When your puppy or new dog first comes home, their first night can be tough and they may have some trouble settling in. Moving into a brand-new home with people you don’t know can be very stressful, even if introductions have gone smoothly. This article will walk you through a few techniques for getting your new pup to sleep through the night.
What to Expect on Your Puppy or New Dogs First Night Home
Your new dog will have to learn new sounds in the house, new voices, and a new way of living.
If possible, you should ask your dog’s breeder, rescue organization, or foster family for a towel, toy, or even a small blanket that smells like their mother, siblings, or previous home to give them at bedtime. This can help your dog feel calmer as familiar scents help dogs relax and settle into a new place.
When learning how to get a puppy to sleep through the night, familiarity should never be underestimated. The younger your puppy is, the less likely it will be to sleep through the night for the first few weeks or months. Your puppy not sleeping at night can be caused by many different things but that’s normal.
If your puppy begins to fuss or cry, try taking them outside. Going on a walk may help get rid of any pent-up energy, causing your dog to fall asleep faster.
When do puppies sleep through the night?
Most puppies will begin to consistently sleep through the night when they are around three- four months old. At this point, they can often transition from a crate to a dog bed outside a crate.
Learning how to get a puppy to sleep through the night can help your new addition settle in much faster – but first, you must try to understand the reason behind why your dog isn’t sleeping.
Why Won’t My Dog Sleep
Is your puppy not sleeping at night and taking short, irregular naps throughout the day? Are they anxious? Scared? Energetic? Excited? If scared, you won’t want to exercise a scared dog as this isn’t likely to improve the situation. That is why it is important to understand the reason behind the sleep pattern – or lack thereof.
Some common reasons for a dog’s lack of sleep include:
- Your dog needs to go to the bathroom
- In this instance, your best bet is to take your dog outside for a walk as soon as possible. Once your dog is back inside after relieving themselves, reward them with a delicious dog treat and encourage them back to bed.
- Your dog needs to play or has a lot of extra energy
- If you are unable to exercise your dog enough during the day, they may find it hard to fall asleep at night. Remedy this by spending more play time with your dog throughout the day.
- Your dog likes the attention
- If you often cuddle your puppy or play with them when they wake up, you may actually be teaching them that being fussy around bedtime is a great way to get attention from you. Instead, create boundaries with your dog by creating a schedule for playtime, cuddling, and sleepy time.
- Your dog doesn’t know how to relax
- Some dogs aren’t completely stressed out, but they likely never learned how to relax. These dogs are often hypervigilant to sounds and constantly seeking a job. If your dog is unable to wind down, try some mental exercises.
- Your dog is scared, anxious, or stressed
- If this is the case, your dog is likely struggling to sleep because they aren’t comfortable in their environment. You should try to comfort your dog and help them sleep by identifying and removing anything that may cause discomfort, such as loud noises, another pet, and even objects that you suspect cause your dog distress.
When do puppies sleep through the night?
You should know that this depends on each individual puppy and how they have adjusted to their new environment. For new pups, it may take an average of four months before the dog is able to sleep through the night regularly.
How To Get a Puppy to Sleep Through The Night
Okay so we’ve identified the issues and determined how to resolve your dog's lack of sleep with time, but how do we shorten the time frame it takes for your dog to adjust to this new sleep schedule? When you’re trying to get a dog to sleep fast, the best way to do so is to take a multi-pronged approach. For many dogs, a simple distraction such as, playing some calming music, just isn’t enough.
Never dwell and think that your dog is purposefully trying to keep you up. A healthy mindset will help you problem-solve and soothe your dog rather than getting frustrated. These strategies can help you learn how to get a puppy to sleep through the night.
Exercise Your Dog to Help Them Sleep
One of the biggest problems people face when learning how to get a puppy to sleep through the night is that they often have high-energy dogs that aren’t getting enough exercise. Any breed that was used for hunting, herding, work, or guarding in the past often needs far more exercise than other dogs.
You can also keep your dog mentally stimulated with mental exercises such as:
- Canine games
- Puzzle toys
- Sniffing for truffles
- Running with your dog
- Hire a dog walker
Teach Your Dog How to Relax
Dogs don’t come with an off switch that comes into effect around bedtime. It is important to teach your dog to lie down calmly on a towel, blanket, or dog bed for long periods of time. By teaching your dog to relax, they will know that a certain space becomes their safe space to unwind.
Give Your Dog a Quiet Place to Sleep
Have you ever tried to fall asleep with loud music on or with the TV playing? While some people have no issue with this, it is hard for many people to have a good sleep when their environment is far too busy or loud. This is even more so true when you’re not very tired.
With this in mind, giving your puppy a quiet place to sleep is of the utmost importance. Many dogs prefer to be with their people. A crate or bed in your bedroom should be enough to keep them happy. When learning how to get a puppy to sleep through the night, you must recognize how important you are in the process.
Give Chew Toys and Treats to Help Your Dog Relax and Sleep
Chewing and licking can help dogs become more relaxed as it is very soothing for them. It is quite similar to a baby sucking on a pacifier before bedtime. Chewing at night can also help your new addition wind-down and fall asleep.
Pick out soft toys or delicious treats to get the best out of the wind-down time.
Play Calming Music
There is a fair bit of research out there to prove that music can actually help dogs fall asleep. You can either purchase calming music specifically made for dogs, or you can hop on YouTube and find plenty of free alternatives. Prefer a more natural approach? Even chimes and soft bird chirps can help your dog relax.
Supplements to Help Your Dog Relax and Sleep
If your dog is struggling to sleep, it can often be linked to stress. There are many products available that can help to de-stress your dog. This includes things such as over-the-counter pheromone products or even calming dog treats.
Before getting supplements, it is best to talk to your vet as they may be able to recommend the right supplements that will suit your pup. Since all supplements are different, some may work better than others. Be sure to take the time to do your research and speak to your vet before pouring money into supplements.
The Bottom Line
Getting your dog to sleep comfortably throughout the night really doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Finding the root of your pups’ sleep problem is 50% of the battle. If you’re worried and the options above are not working, make sure you get your dog to the vet as there may be an underlying problem.