Us humans are creatures of habits, you may not realise you have a ‘bedtime routine’, but you most likely do, which helps wind you down from the day and settle you to a good night’s sleep. Whether this be brushing your teeth and climbing into your softest bedsheets, or reading a few pages of your book, it’s important to create the perfect bedtime routine, so it’s not surprising our puppy’s need a routine too to help them wind down from the day and recognise when ‘bedtime’ also means ‘sleep time’. Here, we have compiled a helpful guide to creating your puppy’s bedtime routine to ensure you both get the best night sleep.
Puppy Bedtime Routine
Your puppy may need encouragement to go to sleep, they should eventually settle when they’re tired enough, so you may need to play with them or take them for a walk earlier in the evening to tire them out. Try to start your ‘wind down time’ around 30 minutes before their scheduled bedtime. From this time, avoid playing with them or have them interacting with any stimulating toys that will keep them alert. You may need to separate them from events that would excite them (like bath time if you have children who love to squeal and splash) and giving them a simple chew toy may a better toy to leave them with.
Take your puppy out to the toilet just before you’re going to put them to bed. Ensure it is long enough for them to relieve themselves properly before settling down for the night.
Puppy Sleep Routine
Once they’ve been to the toilet and settled for the night, choose them a comfortable place to sleep; this may be their bed, in a playpen or a crate. Create the space for your puppy to feel cosy and so they associate relaxing in this space. Ensure the bed is in a low-traffic area of your home so they’ll be undisturbed. Avoid putting any toys in your puppy’s sleep area as you may find they opt for ‘play time’ over ‘sleep time’.
Turning the lights out may be a ‘sure sign’ of bedtime, and a habit your puppy will get used to, to feel settled and to recognise the significance of ‘bedtime’. Try to limit the amount of times you switch the lights on and off, so your pup knows once the lights are out – it is sleeping time.
If your puppy is struggling to settle why not try one of our crate covers. They're perfect for popping over your puppies crate so it's dark for them and you can roll the doors down to help signal that it's 'sleep time' to get them in a good routine.
Good Bedtime for Puppy
Your pup’s bedtime will often be determined by your own routines and plans and will vary depending on the level of exercise your puppy gets and the lifestyle they live with you. Your puppy will generally need about 12 hours of sleep a night, so this may change their bedtime with your morning routines too. Remember your pup needs to sleep throughout the day too!
Usually, your puppy should go to bed around 2 hours before you head to bed, it might be useful to take your puppy to the toilet just as you’re heading to bed, so they’ve had another toilet break opportunity, which may help them last longer throughout the night. As tempting as it may seem, try not to let your dog sleep on you on an evening and encourage them sleeping in their bed.
Balancing the activity of your pup and how much sleep they need takes time, but you’ll soon learn your puppy’s routine as they learn yours which will make for a seamless night’s sleep!