Puppy parents get concerned when their puppy sleeps for long and does not eat. “Should i wake my puppy up to eat” is a common query. It would be best if you did not do so. Let’s understand why.
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Puppies sleep a lot, and sometimes it is hard to keep up with their sleep schedule. I have seen pet owners concerned about their puppies sleeping and missing their meals. Often they would go to sleep without eating and won’t wake up even for their meals.
As a pet owner, you may get worried about them not eating sufficient food and not getting proper nutrients for their development. You might even have thought: should I wake my puppy up to eat?
Let us discuss in detail whether to wake up a puppy to eat or not.
Should I Wake My Puppy Up To Eat?
If your puppy sometimes sleeps through its mealtime and skips its meals, then you must ponder whether should I wake puppy to eat. It is completely fine for them to sleep for long hours.
You do not need to wake them up to eat. Puppies need to get a proper amount of sleep for their growth. Missing one or two meals won’t hamper their growth.
However, waking them up and disturbing their sleep might make them cranky. Let us understand the normal sleep cycle of puppies and their feed pattern.
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Normal Sleep Cycle For Puppies
Newborn puppies can sleep for several hours at a time and need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep every day. Getting enough sleep is necessary for growth in a newborn puppy.
When a puppy is born, they spend ninety percent of their time sleeping and the remaining ten nursing in the first week of their life.
As they grow older, they start to sleep less and remain awake for some time. Even then, puppies would need plenty of sleep to develop their brain, muscles, and immunity.
It is pretty common for puppies to sleep through their mealtime if they are tired. As a pet parent, you do not need to worry if, sometimes, your puppy sleeps through and misses its meals.
Puppy Feed Pattern
Newborn puppies need to be fed by their mom every two hours. If the mom refuses to nurse the puppies or has some health condition, you would need to bottle feed the puppies every two hours at least for the first few weeks. After that, you can increase the gap between two subsequent feeds.
Most of the time, when we get a puppy from a breeder, they are eight weeks of age. At this age, you need to create a feed pattern for your puppies. Ideally, an eight-week-old puppy should have three or four full meals every day.
Fix a schedule for your puppy and give them food at the same time every day so that they can develop a schedule.
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Sample Meal Schedule
Their first meal should be around 7 or 8 in the morning, right after they wake up and have relieved themselves. After the meal, allow them to play for a while and take a nap.
Their second meal should be around 12 or 1 in the afternoon. They would need to relive themself either immediately after their meal or after sometimes. Let them take a nap or play if they want.
Their last meal should be around 5 or 6 in the evening, depending upon their sleep schedule. Feeding them four or five hours before their sleep routine for the night makes them digest the food and relieve themselves one last time before they go to sleep for the night.
If your puppy sleeps through their mealtime and skips their meal, do not wake them up forcibly as that can startle them, making them very scared or aggressive.
When Should You Worry
Sleeping for 16 to 20 hours is considered normal for puppies, and some of them might even sleep longer on some days.
However, if you find that your puppy is sleeping too much, missing its meals, and is not very active even on waking up, that should be a reason to worry.
When the puppy suffers from some issues or has an underlying health condition, you will find them lying away from their siblings and mom.
If a puppy shows signs of lethargy and weakness and is skipping meals and sleeping too much, that might be due to low glucose levels or low body temperature. It would be best if you got them checked at the vet to diagnose them and give them proper treatment.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Should I wake a sleeping puppy to feed?
It would be best if you did not wake a sleeping puppy to feed. Let them wake up on their own and then guide them to their mom for feeding or bottle feed them if necessary.
Pet owners often worry too much if their puppies sleep a lot and do not wake up to feed. However, it is very normal for a newborn puppy to sleep for more than twenty hours a day. While they are sleeping, they are growing, and they need to get sufficient rest in the first few weeks.
If the puppy is sleeping too much and is not quite eager to feed even after they are up, this might be due to an underlying health issue. It would be best if you got your pup to the vet as soon as possible.
If the breed that you own is small, even then, it is not ideal for letting a puppy sleep without eating food, as their glucose levels can get low. Wake them up gently and give them some food or leave some food in their bowl near them so that when they wake up, they will have something to eat.
Why should you never wake a sleeping puppy?
You should never wake up a sleeping puppy as forcibly waking them can startle them, and they can get scared or become aggressive. The aggression may lead to them biting the person who wakes them up.
In certain circumstances, where a puppy has been sleeping for a long time, and you are concerned about their well-being, it is necessary to wake them up, and then you need to do so very gently.
Stay at a distance from them and use a soft voice to wake them up gently. Only after you see that they are awake, then go near them to pet them.
What time should I wake up to feed my puppy?
If your puppy has been sleeping for a full night, then you should wake them up for their morning meal.
When you get a puppy, it is best to get them on a schedule of feeding as that would help you track the amount of food they eat and whether they are getting sufficient nutrition or not.
Having a fixed schedule for food also helps train the puppy better, and it also regulates their need to relieve themselves.
You should start with three or four meals per day for a puppy at eight weeks old. They should get a meal around 7 or 8 in the morning. The second meal of the day should be around noon and the last meal at 5 in the evening.
Puppies are extremely energetic, but they also like to sleep. While it is pretty normal for puppies to sleep for 16 to 20 hours per day, some can sleep even more. Often while sleeping, they even miss their mealtime. This makes a pet owner wonder: Should I wake my puppy to eat?
While we do not recommend waking them up for meals if it happens once in a while, waking them up from a deep sleep might startle them and make them aggressive. However, if your pup is missing meals and sleeping regularly or showing no interest in eating even after waking up, you should consult a vet immediately.