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You’ve probably heard tales about all that boundless puppy energy. And sure, when your puppy’s awake, it seems like he might never settle down again! But then suddenly he’s out like a light and seems to sleep for most of the day.
What’s up with that? Is he sleeping too much?
While my dog Baloo was super hyper as a puppy, I didn’t really know how much sleep puppies need when I first got him. It took me a lot of research and trying things out to find out how much sleep he needs and how I’ll make him sleep regularly.
One very important thing is having a daily routine. This will help your pup settle down and get the right amount of sleep.
After talking about how much sleep a puppy needs at different ages, we’ll go over healthy sleep patterns and schedules.
How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
The amount a puppy needs to sleep depends on his age, but in general puppies need to sleep a lot.
Your new puppy will probably sleep a lot more than you’re expecting him to if you don’t know much about puppy sleep schedules. But how do you tell exactly how much sleep a puppy needs?
Here’s a quick overview:
How Much Does a Puppy Sleep at 8 Weeks?
When they are still very young, puppies are going through a lot of development. Their little minds are expanding, their bodies are growing, and learning all this new stuff is exhausting!
If you’re asking yourself, “how much does an 8 week-old puppy sleep?” the answer is eight-week-old puppies need to sleep a ton! In fact, your tiny little furball will (or should) spend around 18 to 20 hours sleeping.
If that seems like a lot, consider the fact that puppies are a lot like human babies. Their brains and bodies are putting a lot of working into growing up, and it’s tough work too!
Both babies and puppies need a lot of sleep in order for their brains and bodies to develop healthily. So don’t be surprised if your puppy is full of energy one moment, and passes out completely the next!
How Much Does a Puppy Sleep at 3 Months?
By the time your puppy reaches 3 months, or around 12 weeks, old, a lot of development will have taken place. While he’s by no means finished growing, your puppy will have reached several milestones.
At 3 months, you can expect your puppy to sleep slightly less than an 8 week-old puppy, though still around 15 to 20 hours a day. Every dog is unique, and you and your dog will find your own sleep schedule.
While 3 month-old puppies still sleep a lot, you might find that at this age there’s some “acting out.” Making sure your puppy gets enough sleep will prevent him from becoming overtired, and acting out even more. Here are 10 overtired puppy symptoms and ways you can help him out.
At What Age Should My Puppy Sleep All Night?
Up to a point, you’ll need to be making sure that you’re waking up in the night to take your puppy out for a bathroom break. But at a certain age, you can usually stop worrying about that!
By the time puppies reach about 4 months old, they can usually sleep through the night on their own. At this age, they’re able to hold their bladders for longer amounts of time. And, as long as you’ve been putting in the work, they should be fully housebroken.
Some puppies are able to sleep through the night sooner than 4 months. And even once your puppy reaches 4 months old, you’ll want to take his water away at least an hour before bed to make sure he doesn’t have any accidents in his crate.
Can a Puppy Sleep Too Much?
As we already know, puppies need a lot of sleep. But raising a puppy can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience, so it’s normal to be nervous and have questions.
So let’s answer the question of whether or not a puppy can sleep too much.
Is It Normal for My Puppy to Sleep All Day?
Yes! As we discussed previously, puppies, depending on their age, will sleep around 15 to 20 hours a day. Remember that a lot of developing is going on in your dog’s brain and body. Sleep is important for healthy puppy growth!
So while it might seem strange to you that your bouncy puppy is spending most of the day asleep, don’t fret. That’s completely normal. In fact, it’s healthy!
Also, keep in mind the fact that adult dogs sleep a lot too. If you’re wondering how many hours a day a dog should sleep, the answer is somewhere in the 12 to 14 hour ballpark. And that’s not even counting downtime where he’s still awake, but just relaxing.
So, considering all that, it makes sense that a puppy would sleep most of the day. So don’t worry if your puppy is running around like a lunatic one moment and then dead to the world for the rest of the day!
Normal Sleep Schedule for a 3 Month-Old Puppy
Every dog is different, and it’ll probably take you some trial and error to find the right sleep schedule for you and your puppy. Remember that at 3 months of age, puppies will be sleeping anywhere from 15 to 20 hours a day.
A typical sleep schedule for a 3 month-old puppy will probably look something like this:
Morning: wake up, potty, breakfast, playtime, potty again, and then a nap. Once he’s up from his nap, give him some more play time, and then down for another nap.
Afternoon: repeat the wake up, outside, playtime/exercise, then nap process until evening. The amount of time your dog should spend napping will depend on both of you as individuals.
Evening: wake up from his nap, outside, playtime, then dinnertime. After dinner, take him outside right away to relieve himself, then back in for another nap. Repeat the wake up, outside, play, then nap process until you’re ready for bed.
Having a clear routine is a key factor in having a calm and relaxed dog. Make sure to download my free guide for a calm dog to get another idea of a routine that’s worked really well for me and my high energy Mini Poodle Baloo.
When to Be Worried
If your puppy spends most of his time napping, that’s completely normal and healthy. There is no cause for any concern when your puppy is sleeping a lot in and of itself.
But sleeping a lot combined with other things could be a sign something is wrong.
What you need to look for is how your puppy behaves when he’s awake. If he spends most of the day napping, then wakes up ready to play and explore, that’s completely normal and healthy.
On the other hand, if your puppy wakes up and he’s lethargic, seems disoriented, or is acting uninterested in his surroundings, that could be the sign of a problem.
Note these symptoms down and call your vet. Keep in mind that if he’s had a vaccination or a booster recently, that could make him drowsier than usual. But if the symptoms don’t let up after 24 hours, or he’s acting like this without having had any shots, it’s time to see your vet.
Speaking of vet: have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!
Should I wake My Puppy Up to Pee at Night?
What’s the point in waking your puppy up in the middle of the night to pee if it just means you’re going to be more tired, and he clearly doesn’t have to go enough to wake you up? It makes sense to just wait until he starts crying—that way you know for sure he has to go and you’re not getting up for no reason, right?
Well actually, that’s exactly the kind of behavior you want to avoid. If you wait until your puppy cries to take him out for his nightly bathroom break, that teaches him crying is the way to get what he wants.
Instead, you need to be the one waking him up! And when you do, the best practice is to stay completely calm and not say a word to your puppy as you take him out. Just bring him outside, let him do his business, then bring him back to his bed. You don’t want your puppy thinking it’s get up and go time! Instead, you want him to calmly go right back to sleep once you’re inside again.
That being said, you can try waiting through a short night (let’s say 6 hours) when he’s about 3 months old. Most dogs should be able to hold it for this long at 3 or 4 months old, so there’s no need to wake him up after 3 hours. If he starts crying during the night, go back to the old schedule and try again a few days later.
How a Routine Can Help Establish Healthy Sleeping Patterns
Dogs thrive when they have a routine. Knowing what to expect and when can help decrease anxiety, and keep your dog calm throughout the day. Not to mention having a routine will likely save your own sanity!
Establishing a routine can be especially helpful for young puppies. At this stage, your puppy may not understand his own energy levels. It’s easy for them to become overtired and over stimulated, which can lead to rowdy puppy tantrums.
Enforcing a sleep schedule is a good way to make sure your puppy is getting all the sleep he needs to develop in a healthy way. Plus, it gives you a little break for yourself!
You’ve probably heard a lot of people talk about how much energy puppies have. And while yes, it’s true that when they’re awake they seem to have endless energy, puppies also sleep a lot! You can expect your puppy, depending on his age, to sleep between 15 to 20 hours a day.
So if your puppy is spending most of the day asleep, it’s nothing to worry about. He’s just working hard on growing up to be a happy, healthy dog!