If your puppy is curled up in a ball snoozing for most of the day, you might be wondering if this is ‘normal’. Puppies have a wonderful way of knowing what’s good for them – and this includes sleeping. But how much sleep is enough for young pups and how much is too much?
All puppies sleep for many hours a day. Young puppies need 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day. Most puppies sleep 6 to 10 hours at night, and the rest of the sleeping is done with naps during the day. The older puppies get, the less sleep they need. But even puppies older than 6 months need at least 15 hours of sleep every day.
A puppy’s sleep needs change as it gets older. Understanding how many hours of sleep a day your puppy needs will go a long way in helping your puppy set up a sleeping schedule to grow up into the healthiest, happiest dog it can be.
Let’s start by looking at how much sleep your puppy needs according to its age.
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Puppy food my veterinarian recommends for:
How much sleep puppies need at different ages
A younger puppy needs less sleep than an older puppy, but all puppies still sleep for most of the day. How do they get all these hours in?
Well, puppies spend about 6-10 hours sleeping at night, just waking up for potty breaks. During the day, puppies make up the rest of their sleep time by taking naps for between 30 minutes and 2 hours at a time.
Let’s take a look at how much sleep a puppy needs as it grows up into an adult dog. Below you’ll see a puppy’s age in weeks and months, followed by how many hours a day your puppy needs to sleep on average:
|Puppy’s Age In Weeks||Puppy’s Age In Months||Average Hours Of Sleep Needed Per Day|
|0 – 7 weeks||0 – 2 months||22 hours|
|8 – 12 weeks||2 – 3 months||18 – 20 hours|
|13 – 24 weeks||3 – 6 months||18 – 19 hours|
|24 – 96 weeks||6 – 24 months||At least 15 hours|
|97 weeks +||24 months +||12 – 14 hours|
From the table above, we can see that newborn puppies spend 22 hours a day sleeping!
By the time a puppy has finished growing, between 1 and 2 years of age, your puppy will be an adult. Adult dogs sleep for about 12 to 14 hours a day depending on their breed, size, and how active they are.
This might be a good time to change your puppy’s food – here’s exactly what you need to know about when to change from puppy to adult dog food.
Puppies generally sleep as much as they need to and cannot really ‘oversleep’ if they’re healthy and happy.
If your puppy is playing and randomly falls asleep, let it sleep in peace for as long as possible. What’s important is that the amount of sleep doesn’t change suddenly and that your pup is happy and playful when it’s awake.
Your puppy should be able to sleep through the night at about 4 months old. So at this age your pup should make it through 6-10 hours without waking up for a potty break on most nights.
Why puppies sleep so much
Puppies are busy little bodies, which is the main reason why they sleep so much. But how can they be busy bodies and sleep for so many hours?
When awake, puppies are learning new things all the time and exploring the big wide world around them. They are developing mentally and emotionally every day.
Puppies are also growing physically into adult dogs, which is a lot of work!
Smaller dogs tend to reach their full adult size in about 12 months, but bigger breeds can take as long as 24 months to become fully grown.
During the first year or two of their lives, puppies go through many growth spurts and changes. These growth spurts are times when a puppy gets bigger and its body changes into an adult dog, for example its permanent teeth come out and the puppy coat is replaced with an adult coat.
Growth spurts take a lot of energy from the body, so a puppy needs a lot of rest and sleep to grow and develop properly. Puppies also need sleepy time to process all the new information they have taken in after seeing, smelling, tasting, touching and hearing so many new things.
Puppies that don’t get enough sleep can suffer from health issues, and may even develop an eating disorder called pica where the puppy makes a habit of eating things like dirt.
Puppies that need more sleep
Some puppies sleep more than other puppies or sometimes sleep more than they usually do.
A puppy tends to sleep more than others or more than usual when it…
- Is a newborn pup or less than 7 weeks old
- Is going through a growth spurt
- Is a big dog breed that requires more growing time
- Is sick and needs time to heal
- Has had a vaccine
- Has had surgery
- Is a companion dog breed (e.g. French Bulldog) that tends to be a bit lazier than the more active working dog breeds (e.g. Bernese Mountain Dog)
- Is not on the right diet (here’s the puppy food that my veterinarian recommends for small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds – Amazon links)
- Has been exercising, playing, or running around
- Has been out of the house and experienced a lot of new things
- Is overweight
- Is bored
When is a puppy sleeping too much?
A puppy can’t sleep ‘too much’ if it’s healthy and happy when it’s awake. If your puppy is sleeping longer than usual but active and playful when it’s awake, then it might be going through a growth spurt and simply needs the extra rest.
But some puppies sleep too much because something is wrong. Below are some things to watch out for when it comes to your puppy’s sleep – if you notice any of these signs it’s best to take your puppy to a veterinarian to be checked:
- Your pup isn’t playful or is very lethargic and low on energy when awake (but give your puppy time to wake up from a sleep before expecting energetic playfulness)
- Your puppy would rather sleep or lie down than eat, drink, or play when it’s awake
- Your puppy is more than 2 months old and sleeps for 20 hours or more a day
- Your puppy sleeps for less than 15 hours a day
If you’re wondering if it’s safe to give your puppy a blanket, click on over to my post with all the tips and lowdown on whether blankets are safe for pups and which blanket to choose.
A puppy sleep schedule
To help your puppy get 6 – 10 hours of quality sleep each night and enough naps during the day, set up a simple sleeping schedule and routine. Go through the same steps before each bedtime and naptime, so your puppy knows it’s time to calm down and get ready to sleep.
Here are some good times to put your puppy down for a nap:
- After breakfast
- After play time
- After lunch
- After training
- After a short walk (puppies cannot and should not walk far)
To help your puppy fall asleep, put it in a quiet place and in a comfortable bed. If your puppy struggles to sleep, you can try this popular puppy pillow with a heartbeat from Amazon.
When it’s time to sleep, gently rub your puppy’s ears and stroke the chest area, to calm your puppy down. Use soothing words and sounds to let your puppy know it’s time to be calm and relaxed.
Your puppy should soon fall asleep.
Here’s a fun video of a puppy happily being massaged to sleep:
All puppies are different and have different needs when it comes to their sleep time. If your puppy wants to sleep, let it sleep whenever and for as long as it wants to. Some naps might last 30 minutes, while others carry on for 2 hours.
That’s all fine.
Let your puppy enjoy this peaceful time to grow into one happy adult dog that can share many more years with you.