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Pomeranian Sleeping Habits

Pomeranian sleeping on pillow
Cookie, 4 years old; Photo courtesy of owner: Regina

Maybe your Pomeranian seems to sleep all the time or perhaps just as you are tucking yourself under the covers in your warm cozy bed, your puppy is wide awake. You may wonder if your Pomeranian sleeps too much or not enough. Some dog owners find themselves with a dog that got into a very bad sleeping pattern; thus reversing their time clock and being awake at night and sleeping most of the day away.

This section will cover how much sleep in normal depending on age, where your Pom should sleep for a good night's rest and how to select the best bed for your Pom that your dog will actually love.
How Much Sleep Does a Pomeranian Need?

As you may have guessed, dogs in general sleep a lot more than humans do; though they sleep for the same reasons. Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. Dogs also need to enter deep sleep, commonly known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) which means that they dream as well. The amount of time that your Pom should need to sleep will vary and this mostly depends on his age. 

Newborns Puppies - Birth to 6 weeks: Newborn puppies sleep quite a bit. Form birth to 3 weeks, time awake is only to nurse from the dam. At the 3 week mark, eyes are open and the pup begins to learn to walk. From 4 weeks to 6 weeks, a newborn will stay awake for short periods of time as he starts to explore his world. Starting at 6 weeks, the urge to learn, play and have fun with his littermates keeps him awake for much longer periods. The average amount of hours of sleep for pups this young is between 20 and 22 hours per day.

Puppies - A Pom is a puppy until the age of 1 year old. It is normal for Pomeranian puppies to sleep 18 to 20 hours per day.

Adults - Adult Poms (1 year and older) should be sleeping through the night, essentially mimicking their owner's sleep schedule. This gives them 7 to 8 hours to snooze. During the day, a few naps will be taken to bring the total hours of sleep to 12 to 14. Many dogs reserve their naps for when they are home alone.

Seniors - It is common for dogs over the age of 8 years old to take an extra nap each day or to sleep slightly longer at night. The senior Pomeranian may fall asleep at night before his owners; this often happens when things are quiet and the family is relaxing in the evening. 
Helping Your Puppy Sleep

Aside from housebreaking, working to train a puppy that nighttime means sleepy time is one of owner's biggest concerns. It takes a dog a while to become accustomed to a schedule and for this reason puppies may wake up a lot at night. There are some things you can do to help your new puppy learn that night time is for sleeping:

1) Create a very comfortable sleeping area. If you will be leaving your Pom home alone during the day while you are at work, it can help to have a gated off area or a canine playpen and within that space, have a quality canine bed (more ahead). Having a Pom go there during the day to rest and then again at night to sleep will help him get used to his bed and feel comfortable there. When a puppy feels isolated in an area that is not familiar or that he only associates with being alone when it gets dark, this can keep him up at night. So, during the day, keep the entrance open to his own special area and let him know that it's okay to retreat there.

It is best if this area is in the main part of the home away from doors or other areas of high foot traffic. A corner in the living room is often a good choice.

2) Check for drafts or extra heat. Take time to inspect the chosen spot at the level of your Pom to see if there are any drafts that might make him cold or if it is too close to heating elements which may also make him too uncomfortable to settle down.
3) Create a calming vibe. Before it is time to retire for the evening, signal this by dimming the lights and lowering the volume of any TV's or other noise making devices.

4) Keep a few toys with your Pom so that if he does wake up, he has a few chews and other interesting toys to self-sooth and stay busy if he is up for a little while.

5) Bring your Pom out for bathroom needs about 20 to 30 minutes before the intended sleep time. Then, if he wakes up, unless there is a real possibility that he needs to go out again, all barking, whining and other attention-getting noises should be ignored. 

This is a hard one for owners. However, if you rush over to sooth a puppy, he will learn to call out to you the next time...and the next...and so on. And that will be the Pomeranian that never learns to self-sooth and put himself back to sleep.

As long as your Pom is safe, fed, warm and does not have a bathroom need it is best to let him tire himself out. Within just a few weeks, he should learn to sleep through the night
Pomeranian in a bed
Tinka, 8 years old
Photo courtesy of owner: Nola Moore
Reasons a Pom May Sleep More

There will be times when your Pomeranian sleeps more than normal. Some of these reasons are nothing to worry about... however some should be noted since it can point to a health issue. Reasons for sleeping more often include:

Excess activity- If you normally take your Pom for a daily walk but he took two walks or maybe you brought him out to the park or to some stores, it is normal for him to get a bit tuckered out and nap when he gets back home.

When bored - If your Pom seems to be taking naps all day long, this might a sign that it's time to start planning some more one-on-one time. There's little sense in getting a dog if he is just to 'be there'. Play an inter-active game together, explore a new outdoor area, start to practice some easy agility games or start teaching a new command. It is the personal interaction between dog and owner and time spent together enjoying each other's company that makes a dog's life fuller. So, if your Pom is sleeping the day away, choose at least one fun activity to do together.

Hypoglycemia- While not every puppy will have this, it is common with toy breed dogs. This refers to a rapid drop in blood sugar levels. This can be brought on by various elements including too much time in between meals and stress. Signs are excessive sleepiness, confusion and a wobbly gait. Treatment includes rubbing a dab of honey on the pup's gums and then having him treated at the vets. Moderate to severe cases will be treated with IV solution to even out blood sugar levels. And in some severe cases, without treatment the sleepiness can lead to coma and for some this can be fatal.

Health Issues - Any time that there is a change in your Pom's normal habits, including sleeping, eating or activity level, there is a chance that this is due to the dog not feeling well. Dogs that are sick or in pain often retreat and will either rest a lot more or sleep more. Any abnormal disturbances in sleep (sleeping more or unable to sleep) should be reported to the veterinarian.
What Makes a Good Dog Bed

Poms do not do very well with temperature extremes. For this reason, depending on your home, the weather and your ability to control the temperature in the house, your Pom may do best with a cooling mat or a self-heating bed. Cooling mats can be placed on a floor or on top of their bed cushion.

The bed you choose for your Pom to sleep in should be sized for toy breeds. This will ensure that the mattress and bolsters are appropriately sized for comfort. In regard to quality, you won't want to skimp on this element because a quality bed will offer proper support for a body that was busy and help a dog sleep through the night. You'll want a moderately firm mattress, since this breed does not often like sinking in too low. Also, very cushy mattress (or low quality ones that recess after just a short time of use) are terrible for the back and hip joints. 

Some Poms appreciate the security that raised bolsters provide; this helps to keep them in place at night and many Poms do like to rest their heads on the sides. Others, (especially those that tend to like resting on floors) will do better with a flat mattress, that offers a bit of freedom and is easy to get on and off of. 

Senior Poms should have appropriate orthopedic canine bed which offer extra support for aching joints that are common with older dogs.
Note: Sleeping problems... eating problems...strange behavior...trouble with training... where can you find detailed help for all of this?  In the PetPom Book! Both eBook AND PRINT, detailed information all Pomeranian owners should know...this is THE ONLY Pomeranian Book you'll ever need. Learn more.
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