If you have a new puppy and wonder if you should make the room completely dark in hopes he/she will sleep better, you probably want to know the answer to: “Should puppies sleep in the dark?” Below you will learn whether or not they should sleep in the dark.
The Answer: Should Puppies Sleep in the Dark?
Puppies and dogs do not have to sleep in the dark, but they can if it’s dark. They can sleep during the day or night with lights on or off.
Adult dogs don’t require as much sleep as a puppy needs, which is why it may seem like dogs sleep better at night because it’s dark.
Young Puppies’ Night Vision
Puppies have night vision, so even if you make it dark in the room where your puppy sleeps, it’s not going to make much difference.
When your puppy awakes for any reason, he/she can see with night vision. While young puppies may not see everything as clearly as in the day, they can still see in a dark room.
What Causes Dogs to Sleep Better at Night
The darkness is not what makes dogs sleep at night, it’s the calmness of the night that causes it. If you take a step back and think about the daytime for dogs, you’ll understand why they don’t sleep for very long at a time.
You and your family are moving around. There may be people coming in and out of your house. There’s noise here and noise there.
At night, there’s nothing going on to pay attention to so sleep is obviously the only thing that makes sense.
Why Don’t Puppies Sleep Well at Night?
You’re likely thinking this if you’re the proud new dog owner of a puppy.
The truth is that the puppy just doesn’t understand what is happening. Sleeping arrangements are different in a new environment, which causes stress.
Not to mention that stress can lead to a puppy’s system working harder, and that means more potty breaks.
It’s not until a puppy is on a sleep schedule that you’ll start to see the puppy party at night subside. It can take as long as 16 weeks before your new pup calms down enough to be able to sleep through the night.
Ways to Help Puppies Sleep More at Night
Potty training can make it tough for a puppy to sleep through the night. The best thing you can do is take your new pup out right before you go to sleep at night.
Never wake your pet puppy for a potty break. If your puppy’s crate is in your bedroom or nearby, you should be able to hear the signs it’s time to get up and go out.
Waking your puppy for a potty break may simply teach your pup that it’s normal to get up and use the potty outside every night.
When you do let your puppy out to use the bathroom, don’t turn on all of the lights. Bright lights may signal it’s daytime and time for fun. Dim the lights and quietly pick up your pup and take him/her outside.
There is no playtime after a potty break. Praise is fine but should be done calmly. Right after using the potty, pet owners should return the puppy to the crate or the designated sleeping area.
Helping Puppy Adjust to a New Home
It can take several days to weeks for a new dog to become comfortable with a new family.
Separation anxiety may be an issue for new dogs that wonder why they are not with the people and dogs they were with before.
Puppies who were not in a dog crate before moving to their new home have to get used to that as well. It’s a good idea to include a comfort blanket inside of the crate or a dog bed to help provide some solace.
Ensuring there is a safe place for your pup will help assimilate your pup to your home and family members much easier and quicker.
Crate Training Tips
Many dog owners swear by crate training for new dogs because it provides respite for everyone involved. It’s your choice as a pet parent to crate train your dog, but if you do, the following are some tips you can use to help you during the night, especially during the early days.
You may be interested in reading about dogs who sleep in a crate with the door open.
Cover the Crate with a Blanket
Covering the crate will signal it’s nap time. Many dogs learn this and become conditioned to calm down as soon as they are in the crate and the blanket is draped over them.
Keep the Crate Where People Relax
A living room is a great place for a dog crate because the dog or pet puppy will feel as though he/she has a special place to relax with family members.
Again, having a comfort blanket and dog bed inside of the crate works well.
Should Puppies Sleep In the Dark
Puppies do not have to sleep in the dark. While dimming the lights and darkening a room may help a puppy feel calmer, total darkness will make no difference to a dog because they have night vision.
So, if you’re struggling because you just want your puppy to sleep at night, making it dark won’t be the total solution. It just might help it. Time, patience, and training will help your pet puppy get to the point where nighttime is sleepy time for at least 8 hours.
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