A puppy can be a fun addition to a household, but teaching your new friend the things she needs to know can be challenging. Teaching her how to walk on a leash and go outside to do her business are things you probably know you have to do. But what about helping your dog learn how to get a good night’s sleep? Surprisingly, it’s a skill that needs to be taught. To help you out, we’ve gathered some great tips for getting your puppy to sleep through the night.
1. Tire Them Out
Just like humans, puppies will sleep better after they’ve had a bit of exercise. So during the day, make sure to engage your puppy with training games, toys, and walks. Not only will all this activity tire her out enough to sleep just a bit longer, but it will help her understand when playtime is and when it’s time to relax.
2. Establish a Bedtime Routine
Dogs thrive with routines, and bedtime is a great time to get her used to one. Parenting a puppy is a lot like parenting a child when it comes time to go to sleep; you probably won’t be reading her a bedtime story, but you’ll still do some of the same things. You’ll want to take her out for one last potty break and even brush her teeth. As you get ready to put her to bed, dim the lights and put on some soft, soothing music.
3. Make A Comfortable Sleeping Area
Before you bring your puppy home, you should have her bed all set up and ready for snuggles. If she doesn’t have her own space immediately, you might be tempted to let her in your bed. That’s fine, of course, if that’s what you want, but if you don’t foresee your dog sleeping in your bed forever, it’s best to get her started in her own bed.
For young puppies, consider a crate, so she doesn’t wander around the house looking for a place to use the bathroom. A dog’s space should be cozy and inviting; making it a place she wants to be will encourage her to sleep through the night.
4. Give Potty Breaks
The younger your puppy is, the less time it can physically hold its urine. A rule of thumb would be one hour for every month the puppy is. For instance, if she is only two months old, you can expect her to need a potty break every couple of hours. You’ll have to get up and take her out to do her business to keep house training going strong. When you do, don’t engage with her or give her too much attention – this could lead to attention-seeking behavior.
It’s important not to give in to crying during the night unless she’s due for a potty break. Dogs love attention and learn very quickly how to get it. If you go to comfort your dog every time she whines, she’ll keep whining as a way to get your undivided attention. Sometimes you need to simply ignore her.
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