parents watch in awe as the pup learns how to do everyday things. It’s amazing to see the world for the first time. One thing puppies love to do is sleep. You may worry as a puppy parent that your dog is sleeping too little or too much. We’ve got all you need to know about their sweet sleep patterns.
Most dogs are adopted away from their mothers from eight to 12 weeks old. This is a very important time as the puppies are learning how to do things on their own. This takes a lot out of a doggy. This is the time when the dog will sleep the most. It isn’t strange for them to sleep up to 20 hours a day. Their bodies and brains are growing at a rapid speed. You may notice them going full-speed then get tired very quickly.
Puppies are not much different than newborn babies as they need to nurse, sleep, and stay warm. It’s important to let the dog sleep as much as it needs. Don’t disturb it by petting it or picking it up.
Dog Sleep vs. Human Sleep
Pups have a circadian rhythm just like humans that regulates their sleep. This helps all of us sleep enjoy a deep sleep at night. The only difference is that dogs sleep multiple times throughout a day, called a polyphasic sleep pattern. Human usually only need about six to eight hours of sleep, while dogs will sleep 45 minutes at a time. This is why many pups sleep many times throughout the day. If your dog is very active during the day, they can easily transition from a sleepy state to a deep REM state.
These shorter periods of sleep are a possible explanation for why dogs sleep so much. It takes time for dogs to move from a state of drowsiness to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Dogs with more activity during the day transition more quickly from the drowsy state to REM. This is the deep state of sleep when puppies dream and twitch. They can also easily go from being in a deep sleep to being very active. This is why they may be passed out, but perk right up when the doorbell rings.
You may notice your puppy panting in its sleep. Don’t jump to conclusions and shake it to wake it up. There are many reasons they may be panting. As long as your pup is taking about 15 to 40 breaths per minute, they are okay. Your pup might be hot, so they are trying to cool themselves off as they sleep. They could be having a very intense dream. Sometimes they are just doing the natural way of sleeping and growing as they sleep. As long as they aren’t coughing during this process, they are fine. Overall, it’s a natural thing to pant in their sleep. As long as they are breathing normally along with the pant and it doesn’t last too long, they are fine.
Babies have a strict sleeping schedule in most homes, so many people wonder if their puppies need a sleeping schedule. It’s good to have a nighttime ritual if you want a night of uninterrupted sleep as an owner. A routine helps the puppy understand that daytime is the time when they go to the bathroom, play, and eat. Make sure they are getting enough playtime and exercise during the day, so they will sleep throughout the night. It’s best not to feed them right before everyone goes to bed so they aren’t begging to go to the restroom while you want to sleep.
Puppies need a designated sleep area. Some pup parents let them sleep on the bed, but most puppies are happiest in a crate or dog bed. A dog crate allows them security and a place to call their own. The puppy bed is up to the puppy parent.
Too Much Or Too Little Sleep
It’s tough to figure out if your puppy is getting too little or too much sleep at times. They are just like humans in that they might sleep a lot the day after a lot of activity. They also may need extra sleep when their routines are thrown off or they’ve changing sleeping environments. This could be if you are on vacation, and they are trying to figure out how to sleep in this unfamiliar territory.
If you notice this is ongoing, it could mean they have an underlying health issues. Watch for changes in eating habits, weight gain, or a change in breathing. This could mean a dog is depressed or anxious. They may also have hypothyroidism leading their metabolism to slow down so they sleep more. They could suffer from diabetes. The dog could just need more exercise during the day that burns off their energy.
You know your dog better than anyone else. You will notice if their personality or behavior has changed. If you notice their sleep patterns are totally thrown off for a long period of time, reach out to your veterinarian.
Puppies love to sleep. It’s okay if they spend most of their day in a deep sleep. It means they’re growing. Enjoy each and every moment with your sweet puppy.