If you thought babies were the only ones to get cranky when they don't get enough sleep, think again. Puppies are next in line when it comes to winning the crabbiest family member award. Fortunately, the solution to this problem is quite easy. Simply create a comfy spot free of distractions and let you pup catch up on some well-deserved zzz's.
When it comes to newborn puppies, these helpless fellows need all the sleep they can get. This isn't the regular beauty sleep you need to feel refreshed after a late night out; rather, when it comes to these pups their activated sleep is all about growing and development. Expect them to sleep and nurse 90 percent of the time. A puppy that is constantly crying isn't cranky but most likely cold, hungry or getting ill. In such a case, momma dog and her entire litter should be examined immediately by a veterinarian.
Let Sleeping Pups Lie
As the puppies grow, they start exploring their surroundings and start to play. Don't be surprised if your puppy is playing one minute and then sleeping soundly the next. While he's conked out on the carpet, his brain is still maturing and building new neural connections, the American Animal Hospital Association explains. Don't wake him up yet; at this age he needs as much sleep as he can get, and failure to catch those 40 winks may transform him into a moody, restless zombie.
A Busy Pup's Life
Being a puppy is not a walk in the park. Most puppies stay busy as they experience loads of novel experiences. New sights, new smells, play and socialization can easily drain all the pup's energy. It's your job to ensure he gets enough sleep. Keep in mind that generally puppies need a minimum of 14 to 16 hours of sleep per day, notes Michelle McCarthy, owner and director of Training For K9 Home Schooling.
Encouraging a Siesta
If Max gets tired and cranky, you can't blame him. Spared from the gift of voice, he has no way of telling you he's tired of playing with your grandkids and needs to hit the sack. His hyper, restless, fearful, nervous, anxious, nippy and overly vocal behavior may be his way of manifesting his need to doze off. In this case, you need to step in and let the pup get his deserved dose of sleep.
You can take several steps to prevent your pup from getting cranky. Don't let him crash in the middle of the living room where people walk by and make all sorts of noises. A nap inside a crate or gated area where he can't be jostled or woken up is the best solution. Put together a consistent schedule so that Milo doesn't stay active for hours at a time and takes his well-deserved naps throughout the day.
By Adrienne Farricelli
About the Author
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.