Dogs are creatures of habit and like to leave on strict schedules. However, setting up and maintaining a strict regimen can be hard if your dog likes to take long naps during the day and then spends most of the night roaming around the house.
So, how to keep a dog awake? There are plenty of things you can do to keep your dog awake during the day and just before bedtime – from interactive days, through going for long and physically demanding walks to offering plenty of mind-challenging mental stimulation.
In this article, we will explain how to keep your dog awake. We will also emphasize that preventing your dog from sleeping in inadequate times is not cruel – it is necessary to maintain a healthy schedule.
HOW LONG DO DOGS USUALLY STAY AWAKE?
The dog’s sleeping cycle is much different than ours. While we get rested after 7 to 9 hours of continuous sleep, dogs sleep in short but more frequent intervals irregularly dispensed throughout the day.
Adult dogs usually sleep around 14 hours per day. However, not all 14 hours are deep, quality sleep. Some of this time accounts for napping, snoozing, or simply relaxing with closed eyes.
Unlike adult dogs, puppies need more sleep. As interestingly as it sounds, the average puppy needs between 18 and 20 hours of sleep per day. This behavior is almost cat-like.
HOW DO I KEEP MY PUPPY AWAKE BEFORE BED?
There are several things you can do to keep your puppy awake before bed. Before you start judging us for wanting to keep pups awake we should explain how important it is for dogs to follow a schedule.
It is no secret that dogs are creatures of habit. Implementing those habits starts early when the dog is just a young pup. Ensuring your dog stays awake during the day is critical for getting a good sleep during the night.
Here are some things you can do to keep your sleepy puppy awake until bedtime.
Option number 1: Exercise regimen
There is an old proverb stating that a tired dog is a good dog. The same concept applies to sleeping – a tired dog is more likely to get a good night’s sleep. Therefore, your puppy needs a strict exercise regimen.
Different dog breeds require different exercise regimens in terms of length and intensity. The right exercise regimen will help your puppy properly develop and is important for ensuring a good night’s sleep.
If you are not sure which exercise regimen is best for your puppy, do not hesitate to talk to your trusted veterinarian. We should also note that until your puppy is fully vaccinated you must avoid outdoor physical activities.
Option number 2: Potty time
If you are prone to waking up in the middle of the night just to go to the bathroom, you understand the importance of potty breaks. In fact, puppies find the potty breaks even more essential than people because their tiny bladders cannot hold for too long.
Namely, if you gave your puppy water before putting it inside the crate chances are it will ask to leave the crate almost immediately for peeing. To avoid such issues, it is recommended to give your puppy water two or three hours before bedtime and to take it out for a potty break just before bedtime.
Usually, puppies can hold it for up to several hours. The number of hours increases as the dog grows older. To ensure no accidents occur during the night, you will probably have to set your alarm and plan several potty breaks during the night.
Option number 3: The sleeping location
Puppies lack experience and once they find themselves in a new and unfamiliar environment are likely to feel scared and moody. In more practical terms this means your puppy will probably cry a lot and call its mother in the middle night. These crying sessions will keep the puppy awake at night and mess with its sleeping schedule.
To avoid such issues, you need to ensure a calm and relaxing sleeping environment. For example, you can let your new puppy sleep in a crate on the floor of your bedroom. Your mere presence will be enough to keep your puppy comforted and will do wonders for strengthening your mutual bond.
Option number 4: Daytime routine
Puppies need a solid daytime routine. Setting up this routine starts the moment you bring your new puppy home. The right daytime routine should include various activities for physical and mental stimulation as well as several naps – this is because puppies need between 18 and 20 hours of sleep per day.
Setting a good daytime routine means planning every moment from the pup’s waking up to bedtime. You need to set the right timing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Timing is also important for playtimes, naps, walks, and of course – potty breaks.
Once you set up the schedule, you need to stick to it. It can be tempting to let your puppy express its natural inclinations and do whatever it wants. However, setting up a good routine will keep it awake, ensure a good night’s sleep, and be helpful in the long run.
Option number 5: Mental stimulation
Mental stimulation is one of the basics of raising a well-behaved puppy. Exercising the dog’s intelligence is just as important as exercising its body. In fact, considering the sedentary lifestyle of most modern dogs, stimulating the mind may be a primary concern.
Luckily, young puppies can be easily stimulated. All you need is a new toy or everyday object to intrigue the pup’s powerful nose. Eve letting your pup sniff during walks or potty breaks serves as a high-quality mental stimulation. This may sound unusual from a human standpoint but dogs perceive the world through their noses and using them can be stimulating.
Instead of encouraging your puppy’s sniffing instincts, you can invest in interactive toys. Dogs love playing with balls and getting a tennis ball or a baseball can keep your pup entertained for quite some time. Treat-dispensing puzzle toys are another great option. Just hide several treats inside the toy and let your pup work to get a tasty reward.
Option number 6: Training classes
When you got your puppy chances are you believed training is not something you would need to consider for a while. The truth is you need to start training your puppy as early as possible. The ideal time to start with basic obedience training is when your puppy is between 7 and 8 weeks old.
In the concept of keeping puppies awake, training is important as it offers both physical and mental stimulation. In simple words, a pup that is too invested in learning new tricks and overcoming barriers will not have time to sleep. However, when it is time for sleep or a nap, it will be tired and immediately doze off.
Depending on your dog’s breed and your experience in training, giving obedience classes to a dog can be tricky. If you have any doubts or struggling to achieve results, we recommend talking to a professional dog trainer.
Option number 7: Nap time
Being a cute young puppy is tiring. You need to accept the fact that puppies need sleep to grow. In fact, young puppies need to sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day. Therefore, between the daily activities leaving time for several short naps is critical.
Young puppies need more sleep than an adult dog. This is something you need to take into consideration when making your puppy’s daily schedule. As your pup grows, you can cut down on the number or length of the naps.
Leaving your puppy without naps will make it cranky and moody. This is the same as in kids – ever witnessed the behavior of a child who skipped its afternoon nap? If you answered yes, you know what we are talking about.
HOW DO YOU KEEP A DOG AWAKE AT NIGHT?
All of the above-explained options for keeping pups awake before bedtime can also be used to keep dogs awake at night. The good news is, it is easier to keep an adult dog awake than to keep a puppy awake.
Additionally, once your dog gets used to going to bed at a certain time, you will not need to put too much effort into activities that would keep it awake. Of course, in unique situations, when the dog’s biorhythm is compromised and schedule changes are necessary you can use some of the techniques and games mentioned in this article to keep your dog awake.
SUMMING UP: KEEPING YOUR DOG AWAKE
It is not just cats that are notorious sleepers. Some dogs are big sleepers too – they spend the entire day snoozing around the house and then the entire night officially sleeping. However, spending the entire time messes with the dog’s internal clock and leads to changes in the biorhythm.
To avoid such problems, it is necessary to keep your dog awake during the day and more importantly immediately before bedtime. Luckily, there are different things you can do to achieve this goal.
Last but not least, keep in mind that the efforts to keep your dog awake will not be necessary forever. Once your dogs establishes a routine it will adjust and have no trouble staying awake.