Growing puppies need plenty of sleep for healthy brain development. Settling a puppy for sleep at night can be a challenge for all new parents. Here are five simple steps that will help your puppy nod off in no time.
Step 1: Make sure your puppy gets plenty of play time.
Young puppies have loads of energy and need plenty of play time for healthy development. Make sure your puppy is good and tired for bedtime by providing lots of mental and physical stimulation at scheduled times in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
- Offer your puppy some age and size appropriate toys and be sure to rotate them regularly to maintain the novelty factor.
- Play with your puppy to help build your bond with them and reinforce desirable behaviour.
- Try to avoid intense games or exciting activities just prior to bedtime and help them wind down.
Step 2: Place your puppy’s crate in your bedroom.
Depending on your puppy’s age and personality, you might like to crate them near your bed so that they don’t feel alone. This can be especially helpful in the first couple of weeks.
- Help your puppy get to know your sleep schedule by placing their crate near your bed.
- Monitor your puppy for toilet breaks throughout the night.
- Over time, gradually start to move their crate to their desired sleeping area in the house.
Step 3: Give your puppy a toilet break.
To help your puppy settle and stay asleep for longer, try a toilet break just before bed.
- Take your puppy to their designated toilet spot just before bedtime and try to avoid distractions along the way.
- When your puppy has finished their toilet break reward them to reinforce toilet training, then calmly take them to their sleeping spot.
Step 4: Make your puppy’s sleeping area a great place to be.
Puppies naturally need to feel secure when resting. Make your puppy’s crate or bed appealing, either in your bedroom at first and then a quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of home life.
- Place blankets in their bed to ensure they are warm and comfortable overnight.
- Offer a calming toy to help create a positive association for your puppy with their sleep area.
- Pre-prepare a soft towel or blanket with your scent on it.
Step 5: Help your puppy self-soothe.
When puppies chew, it naturally releases endorphins to help them calm. To help your puppy self soothe before sleep time, give them a chew toy and they will soon be ready for a snooze.
- Avoid exciting chew toys with squeakers at bedtime.
- Offer a range of chew toys to help direct your puppy onto what is appropriate to chew. This will help keep them safe and protect your belongings.
- When your puppy is teething, offer chew toys to help.
- Leaving a chew toy in your puppy’s crate can provide some quiet entertainment if they wake up before you do.
For further advice on crate training a puppy, view the full step guide in the ADVANCETM Puppy eBook.
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