Where Should My Puppy Sleep?
Puppies are snuggly, fluffy and cuddly, all of which makes it tempting to snooze with your new puppy from day one. But should you? And if not with you, where should your puppy sleep? Let's run down the possible sleeping arrangements for the newest member of your pack and find out if he needs his own bed or if it's okay for him to bunk up with you for a few months.
Puppies are rambunctious little creatures that love to play, run and create mischief. Even though it seems that they have an endless supply of energy, all of this playing and carousing leads to their heightened need for lots of rest and makes proper sleeping arrangements a necessity. And that means sleeping by himself, not with you.
Experts say that even the first night at home, your new puppy needs to sleep by himself on his own bed, not snuggled up to you like a favourite stuffed doll. Allowing your new pet to sleep in your bed will quickly become a learned habit, and one that's difficult to break when your dog decides it's your bed or no bed. Making your puppy a nest of his own is best practice, right from the start.
Crate Sweet Crate
Most puppies do best in a crate with a soft and suitable bed or bedding tucked inside. Crates keep your little guy corralled and away from temptations and dangers while you get some shut-eye too. Be sure to layer the bottom of the crate with newspaper first; this will soak up any water your puppy spills from his dish or any urine from accidents that are bound to happen in the early days.
Place the crate (or the bed, if you're choosing not to crate) in a quiet corner of your home where you can keep watch over your puppy and he won't be disturbed by general noise from other family members. This gives him the best chance for getting restful sleep. The kitchen corner is a good choice in most homes, since the floor is easy to clean if spills occur. If you must position the crate on carpet, then add some waterproof pads beneath the crate first to help handle any potential messes.
Do you have other dogs at home? Place puppy's crate in their sleeping area so they get accustomed to being together. Company reassures your pup who may, up until now, have relied on his littermates for reassurance and comfort. Inversely, if your current fur babies don't seem to be warming up to their new sibling, it may be best to keep sleeping arrangements in separate spaces until they come to a truce and decide to be best friends.
That First Night
Once you get your new puppy home, it will likely take him some time to get settled. Imagine his surprise coming to a brand new place he's never been; most humans would need an adjustment period, and he's no different. Most puppies or even adult rescue dogs may not pay as much attention to the new surroundings during the day when they're busy being excited and playing. But once night falls, it isn't uncommon for puppies to get upset on the first night.
Plan on some disruption of sleep for up to a few weeks after bringing home your new fur baby. This is a realistic time frame for new pet owners to expect. The mindset of letting the puppy cry himself to sleep out of earshot is antiquated and no longer considered standard practice. In fact, doing so may even lead to attachment issues and separation problems later. Build trust in your puppy by responding to his needs from the start, and he'll see that he's safe and secure, which will lead to better rest and longer periods of sleep.
If your puppy seems to struggle after being crated, you may need to move his crate to your bedroom so he has your presence nearby to reassure him. He will recognize smells and sounds that are familiar, and he will begin to relax. This is part of learning how to get a puppy to sleep through the night, at least eventually.
Outfitting His Nighttime Crate
The items inside his crate can be comforting to him and help him settle in. Be sure any bed you add to his crate is safe and cannot be chewed up by puppies his age. The crate should be sized for him and easy to get into. Don't choose a cavernous crate for a small puppy, since this will have the opposite effect to making him feel secure and contained.
Buying multiple dog beds (or even more than one crate) for your puppy and placing them throughout the house gives him a space to make up for lost naps. Remember, he may want to go into his crate for sleeping even when not prompted to. Let him do so. The nature of a puppy means having bursts of energy followed quickly by the need for a restorative nap.
Routine for Bedtime
Consistency can be key when getting your puppy to sleep longer and longer at night. It can be a good idea to tire your puppy out by playing with him for a half hour or longer right before bedtime. Be sure to take him to potty prior to putting him in his crate for the night, and give him a nighttime dog snack or treat to be sure he's not hungry. Turn out the light right away to take the possibility of more playtime off the table.
No one said being the parent of a new puppy is easy, and wondering "Where should my puppy sleep?" is simply par for the course. However, pet parenthood is rewarding, and all the hard work and dedication you put into it will pay off once you're bonded with your new pet and he's accustomed to his new routine. Now that you know where puppy should sleep, make sure he has everything he needs for his arrival home with this checklist.