A new puppy in the home is always exciting. After all, you’re bringing home a friend who will stick around with you and your family for years to come! With lots of new experiences, fun times, and a brand new bond to share with your new puppy, it can be difficult to see the downside. At least until it’s the middle of the night and your puppy decides that this is just the right time for him to start howling and whining up a storm.
Puppies who are freshly weaned from their mother can struggle with being in a new home. It can be cold, scary, dark, and even smell funny. Your puppy is experiencing a brand new home without the comfort of his mother and it is generally the norm for him to be a little uncomfortable and unhappy. Even with all the love and affection you can muster, you still can’t get him to sleep through the night. So how do you help him adjust to bedtime without it being such a struggle?
Puppies are needy and require plenty of love and attention throughout the day, and yes, even throughout the night! They require bathroom breaks often, can get hungry at inopportune times, and aren’t all that fond of being alone. Having trouble sleeping through the night is common with many puppies of all kinds of different breeds, so it’s no surprise that there are quite a few different ways to deal with it.
If your puppy is struggling with bedtime, get him settled the first night you bring him home. Have a plan in mind to fulfill his needs and stick to it from the beginning. Your puppy will need stability, especially for the first week, in order to adjust to how you plan on doing things in your home.
In order to help your puppy adjust, try bringing an item that smells like his mother home with you. This can help provide some additional comfort. Otherwise, you can try giving him an item that smells like you, such as a shirt or a towel, especially if you’ve already spent a lot of time cuddling together. Just be prepared to not have that item again! It might just become his.
After that, double check that nothing is hurting or making your puppy feel sick. Keep an eye on his eating habits and his bathroom breaks to check for an upset stomach and feel his paws to be sure there’s nothing hurting them. If he seems to be fine and is only struggling with sleep because he is scared, then you can begin to find a way to cope with the bedtime blues.