Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers. Learn more about us here.
I’ve been a dog owner for many years now, and I still remember quite clearly the time when I had a puppy. She was a very light sleeper, and it was really worrying me. I wasn’t sure if she was getting the right amount of sleep and how it would affect her growth.
On the other hand, she’s also very energetic during the day, which makes me wonder what I’m missing. Maybe she does have enough rest?
In this post, I wanted to share some of the things I learned and how you can apply them if you have a puppy that is a very light sleeper too.
- How much sleep does a puppy need?
- Why does my dog sleep so lightly?
- Is it normal for puppies to be light sleepers?
- Should puppies sleep in total darkness?
- Are puppies afraid to sleep in the dark?
- What is the best place for a puppy to sleep?
- How to get your puppy to sleep through the night?
- In conclusion: Puppy is a very light sleeper
How much sleep does a puppy need?
Puppies, similar to human babies, require a lot of sleep to help their central nervous system, immune system, and muscles develop properly too.
In most cases, they will require around 15 to 20 hours of sleep each day.
Many puppies may snooze throughout the day to acquire the rest they need.
Why does my dog sleep so lightly?
Dogs are often very light sleepers. They can have nightmares, and get startled easily during their growing up years. In some cases, this can be caused by anxiety and they most likely miss their mother! Talk about puppy sleep regression!
Dogs that wake up easily tend to be sensitive to noises and movements that others don’t notice — especially if they’ve been left alone for too long or if they’re anxious about something.
Some breeds are naturally more restless than others, such as terriers and hounds, which were bred to hunt small prey in tight spaces. These dogs will often move around while they’re asleep because they’re dreaming of chasing down their prey!
You should also be careful about methods of trying to calm your dog down before bedtime too because some of these methods could actually make things worse as well.
For example, if your dog gets stressed when you try to put him in his crate or if he doesn’t like being alone at night then this could make things worse instead of better for him.
If this is the case, then you may want to consider talking to your vet about some calming products for dogs. These products are designed to calm your dog down and help them relax better at night.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: Puppy Shivering After Bath? [How To Stop It]
Is it normal for puppies to be light sleepers?
Humans are monophasic sleepers, which means we sleep once a day and for consecutive hours. On the other hand, dogs sleep on average three cycles per day. This is also known as polyphasic sleeping.
Because of that, it is very common for puppies to wake up frequently during the night.
Add to the fact that they might experience teething issues, an upset tummy, or possibly when they are feeling cold at night, hungry, or in pain.
If your puppy is waking up and whining, he might just need something to eat or drink (don’t feed him right before bedtime).
You can also try giving him a tiny treat before bedtime so he’ll associate lying down with treats!
If you think your puppy is uncomfortable because of an injury or illness, take him to see the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Doggy says, you might be interested to read this too: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Snoring Problems [Solutions]
Should puppies sleep in total darkness?
Puppies need to sleep a lot, but they don’t always choose when to do it. In fact, puppies often sleep whenever and wherever they can get their paws on a comfortable spot. That’s why they’re often found sleeping in the most unexpected places.
Dogs rely on their sense of sight, smell, and hearing to navigate their environment. In fact, dogs have excellent eyesight even when it is dark or in low light conditions.
I wouldn’t worry about leaving them in the dark, but I would observe their behavior to see how they react to it.
A night vision camera would be useful in reviewing how your puppy slept through the night. If you see odd behavior such as excessive chewing, barking, or whining, you might want to experiment with a small night light to ease their anxiety.
There is no one size fits all solution, so it is best to try out a few different methods until you find the right one.
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Learn about this: When do puppies start eating food and drinking water?
Are puppies afraid to sleep in the dark?
It is unlikely that puppies are afraid of the dark, but more of feeling alone where they cannot see or feel any familiar person near it.
I have lost count of the number of times my puppy used to come up to my door and start scratching it to get my attention when I turn in.
Over time though, it gets used to and I also ensure that they have a comfortable area to sleep in.
A small light night can also be useful in easing any stress or anxiety, just as a toy that has your scent.
What is the best place for a puppy to sleep?
Puppies need to sleep a lot as they grow and it is important to make sure your puppy sleeps in a comfortable and safe place.
A good place to start is in your room.
Place a crate beside your bed in a convenient location and start by putting your puppy in it for a few minutes before bedtime.
Dim the lights in the room and go to bed peacefully and without making a fuss. Sleeping near to your puppy helps him bond with you and feels less lonely for his mother and littermates.
If you don’t plan to have your puppy sleep near you every night, you can gradually relocate him out of your bedroom when he becomes acclimated to sleeping in the crate.
Whether it is in your room or outside, always ensure that they are kept in a warm and quiet spot so that your puppy can rest peacefully without any distractions.
As they get older, they may begin to sleep outside of the whelping box or crate. This is fine as long as it is done safely and you make sure your puppy has access to its “den” at all times.
When choosing a good place for your puppy to sleep, keep in mind where he or she will most likely be spending most of his or her time when not sleeping and choose that location for him or her to sleep at night.
How to get your puppy to sleep through the night?
If you’re trying to get your puppy to sleep through the night, there are a few things you can do.
1. Establish a regular schedule
Make it feel like it’s time to go to bed. When it’s time for bed, make your house feel warm and inviting. Dim the lights, turn on some gentle classical music, and make a cozy nest for your pet to curl up in. To make your dog feel more connected to you, try putting a piece of your clothing in their blanket.
2. Exercise your puppy early in the evening, so he’s tired out by bedtime
If your puppy has been exhausted during the day, they are much more likely to sleep through the night. Even if your puppy isn’t yet fully vaccinated and can’t go for walks, it’s critical to offer him mental and physical stimulation both within the house and, if you’re lucky enough to have one, outside in an enclosed yard.
Playing with toys, chasing each other around, and working on training games are all fun activities. Outside, you can begin to acclimate your puppy to walking on a leash by taking laps around the yard. Try feeding your dog from puzzle toys instead to keep their minds occupied while they eat.
3. Ensure they have a space for potty time
Dogs do not like their sleep area to be dirty or smelly. You can try to take your puppy out to clear its bladders right before bed, but importantly, you need to provide a pee pad in their crate so that they can go about their business during the night.
4. Create a nice comfortable environment for your puppy to sleep in
Melatonin, a hormone influenced by the amount and duration of light in the environment, influences your dog’s sleep-wake cycles much as it does for you.
This sleep-inducing hormone starts to get produced when the lights are turned out, so on lengthy days when the sun rises early and sets late, a crate cover can be really useful.
Make sure the lights in the room where your dog is sleeping are turned off as well. This includes shutting off your electronic devices such as your mobile phone, tablets, and television.
In conclusion: Puppy is a very light sleeper
If your puppy is a very light sleeper and will often wake up at the slightest noise, it is important to make sure that your puppy’s sleeping area is as quiet and peaceful as possible.
Don’t get too stressed over it as they need some time to get used to the environment, not forgetting that it is without its mother now.
Shower it with plenty of love and time and I can assure you that you will have a happy puppy all day long!
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.