A small dog in a basket

Setting Up A Bed

Your puppy’s bed – and how to make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep

From setting up your new arrival’s bed, to where to put it and how to create a peaceful atmosphere, here’s how to make sure everyone gets some shuteye.

Few things in life are as exciting as bringing home a new puppy. It can also feel like a big responsibility though, and a lot of new pet parents worry about how their puppy is going to sleep  – or not sleep!

But relax because we’ve got lots of tips and advice to help.

1. Give it time

Realistically, it may take your puppy a little while to settle in properly. Don’t forget this is the first time your furry friend will have been away from their mum and siblings. And, while daytime brings lots of fun distractions, the nights can seem long, dark and lonely. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure your schedule isn’t too demanding for the first few days after you bring your puppy home. Maybe even take a few days off work and make sure you don’t have too many commitments.

2. Your puppy’s bed

While it’s tempting to buy a bed with room to grow into, puppies like to feel safe and contained so it’s better to buy a puppy-sized bed and then replace it when your pooch gets bigger. For this reason, you’ll want a bed that isn’t too expensive. Choose something that’s comfortable, warm and easy to get in and out of with little legs. It’s also worth making sure you buy something machine washable. Don’t put anything in the bed that can be chewed or swallowed easily. It’s no exaggeration to say our four-legged friends will eat almost ANYTHING.

3. Make sure the bed smells right!

Scent is your puppy’s strongest sense, and a little trick that can make a big difference is popping something in their new bed that smells of their old home. Before you bring your puppy home, get a chew-proof blanket or towel and ask the breeder or adoption centre to put it in bed with your puppy’s mum and brothers and sisters.

4. Where to put the bed

You should place your puppy’s bed in a quiet, warm spot that’s not too far away from you. You might also want to think about putting the bed into a playpen so your puppy doesn’t go wandering. And talking of wandering, now is the time to think about how you feel about your puppy sleeping on your bed. This is something that polarises pet parents. One thing is for sure though, whatever you do in the beginning is likely to become a habit. So if you’re in the camp of not wanting your furry friend to sleep on your bed, don’t give in now (no matter how big those puppy eyes are).

5. Getting ready for bedtime

You can set yourself up for success in those first nights by what you do in the day. Make sure your puppy has lots of playtime and fun during the day and establish a set winding down routine in the run up to bedtime. Take your four-legged friend outside for a wee break before bed too.

6. Don’t forget naptime

Being a puppy is exhausting. Puppies sleep 15 – 20 hours a day on average. This means you’ll want to move their bed, or even buy a second one, so they’ve got somewhere to rest during the day. If you’ve got kids, it’s worth reminding them that a snoozing puppy shouldn’t be disturbed, however tempting a cuddle might be.

7. Those first few nights

Just like human babies, puppies can take a while to be good at sleeping. If your puppy isn’t settling at night, try talking in a soft and soothing voice. Don’t play with or cuddle your furry friend as this just sends a message that night-time is fun-time. If your pup needs to go outside to the toilet in the night (which is likely in the first couple of weeks), make this as boring as possible and don’t give them too much attention (very hard, we know!).

Even if you follow all the tips and advice here, you still might have a few unsettled nights for a while. It takes time for a puppy to settle into a new home. Just as well they’re adorable from the get-go though!