When Dogs Are Puppies, Do They Sleep a Lot?

by Sarah Dray
    A rare moment of wakefulness.

    A rare moment of wakefulness.

    Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

    Just like human babies, puppies sleep a lot. In fact, they spend three times as much time sleeping than doing anything else. This is good for mom -- it gives her time to regain her energy after the birth -- and good for the puppies, as they get a chance to develop and get stronger before they set out to explore the world.

    Newborn Puppies

    The younger puppies are, the more they sleep. When they're awake, it's usually just to feed -- then go back to sleep. In fact, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, 90 percent of the time, newborn puppies are either sleeping or feeding. A newborn puppy is a puppy that hasn't opened his eyes yet -- this usually means the first two weeks of life. If you have a newborn puppy who's awake for long periods of time or seems to squirming or crying a lot, there might be a problem. Always keep in mind: a healthy newborn puppy should be sleeping unless he's eating.

    Older Puppies

    Once puppies open their eyes -- when they're about two weeks old -- they'll start exploring, so they'll sleep a bit less. Still, puppies will sleep most of the day, so don't be surprised if he's snoozing away 18 hours or so every day. If it seems like your puppies are always awake, pay attention to their sleeping patterns. Because puppies sleep and wake up repeatedly throughout the day, it might not seem like they're sleeping much -- but add up those small chunks of time and you'll see the results.

    Sleeping Patterns

    Most puppies nap, rather than sleep. This means they take lots of short naps and are unlikely to sleep for long periods of time at once. Instead, puppies will sleep for a while, then get up and run as mad throughout the house, then go back to sleep. As a result, your chances of him sleeping through the night are slim -- at least at first.

    Adult Dogs

    Adult dogs sleep less than puppies because they don't need to recharge their batteries as often. According to Pet Place, the average adult dogs sleeps about 14 hours a day. This varies based on breed and size, however. Large breeds sleep more, while tiny dogs and working breeds -- such as shepherd dogs -- sleep less and are more active. The amount of sleep also varies based on how much excitement there is around. If you have kids running around, chances are Rufus will get up and join them. A quiet home is more conductive to sleep, so that's exactly what Doggie will do.

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    About the Author

    Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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