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If you’re reading this I assume you just brought your puppy home a few days ago. Or maybe you’ll get him in a few days or weeks.
One of the first questions new puppy-parents wonder about is “how much does an 8-week old puppy sleep?”
Well, I’m glad you’ve asked! Because puppies need a whole lot of sleep and not all people know about that!
Your new small furry friend seems to have outbreaks of energy which might make it look like he needs more action. In reality, the contrary is often the case and puppies act hyper because they’re overtired.
In this article you’ll learn how much sleep an 8-week old puppy really needs and a few related questions to puppy sleep.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short answer: Puppies sleep a whole lot at 8 weeks. It’s completely normal for such young puppies to sleep 18 to 20 hours a day. They might have short outbreaks of energy but then nap for a few hours at a time. If your puppy is constantly hyper, that’s a sign that he might be overtired.
How Much Does an 8-Week Old Puppy Sleep?
If you just got your brand-new puppy, you might be wondering how much he’s supposed to sleep. You might be wondering whether your little guy is sleeping too much or too little.
So what’s normal for a dog of this age?
How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
Every dog is different, but in general, puppies need a lot of sleep!
Their little bodies and brains are still developing, and sleep is important for ensuring everything grows healthy and properly.
A puppy will usually sleep about 18 to 20 hours a day. So while he might be a rambunctious little rascal during his waking hours that makes it feel like he’ll never settle down, he should actually be spending most of the day asleep!
So don’t worry if you think your new puppy is oversleeping if he’s spending close to 20 hours a day passed out. That’s just his body making sure he grows up healthy and strong.
Sleep Schedule for an 8-Week Old Puppy
Dogs do best when they have an established routine. Knowing what to expect and when helps reduce anxiety, and give both you and your dog something you can rely on.
That’s also part of my 3-step process for a calm dog. Make sure to get your free copy today to have a relaxed pup from day 1.
It’s especially important to set a routine for your new puppy as he gets used to you and being in your home.
Here’s an example of what a sleep schedule for an 8-week old puppy might look like. Remember, it’s okay to be flexible with your routine and schedule based on the day and what your dog needs.
Puppies tend to be early risers, so you might need to wake up with your new puppy pretty early in the morning. The first thing you should do is take your puppy outside so he can relieve himself.
Feed him his breakfast, and make sure to throw in some playtime and attention. After he’s eaten, he’ll probably need to go potty again.
After a little more playtime, put your puppy in his crate for a nap. He’ll probably spend the rest of the morning napping.
- 6 best crates for dogs to sleep in
- How to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps
- When to stop crate training a puppy
Once your puppy wakes up from his nap, bring him outside again to go potty. Do a little more playtime, then bring him outside for another bathroom break before he goes back for his nap.
Or take a short walk where he also gets to sniff a little, as sniffing is a wonderful mental activity that makes dogs happy and tired.
Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!
Repeat the same process: wake up, bathroom break, playtime or training, feed him his dinner, and then another bathroom break before bedtime.
Make sure that your puppy has a set bedtime. This will help him adjust to his new life in your home. Plus, it will make things easier for you as he gets older!
Before bed, give your puppy another chance to relieve himself. Remember, your 8-week old puppy probably won’t be able to make it through the night without a bathroom break.
The general rule of thumb is that puppies can hold their bladders for his age in months plus one. So your 8-week old puppy should be able to last 3 hours before you need to take him out.
There are exceptions, of course. Some people report that their 10-week old puppy already sleeps through the night. At earlier than 10 weeks this is very unlikely, though.
It’s important to set an alarm and wake your puppy up before he wakes you up. This way he learns that you make the rules, not him. As your puppy gets older, he’ll be able to last longer without needing to go out.
In the morning, wake up and repeat your schedule!
How to Help an 8-Week Old Puppy Sleep Longer
If you’re worried your puppy isn’t getting enough sleep, here are a few tips and tricks to help him sleep longer.
Sleep During the Day
If you want to help your puppy sleep during the day, there are a few things you can do.
