Why Does My Puppy Wake Up So Early? | What To Do

Why Does My Puppy Wake Up So Early?

Sleeping in those last few minutes before the alarm goes off is a precious sanctuary where we may escape into our dreams before the harsh reality of the outside world catches up to us. So, while I’m sure your fuzzy fur baby is adorable, you wouldn’t want to get up earlier than your alarms because your dog can’t sleep. Which begs the question: why does my puppy get up so early in the morning?

  • Puppies are Polyphasic sleepers

In layman’s terms, this means that pups don’t sleep for the entirety of a 24-hour period in one go. Similar to having a newborn infant, sleeping most of the time at night is not a natural instinct for a puppy.

Additionally, if you do not engage with your pups sufficiently during the day, your puppy may sleep a lot during the day, resulting in them not sleeping much during the night. This is common for owners who have to leave their dog alone during the day. When puppies are bored and alone, they tend to fall asleep.

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  • Puppies Need to Pee

This is most likely the most typical cause for puppies needing to get up early. It’s common for puppies to wake up two or three times during the night to go to pee, but once they’ve slept enough, they find it difficult to fall back to sleep.

  • Puppies are Easily Disturbed

Puppies are light sleepers who are quickly disturbed by anything unfamiliar to them while they sleep. This can cause them to wake up too early in the morning. Some of the reasons for this include the sun rising in the morning if they are accustomed to sleeping in the dark, and the hum and whirr of your central heating system turning on. Even the sound of your neighbors setting off for work can wake them up.

  • Your Puppy is Hungry

The tummies of newborn puppies are really small. They can’t even keep enough milk in their stomachs to last an entire night without running out of calories to sustain themselves. Initially, they must therefore make do with frequent tiny meals, often several late at night.

If your puppy is already used to eating kibble, then it is also possible that they are eating their dinner too early, which results in them waking up early because of hunger. 

  • Your Puppy Has a Health Issue

Your dog could be suffering from a serious health problem that is causing him to wake up earlier than expected. It could be a urinary tract infection, a digestive issue, or something else irritating the puppy enough to cause him to wake up. 

  • Your Puppy is Suffering from Separation Anxiety

When puppies do not like being left alone and become anxious at the possibility of being left alone at night, then it is possible that your puppy is having separation anxiety. You’ll be more likely to notice this if your pet shows signs of anxiety as you approach bedtime. It could be that separation anxiety is causing him to wake up earlier because he wants to be with you sooner.

  • Your Puppy is Not Too Tired

Dogs are typically expected to exercise on a daily basis. Your dog’s excessive energy may be a contributing factor to why your puppy wakes up early in the morning. This would be more likely if he has a tendency to get up early in the morning when he has not gotten much activity in the previous day.

  • Your Puppy Lacks a Sleeping Routine

If you’re used to getting up early in the mornings during the week but prefer to sleep in on weekends, having a puppy will be a challenge. Puppies enjoy following schedules and will unconsciously follow the everyday patterns you have established for them. Additionally, if your puppy is new to your home, it can take some time to establish what time to wake up.

Although the answers presented above explain why your puppy is an early riser, we understand that they do not solve your problem.

No worries! We know what to do!

Below are steps you can do to encourage your dog to sleep through the night:

  • Rule out medical conditions

It’s important to make sure that your dog has no real cause to wake you up early. If your dog has a habit of waking up too early in the morning, keep an eye out for signs of disease or suffering in them. Weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, having accidents, limping, behavioral changes, and gastrointestinal problems are all examples of serious symptoms. Puppies exhibiting any of these symptoms are more likely ill and need to be taken to the vet.

  • Ensure a proper diet and feed him late at night

Nobody, not even your dog, sleeps soundly on an empty stomach! If your dog is hungry, he will find it difficult to ignore the urge and may disturb you for help. So, if your dog gets up early, it’s time to rethink how and when you feed him. 

Consider feeding your dog later in the day and giving him a treat immediately before he goes to bed. This schedule shift may help to minimize your dog’s hunger by the morning, allowing both you and your dog to get a few more hours of sleep.

Additionally, The dog’s quality of food affects your puppy’s digestive system. Low-quality dog food can cause bloating and diarrhea which may be the reason why your dog is having trouble sleeping at night. Check the nutritional value of your kibble and consider trying other healthier options. 

  • For the first several evenings at home, let them sleep inside your room

There are numerous benefits to allowing your puppy to spend the first few nights with you. One of them is making your dog feel safe in your home at night. Making your pooch feel comfortable in the relationship with you is another objective as well, so they know you’re serious about taking care of them. Doing this will reassure your puppy and will allow them to relax and sleep longer at night, without the need to double-check on you during sleep time.

