If you are the proud owner of a puppy, congratulations! Puppies can be a wonderful addition to a family of any size, and you’ll have a faithful new buddy for life. Much like children, puppies require some guidance along the way. Setting a bedtime routine or sleep schedule can be a challenge, but once your puppy knows what to expect, she will be more likely to follow it.
Here are some ideas for getting your puppy on a sleep schedule and how you can make it easier for everyone in the family.
Start a routine for everyone
The most important thing you can do is set up a nightly routine for yourself and the puppy. Children and animals alike find stability in routines, and they can be helpful even for adults. Routines signal to the body that it is time to get ready for bed, making it easier to fall asleep. Figure out what you want to include in the routine, such as cleaning up the kitchen, ensuring your dog has had a meal and plenty to drink, taking them out, and then bringing them to the area they will sleep in. Once they know what to expect, they are more likely to follow along with the nightly setup.
Get the right bed for your puppy
Just as you need a bed that is supportive and comfortable, the same goes for your puppy. Depending on your puppy’s size, you might want to consider something she can grow into. Having an orthopedic bed can be useful as your dog gets older, although you’ll likely need to replace the bed before then. The right type of bed can help get your dog in the mood to go to sleep. Even if you allow your pet to sleep in bed with you, it’s helpful to provide a second option if they want to rest on their own or need some space.
Take your puppy to potty before bedtime
Getting your dog to go potty before bed is important. You don’t want to get up and have to take them outside multiple times during the night since a lack of sleep can affect you. Going to the bathroom before bed can help signal to their body that they are about to go lay down, so now is a good time to do their business. If your puppy is brand new to the household or very young, it might take some time for them to get the routine down.
Prepare for possible accidents
Nighttime potty accidents can happen with puppies. It is important not to lose your temper and instead prepare for what could happen. Get puppy pads and line areas of the house that you think your dog might try to use. Close doors to rooms so your puppy cannot go in them during the night. Some pet owners use a crate for their dogs to discourage accidents or, at the very least, keep them in one area. Depending on your household needs, this might be helpful and worthwhile.
Use a puppy sleep schedule
If you have a young puppy, there are certain things you can do to help them prepare for a bedtime routine. Set up a sleep schedule that both you and the puppy can use, so everyone gets used to it. Pick out a bed for your puppy that will be comfortable and hopefully allow them to go to sleep easier. Before bedtime, take your puppy outside to give her a chance to do her business.
Finally, get ready for accidents to happen, and invest in puppy pads. You can also use a crate for your dog if you think this will help discourage further problems. The crate also creates a safe space for your puppy. As time goes on and your puppy gets older, she should get used to a routine with you, and that will make it easier for both of you to sleep through the night.
Jared Jaureguy is an animal enthusiast. He owns two dogs and doesn’t go anywhere without them. He loves to travel and see the world with his wife and son. Jared also is a freelance writer and writes for many blogs. He has a great passion for writing and plans on doing it for years to come.