Puppy at night time

How to get your puppy to sleep through the night

Before you bring your puppy home, it’s important to think about the things that will help you settle them in for the night.

Where will your puppy sleep at night?

This is a very personal decision. Some people are happy to have their dog sleep in their bedroom. For others, it’s important that their dog sleep in another room. 

We recommend at least having them in your bedroom with you in the beginning in either a dog bed or crate. Having your puppy in your bedroom with you will make them feel more reassured.  Then, you can gradually move them to where you would like them to sleep permanently.

It will also help with house training, as they’ll be able to tell you when they need to go to the loo. Although it can be quite tiring getting up a few times a night, your puppy is likely to be house trained much quicker this way.

If you have another dog that settles really well away from you at night, then it will naturally make it much easier for your puppy to settle, as they won't be alone. However, some puppies will pester older dogs, so be sure to take this into consideration when leaving them together at night.

Note: Whatever you decide, remember that being alone at night can be scary for a puppy, especially if they’ve never been separated from their mum and littermates before. It's normal for a puppy to need time and training to feel comfortable sleeping on their own through the night. 

Can my puppy sleep in my bed?

There's nothing wrong with your puppy sleeping in bed with you. But be sure to think about this realistically. Remember, if you have a bigger dog, you may want to think about how much space they would take up in the bed when they’re fully grown. 

Should I leave my puppy to cry at night?

No. It’s a huge shock for a new puppy to be away from their mum and litter, so leaving them alone to cry is stressful for them. 

As puppies need their sleep, this could also cause them to feel tired, anxious and irritable during the day. It’s much better to gradually build up their time away from you so that they feel relaxed and comfortable at night time. 

Getting your puppy used to being alone at night

If you've decided that you want your dog to stay in your room with you at night, then you can breeze on by this section. But, if you want your puppy to sleep away from you at night, then it's worth remembering that your puppy will be new to your home and will have been separated from their mum and litter mates. This may make them feel worried for the first few days or weeks, depending on how confident they feel. 

Preparing for bedtime

Make sure that their bed, wherever it is, is a comfortable place for them to settle. You'll also want to make sure that they have had the opportunity to go to the toilet before going to bed. 

Settling your puppy at night

Once they've had their last toilet, pop them in their bed or crate next to you. They may be restless or whine for the first few nights - this is perfectly normal. Keep calm and carry on going. The adjustment period can be difficult, but you'll get there with persistence.

If they look like they may need to go to the toilet after you've settled them in their bed, take them outside. Once you are sure that they do not need the toilet, then it's just a matter of resettling them in their bed. 

Keep things calm, quiet and very low-key. You don't want your puppy to think that night time is play time! 

After a few days

Once they have settled after a few nights, you can gradually move their bed or crate away from you to the desired location, inch by inch. This way, your puppy won’t really notice the gradual separation because it will be occurring at a rate they’ll be able to cope with. 

Remember some puppies may need longer to settle than others.

Should I send my dog to bed as a punishment?

No. It's important you don't use your dog's sleeping area as a punishment. This will lead to them thinking bed is a bad place and may make it harder for you to settle them before bedtime.

— Page last updated 13/04/2021

Did you find this helpful?

We provide free pet advice as every pet deserves to be well looked after. We treated around 35,000 sick injured and homeless pets last year. We're so glad we've been able to help these pets who are unable to help themselves, but there are thousands of sick and lonely pets still in need, so we need to ask for a small favour.

All of our work is funded entirely through donations. People like you are essential to our work. If everyone who benefits from our articles is able to give a little back, we can reach thousands more pets. For as little as £1 you can make a difference - do you have one minute? Thank you.