The first is to make sure you’re following a schedule. Usually, he’ll be ready for a nap after his playtime or a walk.
Also make sure that your puppy knows where he can nap. Show him a place in your house where he can get his rest without being bothered. This might be a quiet room, a pen, or his crate.
Once your puppy knows where he can sleep, make sure that you actually leave him undisturbed while he’s napping. Your puppy might nap anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours.
Sleep at Night
To help your puppy sleep through the night, first remember to set your alarms for every 3 hours to make sure you can take him out to relieve himself. This will help housetrain him, and make sure that he sleeps peacefully through the night.
Also, you should set up a reliable bedtime routine! This will help your puppy get ready to settle down for the night. Feed your puppy for the last time several hours before bed, and let him go potty right before you tuck him in.
You should also make his crate comfortable and inviting. Put some soft blankets in there, and keep the crate close to you so he feels safer knowing you’re nearby.
Remember that while your puppy is adjusting to his routine and his crate, he might do a lot of protesting. As hard as it is, you’ll need to ignore any howling and barking.
You can help reduce this by making sure here’s getting a lot of physical and mental stimulation during the day. This will tucker him out, which will help him sleep better at night.
When it’s time to take your puppy out for his bathroom breaks, stay very calm and quiet. Being excited will encourage your puppy to also be excited, which makes it harder for him to get back to sleep. So take him out, and put him back in his crate right away.
At What Age Can Puppies Sleep Through the Night?
Every dog is different, and it might take longer for some puppies than others to be able to sleep through the night.
While new puppies do sleep a lot, as we know, that doesn’t mean they’re sleeping all the way through the night. As your puppy grows, however, he’ll be able to last longer without needing a bathroom break.
By about 16 weeks old, your puppy should be able to sleep for about 6 to 10 uninterrupted hours. For more information about puppies sleeping through the night, check out this article!
Now let’s look at a few related questions when it comes to puppy sleep.
Overtired Puppy Symptoms
It seems weird, but being overtired can actually keep your dog from sleeping.
Whenever your puppy is overtired, he might start acting crazy. If he’s biting and nibbling on things, suddenly has the zoomies, won’t stop barking or whining, or seems to forget his manners, he might be overtired.
To help your puppy settle down for some rest, you can hold him steady for a minute or two. You can also put him in his crate away from any distractions.
For more information make sure to check out my article about overtired puppy symptoms.
Can an 8-Week Old Puppy Be Potty Trained?
8 weeks old is pretty early in your dog’s life to begin potty training. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be working to prevent him having any accidents in your home. And it also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start introducing your puppy to the concept of potty training!
By starting early, it will make it easier to potty train your dog when he reaches 12 or 16 weeks. For some more tips and tricks, The Nest has a great article about working with your 8-week old puppy.
Is It Better to Get a Puppy at 8 Weeks or 12 Weeks?
While 8 weeks old is typically when most puppies go to their new homes, it might be better to wait a week or two longer. This is because even though at 8 weeks, puppies are done nursing and well socialized, at this age they might go through a period of anxiety if they go to a new place.
12 weeks, however, might be too long to wait for some breeds. Many small dog breeders choose to keep puppies for 12 weeks before sending them to new homes because these puppies are very small and might be more fragile than larger breeds.
For larger breeds, however, 12 weeks might be too late. At this stage, it might be hard for a new owner to bond with a big, 12-week old puppy full of energy.
So basically the answer to this question is that it depends on the breed!
Your brand new puppy is so exciting! But it can also be a nerve-wracking experience. You might be worried that your puppy is getting too much or too little sleep.
Remember that while all dogs are different, young puppies will usually sleep about 18 to 20 hours a day. So if you think your puppy might be sleeping too much, know that that amount of sleep is completely normal!
If you’re worried your puppy isn’t getting enough sleep, make sure that his crate is inviting, and that he’s left undisturbed during his naptime. And remember to be patient. Both you and your puppy are getting used to each other! Over time, you’ll find the right routine for both of you.
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