A friend of mine just brought her new puppy home. One thing on her mind is whether the pup will sleep quietly through the night in the crate. Many puppies will not have to get up to pee (metabolism slows way down overnight, so they don’t need to pee as much as during waking hours). But they probably do miss their littermates, and may not know how to be confined by themselves. Here are a few tips in case you are in the same boat:
- Wrap a hot water bottle filled with warm water in a towel. Place it in the crate just before you tuck the puppy in for the night.
- Place a t-shirt you’ve worn that day (so it has your scent on it) in the crate with the pup.
- Cover the crate with a light sheet.
- Keep the crate next to your bed. (You can always move it the next morning. In fact, depending on how big the crate is, you may want one for beside the bed and one for daytime use near family activities).
- If the puppy stirs a little, don’t assume she has to pee and whisk her outside. Just give her a moment, she may be shifting around and just go back to sleep. You can even lean down and stick your fingers through the crate. Your pup will find them (it’s very cute) and find comfort that you’re still nearby.
- If the fussing is of a more agitated variety, your pup may need to go out. Just carry her and keep it very low-key. Act as though you are trying to avoid waking her up all the way. Don’t have a big party or feed treats in the middle of the night or the pup may decide that’s a lot of fun. Just do the minimum and get back to bed.
Despite all of this, you will have ups and downs as you and your puppy figure out her routine and what her little sounds mean. So, during the day, take lots of pictures of the pup and do fun things with her, to balance out the sleep deprivation you’re sure to experience temporarily. Fuzzy puppy days will be gone before you know it, so soak it in while you can!