72–75 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Puppy
Five Steps for Making Your Puppy's First Dental Cleaning a Success :: Checking Your Puppy For Benign or Dangerous Lumps :: How to Stop Your Puppy from Licking or Mouthing You :: What to Do If Your Puppy is Sleeping Too Much
What to Do If Your Puppy is Sleeping Too Much
Does your puppy spend more time in bed than you do? Or is he so drowsy he'd rather sleep than go chase squirrels? At this age, puppies should be sleeping about the same amount of time as adult dogs which is approximately 14 hours a day. The correct amount of sleep for dogs is as important as it is for humans. In the wild, with too much sleep, a dog becomes lethargic, his senses dull, and he can't hunt well. In our society, an oversleeper is more likely to get ill.
If you're home all day, it's easy for you to see how much your puppy is sleeping. If not, there are some signs to look for. If your pup is lethargic when you get home it is most likely because of too much sleep rather than too little. You also might notice weight gain and it may be difficult to get him excited about anything. If you have a disinterested or bored puppy there are several things you can do to get him awake.
Ways to Improve Your Puppy's Sleep
Your puppy may be sleeping too much because his quality of sleep is poor. There are a few things you can change to help him sleep better.
Get a New Dog Bed - Invest in a good quality dog bed, preferably with a solid mattress and foam on top. Consider which shape is best by watching your puppy sleep. For instance, if he curls up, a donut bed is best. If he sprawls out, you might try a bed with a bolster. Avoid beds that have any fillers such as cedar as these are lumpy to lie on.
Give Him Peace and Quiet - When it is time for your puppy to sleep, see that everyone leaves him alone. Don't wake him to play or go outside. Though dogs typically sleep more lightly than we do, an uninterrupted sleep will help him have energy and vigor.
Darken the Room - Though dogs can sleep at anytime, they are very much controlled by their circadian rhythm. That means when the sun is up, they are more likely to be active and when it's down, they naturally sleep.
Ways to Get Your Puppy Up and Out
Whether bored or just lazy, a dog can easily be persuaded to do an activity as long as it's fun and especially if treats are involved.
Get Him Out of Bed - When you get up in the morning, cheerily awaken your grumpy dog. If you can, immediately take him outside - it doesn't have to be a big walk, just a chance for him to get a whiff of all the interesting smells awaiting him.
Exercise at Strategic Times - Try to exercise your puppy before you head out to work, a good long walk or a short run. Then, exercise again at midday. If you can't do this, consider hiring a dog walker. Finally, exercise in the evening before you feed him.
Leave Toys Out - when you're gone, whether your puppy is left on the couch or in his crate, leave some good chew toys to keep him busy. You can also leave interactive toys such as a Kong filled with peanut butter or a treat toy that he has to work on for awhile before getting his reward.
Leave the Shades Up - Unless you have an incessant barker or live in an apartment where your pup needs to keep quiet, consider leaving the shades up. He will have many sounds and sights to keep him distracted from sleeping.
Too much sleep may seem like small problem at first but the longer your pup snoozes, the harder it is to break him of the habit. Too much sleeping can be a sign of a lazy dog, a bored dog or a sick dog. There first thing to do is get him checked by the vet for conditions such as hypothyroidism, an iodine insufficiency or many other illnesses for which it a symptom.
If your puppy is grumpy when you waken him, try holding a treat under his nose while you make some sort of noise such as a can filled with coins. And, remember, the old adage "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie" isn't always true.
Advice from Other Dog Owners
Puppies Eat Less When They are Teething
When my dog was teething his appetite decreased quite a bit. Our vet recommended adding water to his food to soften it up, which worked great. He did not recommend that we do that all the time because the hard food helps their dental hygiene. That worked for us! Ice cubes and toys in the freezer also helped (i.e. water down a rope toy and freeze).
~TALIE D., owner of Labrador Retriever