  • Tire your dog out

A tired dog is a cheerful, well-behaved dog who sleeps longer. Exercise burns away a lot of energy – and it also releases endorphins, which help to regulate mood and give your pooch a general sense of well-being in the process. Tiredness encourages sleeping in, while endorphins help to alleviate anxieties, which may contribute to his early-morning activities.

Your dog’s breed will determine how much exercise they require. A 20 to 30-minute walk a day is sufficient for low-energy dogs like the English Bulldog, while a couple of walks and over two hours of activity are required for high-energy dogs like the Belgian Malinois.

Ideally, playing games and exercise two hours before bedtime is a great way to ensure that your puppy is tired out before sleeping. Training games which encourage them to use their problem solving skills is very effective as it will not only tire your dog physically, but also mentally!

IMPORTANT NOTE: By encouraging your dog to spend more time playing before bed, he will learn to associate going to bed with having a good time and will be more likely to fall asleep once this expectation has been realized.

  • Reduce stimuli in the bedroom

Your dog will be less likely to wake you if there is less distraction to wake him in the first place. Pull the drapes closed. Turn the television off. Play mild classical music or a white noise machine. Invest in a cozy bed for your puppy. The idea is to make sleeping time as comfortable as possible for your dog.

Dog crates are an excellent method to make your dog feel comfortable and safe. You’ll want your dog to know that their crate is their own personal safe place to sleep in and retreat whenever they feel overwhelmed and stressed. Make the crate more welcoming and appealing to your pooch by adding  blankets to the top as well as inside the crate. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The crate should never be used as a punishment for your dog, even if he or she gets up early.

  • Establish a sleep schedule

You will have less trouble training and controlling a dog who has been used to a set schedule for feeding, walking, and bedtime. This will not only teach your dog patience, but it will also help him relax as he already knows what to expect. This means that you should schedule playtime and exercise sessions for your dog in a way that will allow him to sleep well at night. Moreover, it’s also a good idea to go to bed at the same hour every day to give your dog a consistent bedtime. 

Another way to encourage your dog to stick to their sleeping pattern is to be uninteresting when they wake up too early. Puppies pick up on how you act around them, so if you don’t play with them in the morning before their sleeping time is up, they won’t bother getting up before the alarms go off.

  • Give them a bathroom break before bed

Before putting your dog to bed, you might want to consider allowing him to relieve himself. A last-minute break immediately before you both go to bed will be helpful. If your dog is encouraged to pee before bed, they are more likely to hold their bladder for longer during the night.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Having to pee more often can be an indication of illness. Urinary tract infections, renal disease, liver disease, and diabetes are all disorders that might induce frequent urination. If your dog is going to the bathroom more frequently than usual, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Is my puppy sleeping too much?

If you’re concerned that something could be wrong with your new little family member because he or she is napping away the day, don’t worry! It is entirely normal for your dog to sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Their small bodies are growing quickly, and they require a lot of sleep, given how lovely they can be when they wake up. 

When do dogs start sleeping through the night?

By the time your dog is four months old, he should be able to sleep through the night. On average, puppies require between 6 and 10 hours of sleep per night. Your puppy can hold his bladder for up to 5 hours at this age. 

Despite that, it is unreasonable to expect your 4-month-old dog to sleep through the night consistently every night. During this period of development, your puppy may still have accidents from time to time, particularly at night. Your puppy is most likely to obtain a full night’s sleep at the age of 6 months.

What Not to Do When A Puppy Wakes Up Early

  • Do NOT Punish Him

Punishing your dog for waking up early will not fix the situation. Generally speaking, punishing your dog will have the opposite effect of what you want him to learn.  Additionally, punishing your pooch will likely damage the attachment built between you and your puppy and his trust in your ability to keep them safe and protected.

  • Do NOT Feed Your Puppy

Fight the temptation to feed your puppy before the scheduled breakfast time. By feeding them regularly only on a set schedule, your puppy will realize after some time that even if he wakes up earlier, he won’t get any food and he will be discouraged to wake up before breakfast time.

  • Do NOT Force Your Puppy to Stay Awake During Daytime

Forcing your pup not to sleep in the morning sounds like a sensible thing to do when  you are desperate for them to stop waking up so early. However, sleep is vital for your pup’s growth and development, and not letting them sleep during the day will disrupt their development. 

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