Bringing home a new addition is one of the most exciting moments of pet parenthood. For first-time pet parents, this exciting time also comes with a number of questions, including “how long do puppies need to sleep?”. In honor of national puppy day, we’ve put together a guide to help new pet parents understand everything sleep-related for their new puppy.
Why do puppies need to
sleep more than dogs?
An adult dog sleeps between 12 and 14 hours a day, but a puppy
can sleep up to 20 hours a day! It’s no surprise that sleep is important to
your pup’s overall health, but why is it that puppies need so much more sleep
than adult dogs? There are three key reasons:
development: A puppy’s brain processes all of the new information they have
learned during its waking hours while they sleep.
- Immune system
development: Puppies aren’t born with fully developed immune systems, which
means they need to gain energy from sleep to help build it up over time.
adequate energy levels: Not only do puppies need to develop their
brains and immune systems, but they also need to build bones, strengthen
muscles and help the systems in their body grow – all of which is powered by
the energy they accumulate while they sleep.
How long do puppies
need to sleep?
The amount of time that a puppy needs to sleep depends on its
age, with the total daily sleeping time reducing as they get older:
- 8 weeks old: Approximately
20 hours of sleep per day
- 10-12 weeks
old: Approximately 18-20 hours a day
- 14-16 weeks
old: Approximately 18 hours a day
As a puppy finishes growing, they will start to settle into a
schedule of between 12 and 14 hours of sleep per day. However, the size of the
dog does play a role in how much they sleep. Large dog breeds require more
sleep than smaller breeds because they grow faster, which requires much more
energy, and therefore, more sleep!
How can I make sure my
puppy gets enough sleep?
When settling into their new home, puppies can be understandably
nervous. The uncertainty they feel can impact their regular sleep cycle, making
it difficult for them to fall and stay asleep. Knowing how long puppies need to
sleep and the importance of getting enough sleep, new pet parents may benefit
from trying the following tips to maximize their pup’s sleeping hours:
- Give them a
dedicated sleeping spot: Giving your puppy a dedicated sleeping spot
will train them to sleep independently rather than rely on you to help them
- Don’t disturb
your puppy while they sleep: As tempting as it is to let your puppy fall
asleep on your lap, by doing this you are more likely to wake them up
inadvertently or if you need to move. Instead, let them sleep uninterrupted in
their dedicated spot.
- Stick to a
consistent sleep schedule: Puppies thrive on routine not only during
their waking hours but their sleeping hours as well. Depending on their age,
puppies will nap between 30 minutes to as long as two hours. Planning their
expertise, potty breaks, training, and meals around this schedule as much as
you can make sure they’re getting enough sleep.
- Feed them a
high-quality diet: A high-quality diet is important at all stages of life, but
especially so during puppyhood. When puppies are fed a diet that helps them
meet all of their dietary requirements, they’re going to have more energy to
burn while they’re awake – which will help them sleep better.
How do I choose a diet
for my puppy?
Not only do puppies experience rapid physical growth during
their first months, but they undergo massive mental growth as well. When
they’re awake, puppies are constantly meeting new people, visiting new places,
and experiencing new things. But to have the energy necessary to support this
physical and mental growth, puppies need a high-quality diet!
When choosing a diet for your puppy, look for recipes that are
made from fresh, real ingredients. Not only do recipes made with fresh
ingredients taste better, but it’s healthier for your puppy and will establish
a great nutritional base for years to come.
Our Freshpet® Select Puppy Recipe is made with gently cooked fresh chicken, eggs, vitamin-rich carrots and high-fiber brown rice. This tasty recipe also has added EPA & DHA will help your puppy to grow up healthy and strong.
In addition to our puppy-specific recipe, our Vital and Nature’s Fresh lines are AAFCO-approved for all life stages, making them another excellent choice for puppies!
We hope that this guide has helped answer your questions, such as how long puppies need to sleep. If you have any further questions about your puppy’s sleeping habits, scheduled a call with your vet. They will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.