Help Your Puppy Sleep through the Night

When Cassie arrived at our house at just under 8 weeks of age, she woke me up every night, whining and scratching at her cage. I thought she had to pee, so I’d carry her out into the frozen backyard. Cassie refused paper training, having been house broken before I adopted her.

To warm her up, I’d put her under the covers in my bed with me for a few minutes before placing her back in her cage­­—a big mistake I know. But she was a tiny puppy and needed comforting. Every night, like clockwork, she’d wake me up. I expected this for the first week or two, but when it dragged on for a month, I wondered what was going on.

We lived in a hundred-year-old house with leaky windows. To save on energy bills, we turned our thermostat low­—down to 53 degrees. Often my bedroom was colder especially on windy nights when the outside air dipped to near zero degrees.

Cassie had very thin puppy fur and no muscle mass at that young age, so I already had her sleeping in two layers, a sweater and a coat. I thought she’d be warm enough.

Cocker spaniel in a cage covered with a blanket

Buffy in her cage covered with a blanket to keep her warm.

After several weeks at a puppy obedience class, I asked the instructor if she had any idea why Cassie might be waking me up when she seemed house trained.

“Have you tried covering her cage with a blanket?” she asked. “Cassie might just be cold and want to snuggle into your bed.”

That night I covered her cage with a blanket and for the first time, she slept through the night. The blanket covered the openings in the cage to allow her breath and body heat to warm the crate while leaving enough circulation for fresh air.

Now every winter, even with mature dogs, I leave a crate open in my bedroom with a blanket covering it. When they get cold enough, often they will wander inside for a while.

What do you do to keep your puppies warm?

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