It’s incredibly exciting bringing your new puppy home, albeit slightly nerve-wracking to be responsible for looking after and taking care of another life.
However, although it’s normal for puppies to sleep a lot, new dog owners might be wondering: why is my puppy sleeping so much and more than usual?
In this article, I cover some key information on puppies and sleep and also offer some reasons why your pup might be sleepy, so you can hopefully gain a better understanding of your new addition.
Keep reading to find out more.
As a new puppy parent, the amount of information you need to know can feel overwhelming. But, relax – it’ll come with time, and you’re about to learn that your puppy absolutely loves to sleep. In fact, your puppy is going to sleep so much that you are likely to question whether something is wrong and whether your pup sleeping this much is abnormal.
Why is my puppy sleeping so much?
The good news is that it is entirely normal for puppies to sleep a lot. In fact, it isn’t out of the ordinary for puppies to sleep between 18 to 20 hours a day. Your puppy’s sleep is essential to their growth, contributing to the essential development of his central nervous system, brain, immune system, and muscles.
So, while they are small bundles of energy when they’re awake and playing with you, they require long durations of sleep in order to help them rest during their growth spurts.
Bearing this in mind, then, It is also worth mentioning that some puppies will also begin sleeping more than usual at certain points in their development and growth. Taking this into account, in the majority of cases, your puppy sleeping too much shouldn’t be a concern for you.
How much should a newborn puppy sleep?
It is incredibly important that a puppy doesn’t leave their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old. That being said, if your dog has had a litter of puppies or you’ve recently fostered a puppy, then this is an important answer for you. If your puppy is a newborn or under four weeks old, then it is completely normal for them to sleep up to 22 hours a day and you shouldn’t be alarmed by this.
Generally speaking, newborn pups will sleep in the same basket as their mother for easy feeding, but also because you should generally avoid picking a newborn puppy up too much as they need all the sleep they can get to grow strong. That being said, the basket is the best place for them.
All a newborn pup has to worry about is nuzzling for their next meal, whether that be from their mother or from a bottle full of milk formula, and they may even do this while they’re still half dozing.
If you’re nursing a puppy at this age because his mother is not able to then you’re in for a busy night. Even if your newborn puppy is sleeping for the majority of the time, they still need to be regularly fed. It’s totally normal to be bottle-feeding a newborn pup every two hours until they’re a little bit older and can go for longer periods without milk.
How much should a 1-3 month puppy sleep?
From around 4 weeks to 3 months old, you can expect your puppy to become extremely active! From running around, to playing, to barking, they’ll be learning so much about the world around them and their rest is crucial to help them as they go through a rapid growth spurt. At this age, then, it is entirely normal for your puppy to still be sleeping up to 20 hours per day.
How much should a 3 month to 1-year puppy sleep?
This is when you can expect your puppy’s sleep to decrease slowly, to around 15 hours a day. However, that being said, it’s still entirely normal for them to sleep a lot and you can expect their sleeping patterns to change as they go through a significant growth spurt.
If you think about it like this, a puppy is still going to grow while their bones are still developing, which can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months depending on their breed. Despite the fact that they are considered adults at 12 months old, you can still expect your pooch to grow and thus, it is normal if they begin sleeping more again to compensate for that.
Why do one-year-old dogs and up sleep so much?
Your puppy is considered an adult once they reach one year, and they should be sleeping between 12 to 14 hours a day. However, the amount of time they spend asleep will also depend on a few factors.
Namely, their breed and size will determine how much sleep your dog will get. If they’re a large breed of dog, it is likely that they’ll still be sleeping for up to 18 hours a day.
Their daily activity is also important to consider, especially if you have a working dog.
Lastly, their diet and wellbeing can also affect how much time they spend asleep.
Finding the balance and ensuring that your pup is getting enough sleep is important.
Be aware of how much your puppy isn’t sleeping to ensure that they are getting enough rest.
Of the time that they do spend awake, puppies burn through a lot of their energy – and fast. They’re experiencing new and exciting smells, places, and people throughout the day and the combination amounts to an incredibly stimulating environment. That being said, they won’t always want to go to sleep when they need to!
In fact, you actively need to encourage your puppy to sleep throughout the day when they are still recognizing that they need to sleep. Below are a few tips that you can follow if you are noticing that your puppy isn’t sleeping enough throughout the day for their age range.
