Ah, puppies! Even if you waited for the right time, scheduled a vet visit, stocked up on essential puppy gear, and could ace a test on puppy socialization 101, you may still find that puppies are full of surprises. As a veterinarian, I commonly hear that new puppy owners are alarmed by just how much a puppy sleeps. Dogs of all ages sleep more than us humans (lucky dogs, indeed), but the average number of hours puppies sleep a day is 16 to 18 — or even more.
Just How Much Do Puppies Sleep?
If you have recently opened your home and heart to a steadily wagging tail, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the younger the pup, the more sleep he needs. A newborn puppy’s daily routine is made up of sleeping 90 percent of the time; that is almost 22 hours of shut-eye! (He spends the other 10 percent of the day nursing, in case you are curious.) As your puppy matures beyond the newborn stage, he will sleep less; but even at 3 months of age your furry sleepyhead will spend 15 to 20 hours a day dozing and dreaming away.
Why So Much Sleep?
Though it may not appear so, while your new furry angel has peacefully nodded off, his body is hard at work. Development of his brain and central nervous system is dependent upon these precious ZZZs. Time spent snoozing tones and strengthens your young puppy’s muscles and bones, which enable your growing pup to soon be your athletic companion, should you so desire one. Sleep even keeps your puppy’s immune system functioning at its best. Without enough sleep, your puppy will become cranky, destructive, and at risk for infections and illness.
Does Your Puppy Need A Nap?
Have you ever gotten frustrated with your puppy because he starts acting out of the ordinary inappropriately? Perhaps after a special long trip downtown he arrives back home and is chewing things he normally shouldn’t (emphasis on normally) and being unruly with you. This classic pattern indicates he needs a nap.
Puppies can get overtired, especially when their senses are overstimulated. If you have ever been around a young human baby who has missed his nap window, you likely have that memory scarred into your mind. Like human babies, seemingly adorable and angelic pups can morph into little hell-raisers when they miss their “nap window.”
It can be impossible to predict the erratic sleep behavior of puppies, but do realize that while that trip downtown may not seem that exciting and educational to you, puppies are continuously discovering their new world and absorbing all the new information with keen senses — from the sound of honking car horns to flashing lights to new smells in all directions.
Is Your Puppy Sleeping Too Much?
Have a sleepy pup? Chances are he’s normal. There are expected periods during a puppy’s life in which he logs extra sleep. One example is a growth spurt, which can come on literally overnight. The extra sleep during growth spurts allows your puppy the opportunity to rest from taxing developmental leaps he is experiencing. During growth spurts, when the puppy is awake, he should otherwise act like his usually happy puppy self.
Oversleeping in puppies that is accompanied by low energy levels when your pup is awake can indicate any type of illness or injury. Anemia is a common one in puppies; this is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells and can be quite dangerous to a growing puppy. Young puppies with flea infestations are particularly at risk. If you suspect your puppy has anemia, check his gums. If they are pale, it is suggestive of anemia and you should seek veterinary care immediately. Intestinal parasites are another common puppy sleep thief, as the parasites battle your puppy for much-needed nutrition and can zap a pup of his energy. Make sure to see your veterinarian if you are concerned about your puppy’s sleep habits.
Help Your Puppy Sleep
Puppies don’t always know when to go to their dog bed, and because their desire to learn trumps their desire to sleep, they don’t always heed their own internal nap alarm clock. Follow these tips to help your puppy get the sleep he needs.
1. Make the environment sleep-friendly.
Animals, kids and household noises create an atmosphere that is stimulating and not conducive to puppy sleep. This is the top reason a puppy doesn’t get the sleep he needs. The solution? Provide a safe haven for your pup. Whether you choose a dog crate, a bed in his own room or your own bed, provide a space for him to fully relax in and drift off.
2. Adjust for changes in routine.
Predicting a puppy’s sleep pattern takes some trial and error. If you take your pup along for a new experience, expect him to need an extra quiet rest period to settle down, and he will probably need it sooner than he usually does.
3. Burn off excess energy.
Interactive games with you are great for wiping out your pup. If you aren’t at home during the day, consider dog toys and food puzzles, provide an outdoor view for entertainment or schedule a pet sitter to come over for a play session.
4. Manage hydration.
If your puppy is thirsty, go ahead and let him have a small drink before bedtime, but try to stop plentiful drinking one hour before bedtime. This gives him time and opportunity — your responsibility — to empty his bladder.
5. Adjust the lighting and noise.
If you watch TV or use a tablet in bed with your puppy, consider turning down the brightness and volume to reduce the risk of sleep disruption. Consider blackout shades if his sleeping area gets street light or early morning sun. In the morning, expose your pup to sunshine with a morning walk. These simple cues can help signal when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up.
