Whether you are considering adopting a puppy, or you already have one, you may be wondering how much puppies sleep on average. While it may seem concerning, your puppy will probably sleep more than you think. But, in most cases, this is completely normal.
Puppy Sleep Requirements
Just like newborn babies, puppies spend a significant amount of their day sleeping. On average, puppies sleep between 18 to 20 hours a day during their first few weeks of life. This high sleep requirement is due to their rapid growth and development, both physically and mentally.
How Much Do Puppies Sleep At 6 Months?
While a newborn puppy might sleep up to 20 hours a day, this amount decreases as the puppy matures. By the time puppies are about six months old, they will be sleeping about 16 hours per day on average.
As your puppy reaches dog years, usually between 12 and 16 months, most dogs will settle into a pattern of sleeping about half of the day. At this age, they average 12 to 14 hours, but this can vary depending on the breed and individual dog’s activity level.
Why Do Puppies Sleep So Much?
Puppies sleep a lot more than adult dogs because they have a ton of growing and developing to do. Like our human babies, puppies use sleep as a time for growth and development.
While they’re sleeping, your puppy’s body works to repair tissues and build new ones, which are critical for their rapid physical development.
Sleep also aids in your puppy’s cognitive development, helping them process and remember all the new information they learn each day, from learning commands to understanding their environment.
Puppies use a lot of energy exploring their new world, which makes them tired easily.
The right amount of sleep is important for recharging and making sure they have the energy needed for continued growth and development.
Factors That Influence Puppy Sleep
There are a lot of factors that influence your puppy’s sleep schedule, including their age, size, breed, diet, and overall health. Puppies tend to sleep more when they’ve had a busy day, or if they’re in a growth spurt.
A change in sleeping habits can also be an early sign of illness, so watch for any significant changes and consult a vet if needed. But if your puppy is sleeping for the average amount of time, there’s probably nothing to worry about.
Establishing Good Sleep Habits
Establishing a consistent sleep schedule for your puppy plays a big part in their overall development and can also help them feel a sense of security. Start by taking note of your puppy’s natural sleep patterns.
You’ll notice that puppies often sleep after meals and bouts of active play. Once you have an idea of their natural rhythm, incorporate it into your daily routine. Feed, play, and walk them around the same times each day to develop a routine.
Remember, puppies usually need to go outside to relieve themselves right after waking up, after eating, and after playtime, so try to align these activities with your routine.
Be sure to give your puppy a chance to relieve themselves right before bedtime to reduce overnight accidents. At night, create a quiet and calming environment to encourage a longer stretch of sleep.
You might need to adjust the schedule as your puppy grows and their sleep needs change, but try to keep the routine as consistent as possible.
The Bottom Line
Understanding and accommodating your puppy’s sleep needs can significantly contribute to their overall well-being and development. While it might seem like your new fur baby is sleeping their life away, remember that this is a crucial part of their early life. With a bit of patience and a lot of love, you’ll soon see them growing into a healthy and active adult dog.