Tips to encourage your puppy to sleep during the day
- Show your puppy where to sleep. Making sure your puppy knows where to go when they’re feeling drowsy is really important, so when they seem tired take them to a safe, comfortable place that they know is theirs. Whether it’s their bed or a crate, it’s important that they gain an association of this being the place where they come to sleep without being disturbed.
- Leave your puppy to sleep undisturbed. This is a really important tip and might be hard if you want to spend all of your time cuddling your puppy to sleep. That being said, it is fundamental that your puppy learns to sleep on their own, and isn’t reliant on you to rest in any way.
- Recognize overtired behavior. Making sure that you are in tune and noticing when your puppy is tired is really important. If you allow your puppy to become overstimulated, it can lead to misbehavior and it won’t be good for you or their health if they don’t get enough sleep. Take them to their bed and encourage them to wind down before leaving them to sleep.
- Follow a set schedule. If you work regular hours or a 9-5 job, then it is highly likely that you’ll already have an idea of a routine of when you walk and exercise your pup to fit in around that. However, a set schedule is so important so that your puppy can sleep following their walk or playtime.
Why is my puppy sleeping more than usual?
Now you have a better idea of how much your puppy is sleeping, you’ll be able to recognize more easily if you need to be concerned about how much they’re sleeping.
The best way to determine whether something is wrong with the amount of sleep your puppy is getting is to observe and monitor how they behave when they’re awake.
If they’re full of their usual energy levels and are happy to play with you as normal, then it is likely that your puppy is fine and could just be going through a growth spurt. As I’ve mentioned above, dogs often need more sleep to compensate for the energy they use during a growth spurt, and this could likely be the reason that they’re taking longer naps throughout the day.
That being said, there are a few telltale signs that something isn’t quite right. For instance, if your puppy’s sleep is interfering with them eating or drinking throughout the day, then it could be a sign of a bigger issue and why your puppy is sleeping more than usual.
Although sleep is fundamental to their development, their nutritional needs are equally as important, and they need to be eating regularly in order to maintain their muscles and drinking enough water to remain hydrated throughout the day. This is especially true if they’re exercising as normal, but are frequently refusing to eat or drink anything.
Another sign you’ll need to keep an eye out for is an increase or decrease in them needing to urinate or defecate. If your puppy has an upset stomach that is making them want to sleep more, then you’ll likely know about it if they’re needing to poop more frequently than usual or their stool is an unusual texture.
In this situation, it is crucial that you visit the veterinarian as soon as possible, as you don’t want your puppy to become dehydrated through all of the liquids that they’re losing.
If the increase in sleep comes with behavioral problems that are out of character for your puppy, then something larger might be at fault. For instance, if you find your puppy staring at walls, are increasingly aggressive or fearful, or are pacing around the room a lot of the time when they’re not asleep, then all signs point to the fact that your dog could be suffering from anxiety.
A lot of dogs have separation anxiety, too, so monitoring how much time they’re left on their own is also important to see if this makes a difference in how much they’re sleeping.
Lastly, if you have monitored your puppy’s behavior for a significant period of time and observe that they seem lethargic or more disengaged during their waking hours than usual, then you should think about seeking advice from your veterinarian. It is worth mentioning that as you’re getting to know your new puppy, your veterinarian is only a phone call away and is on hand to help as you adapt to your new life with your pet.
It could just be that your puppy is feeling under the weather because they haven’t been drinking enough water, they have an illness, or you’re not feeding them an adequate diet. A veterinarian will be able to offer you advice on adjustments you can make to your puppy’s diet, and will be able to shed some light on why they have less energy than usual.
If in doubt, it is always best to seek professional advice to ensure that there isn’t something more sinister going on or if your pup is suffering from an underlying health condition that you don’t know about. The vet will be able to ease your mind, and hopefully things will begin to improve once they’ve examined your pup.
It is totally normal for puppies to sleep for the majority of their day! That being said, if your puppy’s behavior during their waking hours seems off, different, or abnormal in any way, monitor them closely and if it continues, it might be time to seek professional advice from your veterinarian.
Although it’s normal for a puppy to sleep a lot, it is always better to be safe than sorry. That being said, if in doubt you should always seek help from a veterinarian if you believe that your puppy is sleeping more than they usually would on average for your own peace of mind.