6. Try to have patience.
Puppies wake more at night than adult dogs do, but your pup will soon acclimate to your sleep schedule. An action-packed day, empty bladder and bowels, and cozy bed make the perfect combination for your growing pup to spend the night having sweet dreams.
18 Dogs Who Were Busted Doing Hilarious Dog Things
…and shamed for their crimes.
Dogs will be dogs! And these 18 dogs prove that no matter what they do, we’ll always forgive them. This list was assembled by members of the Bored Pandacommunity, and it’s sure to make you laugh!
#1 This is what I call teamwork.
#2 Enough said.
#3 He’s so very sorry…
#4 What a genius idea!
#5 It happens…
#6 Time to start sleeping on your stomach.
#7 He’s still getting used to this thing.
#8 Which one’s in trouble??
#9 This relationship got off to a rocky start…
#10 Oh no…
#11 He now knows the Bible inside and out.
#12 Lesson learned.
#13 Working together.
#14 Just getting into the holiday spirit…
#15 ‘What? I thought she was a part of the park…’
#17 He went to the dark side.
#18 A look of regret.
Matted Dog Found Locked In A Small Crate Gets A New Look And New Life
Murphy looks totally different now.
PETA fieldworkers came across a neglected, matted dog who was kept locked up in a small crate in a dark hallway. They wanted nothing more than to rescue him, and his family finally agreed to give him up.
Although he didn’t look much like a dog at first, Murphy’s true beauty and personality were about to be freed! Over two pounds of painful mats were cut from his seven-pound body. And Murphy had a brand new look to go with his brand new life!
Murphy spent some time recovering at PETA before being transferred to the Norfolk SPCA. And it was there that he would meet his new family. The before and after photos of Murphy are hard to believe, and the little guy is now living it up!
7 Things Dogs And Humans Have In Common
Dogs are the oldest domesticated animal, having been working alongside humans some 15,000 years. They have assisted with a variety of tasks and some still do so today. Dogs have helped by herding, hunting, pulling loads, guarding and protecting, assisting police and military and being noble companions. Regardless of the dog’s breed, it’s origin general traces back to one of these functions. It should come as no surprise then that dogs and humans share so many unique qualities. We’ve evolved together for thousands of years, so it makes sense that we’re so much alike. Dogs aren’t called “man’s best friend” for no reason.
#1 – They’re social
Dogs are social animals. Their ancestors lived in family-like packs, the same way wolves and many other wild canids do today. Dogs enjoy spending time with their people and this is a trait that we’ve bred from the very beginning. After all, what good was a farm dog if he didn’t like being around his owner? Humans have been breeding dogs for companionship and sociability from the very beginning.
#2 – They’re furniture hogs
Not everyone wants their dogs on the furniture, but most of us know that we’re much less strict about it than we should be. In fact, most of us are probably quite comfortable sharing much of our couches and beds with our dogs. They’re opportunists (also like us), and will quickly take up all the space they can!
#3 – They love food
Food is love, for people and dogs alike. We are both a social species and much of our social interactions revolve around food. This is true for wild canids as well. While we don’t share all of our food with our dogs at home, we can share the love for a delicious meal and snack.
#4 – They’re intelligent
Dogs are very intelligent animals. Recent studies support evidence that the average dog is as smart as the average two-year-old child. This means their minds and range of emotions are just as complex as that of a human child. Dogs have been shown to have relatively notable emotional intelligence, problem solving skills and even demonstrate a theory of mind.
#5 – They have personal preferences
Dogs have personal preferences just like humans do. Dogs have favorite foods, toys and even people. Each dog is different in their likes and dislikes and while some seem to like everything and everyone, others might be very picky.
#6 – They have unique personalities
Dogs are what their genetics and upbringing allow and different dogs will have different personalities. Some traits are breed-specific, but even within breeds you will find some variation. Generally speaking, a dog’s personality will reflect the tasks it was bred to do. Sledding dogs are active and independent, hunting dogs are social and energetic, guardian breeds are loyal and aloof toward strangers. These are generalizations of course, button be mostly accurate.
#7 – They are emotional
Dogs are deeply emotional creatures. They bond very strongly to their families, humans and other animals alike. Studies show that dogs feel complex emotions such as jealousy and anticipation and that they can discriminate the emotional expressions on human faces. They are instinctive but intuitive animals that are thought to experience love, fear, anger, joy and affection. Anthropomorphizing can become a serious problem, but the complicated emotions dogs feel can’t be ignored.
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