When you get a new puppy figuring out their sleeping arrangements can be difficult. Find out what the best options for puppy beds are and if you really should let them sleep in your bed with you.
With all that playing, your puppy will need lots of rest, so appropriate puppy sleeping arrangements should be made. Avoid giving into temptation and allowing your new pup to sleep on your bed, even on the first night with your new puppy. It will quickly become a habit that you later might regret when they won’t be able to sleep alone! It’s best to make them a comfy nest that they can call their own, where they can be snug at puppy bedtime.
If you’re using a puppy crate then a cosy bed can be put inside, with layers of newspaper underneath to soak up any spilled water or wee accidents. The puppy crate, or bed (if you’re using a bed on its own), should be placed in a quiet corner, somewhere where you can keep an eye on your puppy when they are inside, and out of the way of kids playing and general noise, so they can have a good rest. A corner of the kitchen will allow easy mopping up of any spills. If you’re placing the puppy crate on the floor elsewhere on carpet, some newspaper or (chew-proof!) waterproof pads underneath is a good idea.
If you already have other dogs in the house, then placing your puppy’s crate alongside their sleeping area will give your new pup some reassuring company. However, if your existing pets are wary or upset about their new housemate, then it’s better to keep puppy’s sleeping arrangements separate, until they’re used to each other and are happy snuggling up or playing.
What to expect on the first night home with your puppy
On arrival in their new home, your puppy may take a while to settle in. This is likely to have been the first time they have been away from mum and their siblings. During the day, the activities of playing and sleeping might mean your puppy has been distracted and has not noticed that his previous doggy family are no longer around. When it comes to night-time though, it's dark and long, and it’s normal that your pup may get upset when you spend your first night with your new puppy. As a general rule, puppy first nights can be tricky – but they’re easier to navigate if you have some idea of what to expect.
First of all, new owners should fully expect to have disrupted sleep for a few nights or even weeks. Anything else is unrealistic and sets them and their puppy up for failure. Plan your new arrival for a time when you can take this into consideration.
Thankfully we have come a long way from the “shut them in the kitchen and let them cry till they fall asleep” thinking which was both unintentionally cruel and also can lead to attachment issues and potentially separation-related problems - as one of the very first things the puppy learns is that these new people do leave you alone and it’s scary.
You are trying to build a relationship and trust between you and your puppy that is going to last for your whole life together, and making your puppy’s first nights with you as stress-free as possible is going to help with that.
Puppy sleep training happens little by little. When it comes to your puppy’s bedtime, for the first week or so, it's preferable that they sleep in your bedroom with you. This way, he or she has your reassuring presence nearby, and there are sounds and smells that they will be familiar with. A puppy crate is ideal for this stage: you can either take this up to your room at night, or have a second one that's kept in the bedroom. Ensure that puppy gets out to the loo just before bedtime. When settling into bed in the puppy crate, reward positive quiet behaviour in the bed. If your puppy gets upset or you hear your puppy crying at night, do not shout or punish your puppy – this is normal - they are just learning how to be independent. Give them a while to settle down with your presence nearby. Puppy crate training at night is a gradual process, and it’s important to be patient. If your puppy is crying all night, it can be unsettling for you also, but with care, structure and patience, you will be able to get your puppy into a good sleep routine.
Watch our Purina experts explain why your puppy might be having trouble sleeping and what you can do to help them enjoy a restful night.
During the night, if your puppy is unsettled, take them quietly outside to the toilet and back in to their bed, but do not engage in chatting or play behaviour. Keep everything as calm as possible.
As the puppy sleep training process progresses and they get used to sleeping in their bed, you can start to move the puppy crate towards the door, gradually to be moved out of the room to where you want their new sleeping area to be. It is best to try to accomplish this within the first week of having your new puppy.
Puppy first night checklist
- Make sure any bed you buy is safe with nothing that can be chewed or swallowed easily.
- Have something soft, cushioned, warm and easy to get in and out of – no steps or high sides, which can strain, injure or damage immature joints, bones and muscles/ligaments.
- Puppies often like to feel contained and secure – so if possible buy something small and replaceable rather than something huge that your puppy will eventually grow into. There’s time for a beautiful expensive bed when your puppy is all grown up, toilet trained and less likely to chew!
- Put the bed/crate in a quiet part of the room where the puppy will not be disturbed by people coming in and out – and make a hard and fast rule that no one disturbs the puppy when they are sleeping.
• Something waterproof underneath the bed (a cut-open bin liner and newspaper will do the job) can be useful in case of toilet training accidents but you should be supervising these times to ensure your puppy doesn’t get the chance to make a mistake!
Like us, puppies sleep better when they are relaxed, comfortable and feel secure – and knowing that we are providing that for our dogs, means we can sleep easy too!
Benefits of a dog bed
Any good dog bed will provide your dog with a soft place to rest after a long day of activity and fun. As dogs move into their senior years, this becomes more important.
Dog beds can help keep your dog warm, which is especially important during the winter when the bed keeps your dog from direct contact with the cold floor.
Just like most people, your dog will sometimes want a place to relax while they are on their own. A comfortable dog bed allows your dog to get some alone time when they need it.
Other considerations when choosing a dog bed for your growing pup
Puppy beds need to give ample room for the growing pup, and if you’re using a puppy crate, be able to fit comfortably inside. If you’ve ever looked at your dog while they are sleeping, then you’ve probably noticed that dogs can sleep in various positions: on their back, on their side, curled up or stretched out. It’s important to take this into consideration when choosing which dog bed is right for your dog.
It’s very important that the dog bed you choose allows your dog to move around comfortably while staying within the confines of the bed. If the bed is big enough for your dog to lie in while curled up, but too small to fit in with their limbs fully outstretched, then your dog might become uncomfortable.