Does Formula Make Puppies Fall Asleep Faster?

by Ann Compton
    Give your puppy his own sleeping space to help him fall asleep.

    Give your puppy his own sleeping space to help him fall asleep.

    Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    A puppy with a full tummy may fall asleep faster, but it will be a mixed blessing. If you give the puppy formula or food just before he goes to sleep, he will need to go out a few hours later -- usually in the middle of the night, and he will wake you by whining. Puppies past the age of 5 to 6 weeks old don't need formula, since they will have been weaned by then.

    Mom Weans Puppies

    Puppies are weaned from their mother by 6 weeks of age. A young puppy doesn't leave the litter until he's at least 8 weeks old, so puppy formula should not be used when a puppy goes to his new home. How well a puppy sleeps then depends on his age and training. A very young puppy who has just left the litter at 8 or 9 weeks may have a tough time sleeping in a new place for the first few nights. With a few aids, he'll make the adjustment quickly.

    Help Puppy Sleep

    Help your new puppy go to sleep by providing him with his own den -- a crate. This is where the puppy will feel protected, secure and ready to sleep. Put the puppy in the crate as soon as he comes home, so he's familiar with it. Line it with some paper and an old blanket or towel for him to snuggle into. The crate can be placed in your bedroom at night or another room in the house. Cover it with a light sheet or blanket at night to encourage the puppy to sleep.

    Make It Home

    Your puppy will view his crate as his space. Make the crate a positive experience by giving him a treat when you put him in it and praising him. Ignore any initial whining or barking. If you take him out of the crate when he cries, it will teach him that complaining works. Leave the room and he will calm down. Place a ticking clock or a radio with soft music near the crate when he first comes home to help him adjust to being alone.

    No Bedtime Snacks

    Feed your puppy dinner several hours before bedtime, so he won't need to go out during the night. Play with him after dinner so he's tired, and give him a drink of water. He may want to nap after he eats, but then he'll be wide awake at bedtime. Even a young puppy will sleep through the night if his schedule is regular. Water usually can be withheld during the overnight hours while your pup is in the crate, unless your breeder or vet tell you otherwise.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    With more than 25 years in journalism, Ann Compton has written for national newspapers, magazines and websites. She has covered the equestrian events in five Olympics as well as the Westminster Dog Show and specializes in animal topics. She breeds, trains and shows Shetland Sheepdogs.

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