When your puppy is awake, it is likely playful and curious. But, you will also likely find that they spend a lot of time cuddled up for a nap. How much should they be sleeping; what is too much and should you be concerned or do anything? Here is what you need to know.
So, why is my puppy sleeping so much? Your puppy may sleep more than usual if they are experiencing a growth spurt, are more physically active than normal when awake, if their nutrition needs aren’t being met, or if they are feeling ill. That being said, puppies need more sleep than many people think, somewhere between 18 to 20 hours per day, so all may actually be okay!
As you get to know your puppy’s behaviors, you may notice that it spends more time sleeping than you thought it would.
This appears to be a realization that most new puppy owners have at some point.
You’ll likely notice your pup go from bouncing joyfully around one moment to curled up fast asleep the next.
It can definitely make you wonder why your puppy is sleeping so much!
It can be quite concerning too.
But for the most part, it’s normally fine. Though, there are certainly exceptions and areas that need addressing too. Especially if it comes about suddenly or you see other worrying signs.
But more on that later.
For now, let us begin with what normal sleep patterns look like for puppies.
We will then start addressing your approach.
So keep reading and stick around.
You owe it to your young pup after all.
How Much Should A Puppy Sleep?
On average, a puppy under three months old will sleep around 20 hours a day. After three months of age, a puppy will need at least 15 hours of solid sleep each day. This transition won’t happen overnight, and just like people, a dog’s hours of sleep can fluctuate from day to day.
Like human babies, puppies are doing a lot of growing and developing in a short amount of time.
Their bodies and their brains are expanding rapidly as they make their way toward adulthood. All of this growth requires puppies to need more sleep than adult dogs.
A puppy should take several naps a day that range in length from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
They need to restore.
Besides, puppies burn a lot of energy during their awake periods.
They run, climb, dig, chew, and sniff every inch of space available.
Puppies of large breed dogs will need a bit more sleep than puppies of smaller breed dogs as their bodies have more growing to do, and they tend to tire more quickly.
So do consider your breed too
Older puppies will sleep less time overall but also are able to sleep for longer stretches at once.
As a young puppy, a dog may take many short 30-45 minutes naps throughout the day and night.
As they age, a puppy can go longer between restroom breaks which means taking longer naps and sleeping more soundly through the night.
When Do Puppies Usually Sleep?
Puppies typically sleep in a series of naps throughout the course of their day and can be trained over time to have a longer period of sleep at night. Puppies are master adapters and, as they age, will often adjust their sleeping time to fit their owner’s lifestyle.
A young puppy cannot go along with eating, using the restroom, and sleeping.
This means that their sleep schedule tends to rotate frequently between these activities.
You may see your puppy up playing one minute and sound asleep the next.
This also means that until around 4 months (16 weeks) of age, your puppy will likely need trips outside to potty, even during the night.
In general, you should expect your puppy to take several naps during the day that range from 30 minutes to over an hour.
If your puppy is content and napping, it is wise to let it sleep as long as it naturally desires.
Over time your puppy will learn that darkness and nighttime hours mean a low energy time for sleeping.
A puppy with a good sleep routine will pick up on your sleep cues and choose to sleep as well.
Why Is My Puppy Sleeping More Than Usual?
Your puppy could start sleeping more than usual because it is experiencing a growth spurt, has increased its physical activity level, needs adjustments to its diet, or in some cases, is feeling ill.
Puppy growth is not evenly distributed over their age.
This means that sometimes a puppy will experience times of more rapid growth than others.
During these times, your puppy will also suddenly need more sleep.
The body grows best when it is well-rested, and it’s likely that your puppy is sleeping more to make up for the sudden change in its rate of growth.
If you recently changed your puppy’s activity level, they may start sleeping more to make up for it!
A lot of new puppy parents enroll in puppy training classes or start taking their winter puppy on more walks as the weather turns nice in the spring.
If a puppy is using more energy when it is awake, it will often fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer than before.
Puppies require a lot of food to fuel their growth. They should be eating special food formulated to meet their nutritional needs and getting plenty of it.
Your veterinarian can tell you exactly what food and how much of it is best for your puppy.
If a puppy isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it may become lethargic and tired as its body tries to find the energy to maintain growth from sources other than food.
Last, in some circumstances, a puppy that is suddenly sleeping much more than usual might not be feeling well.
Puppies, like people, need extra rest when they feel unwell, and your puppy may lack the energy to play if it is ill.
If your puppy’s increased need for sleep is paired with a disinterest in play, a lack of appetite or trouble using the bathroom, a trip to the veterinarian is due.
Should I Be Worried If My Puppy Sleeps A Lot?
Typically a puppy that sleeps a lot is not a reason for any major concern. The most likely answer is that your puppy is growing and following its body’s lead on how much sleep to get. If, as your puppy ages, it continues to need excessive sleep, it may be time to do some digging into the cause.
Puppies simply require a lot of sleep.
They play hard, and they rest hard.
They don’t follow the exact same sleep patterns as humans, so their sleep may seem excessive at times.
If a puppy is playing, eating, drinking, and going potty like normal when they are awake, then their big sleep needs are not a cause for much concern.
If your puppy has a sudden change to its sleep pattern and is also less interested in play, food, or water, you may want to take a trip to the vet to rule out illness.
If your puppy seems to be wanting to sleep but is restless and has not used the restroom for an extended period of time, it may also be wise to consult your veterinarian.
What To Do When Your Puppy Sleeps Longer Than Usual
The action to take when your puppy sleeps longer than normal depends on several things, and most of the time, the best option is to just let your puppy get the extra rest it desires. If you are worried about your puppy sleeping more, there are a few things you can do.
If your puppy sleeps longer than usual for a day or two, there isn’t much need for action.
Your puppy likely played harder, had more mental stimulation when awake, or is just hitting a stage of rapid growth.
When your puppy sleeps, it is best to let your puppy sleep as long as it needs and wake naturally when possible.
One thing you can do if you are worried about your puppy’s sleep is keep a sleep log.
To the best of your ability, write down the times your puppy sleeps and wakes up to get a real record of how much your puppy is sleeping.
You may notice that your dog follows a more set schedule than you realize.
The log can also help you see if your dog does make sudden changes to its sleep pattern.
If your puppy sleeps longer than usual near your family’s typical bedtime, you may want to take them for an extra walk or give them more stimulating playtime in the yard so that they are ready for nighttime sleep.
If your puppy sleeps in one morning, it may skip a nap later on, and that is okay too.
In any scenario, if a puppy is acting unwell by not eating or drinking, refusing its favorite forms of play, or having trouble using the restroom along with sleeping more than normal, it is time to give your veterinarian a call.
Puppyhood is a joyful time as our puppies learn about the world around them, grow into their beautiful adult forms, and integrate into our families.
And it is that second one where sleep is so instrumental.
Remembering that puppies need large amounts of sleep and rarely have a perfect sleep pattern will help us rest as easily as our pups!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.