Sleep is vital for all creatures; it allows their bodies to recharge and be refreshed. Everyone knows the hours of sleep needed by every human, but have you ever asked for the hours of sleep your dog needs? As a dog owner, it is important that you know this; it is the only way to tell if your dog lacks enough sleep or is sleeping too much.
Some of the reasons your dog sleeps a lot are; its age, activity level, anxiety and stress, the dog breed, and boredom. These are physical causes sometimes; the cause might be health-related; diabetes, thyroxine deficiency, viral infection, poisoning, bacteria infection, and anemia.
You could have noticed your dog sleeping during the day and night, and not knowing if their sleeping is due to them doing fine or not could be concerning to you. Well, so long the sleep range does not exceed 12 to 14 hours daily, your dog is doing just fine.
Why Does My Dog Sleep So Much?
In the same way, humans need sleep to maintain a healthy lifestyle; dogs also need sleep. Depending on the nature of our job, daytime workers often sleep more at night. In contrast, night shift workers could sleep more during the day. Regardless of the sleep time, the goal is to relax and strengthen the immune system.
Dogs, naturally, sleep longer than humans. Dogs sleep for about 12 hours daily. Although, some dogs sleep less than this, especially dogs bred for special purposes like police dogs. You could find your dog taking short naps during the day and longer sleep at night. We will categorize the reasons dogs sleep too much into two, physical and health-related causes.
Physical Reasons Your Dog Sleeps So Much
A lot of factors often influence why dogs sleep so much. Understanding these factors would make you understand if your dog’s sleeping habit is normal or needs some medical attention. Below are some of the physical reasons your dog sleeps too much.
The Dog’s Age
This is a significant determinant in how long a dog sleeps. Puppies and older dogs sleep more than 12 hours daily. You could find them sleeping for up to 18 hours daily. Puppies are usually very active and energetic when awake.
They often go about running and exploring different things, exhausting a lot of energy. Deep sleep helps them recover and recharge their energy level when they exhaust this energy.
As the puppy grows older till adulthood, they become less active than they used to be. Adult dogs sleep for about 12 hours daily. However, even as they get older, ensure you get them engaged in some forms of exercises and walk. This helps to keep them to keep and maintain a healthy sleeping habit and also keeps them fit.
Keep reading: Why Does My Dog Sleep on Their Back? Main Reasons
The Dog Breed
A dog’s breed often determines its size and how soon it becomes old. Smaller dogs are known to take longer before getting old than large dog breeds, and they may require less sleep than bigger dogs. All dog breeds do not have the same energy levels, some have higher, and others are lower.
Some dog breeds are known to be lazy dogs due to their sleeping habits. Dog breeds such as Bulldogs, Bullmastiff, Greyhound, Basset Hound, Saint Bernand, Chow Chow could spend up to 18 hours daily sleeping. So, in case you own one of these breeds, you should not be worried if you always find it sleeping.
The Dog’s Activity Level
When your dog has some activities it is dedicated to doing; such activity would keep it busy rather than sleeping. It would undoubtedly sleep less than a dog not engaged in anything. However, instead of keeping your dog engaged all day, you could spread its activities into different sessions. This would enable it to get some short naps in between.
Regardless of the activities keeping your dog busy, always ensure it gets good sleep. Also, you should know that what a dog is bred to do would determine how long it gets to sleep. Guard dogs would certainly not get up to 12 hours of sleep daily due to the activities they are engaged in.
Learn More: Why Does My Dog Lay On Me? Everything You Should Know
The Dog Is Bored
If a dog often gets bored and does not have anything it is engaged in, it would sleep a lot. Even as humans, sometimes when we get bored, we could fall asleep too. You can keep your dog awake more by engaging it in some exercises whenever you are around. In case of times when you would not be home, you could get some puzzle toys to keep it active and awake.
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Should I Be Worried If My Dog Sleeps Too Much?
If you find your dog sleeping about half of each day, that is normal. However, if you notice your dog who does not sleep much on a regular day suddenly begins to sleep too much, it might be an indication of illness. You would need to get the dog to a vet for tests and treatment in such cases. Here are some signs that when you notice, you could get worried.
- A sudden change in your dog’s sleeping pattern.
- Your dog begins to sleep during its usual playtime.
- Your dog is sleeping and no longer eating regularly.
- Your dog becomes more aggressive or scared, and it sleeps often.
- Your dog sleeps when it is supposed to be engaged in its favorite activity.
- It is difficult to wake your dog up in the morning.
- Your dog falls asleep often, even in the middle of an activity.
- Your dog is unwilling to run, walk, or jump.
- Your dog wakes up stressed or in a state of fright.
- There is either a decrease or an increase in eating, pooping, and peeing.
- Your dog displays behavioral problems as its sleep increases.
- You notice drooling, pacing, and other signs of anxiety.
How many hours does a dog sleep in a 24 hour period?
As a dog owner, you need to know how much sleep your dog needs; if you are a first-time dog owner, you will be surprised at the number of hours. An average dog sleeps for about 12 to 14 hours in a 24-hour period. So, an adult dog is required to get a minimum of 8 hours and a maximum of 12 hours of sleep in a day.
Puppies are required to sleep longer; they need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep daily; this will continue until they are 12 weeks old. As dogs grow and age, the hours of sleep they need decreases. As they reach their mature years, their minds and bodies get tired quickly, so they sleep more.
About 30% of the time a dog is awake, it does no activity and lies around; it is a form of rest, but it is not sleeping. Dogs spend about 50% of their daily time sleeping; in addition to the 30% of not doing anything, they spend roughly about 80% of their daily time being lazy and doing nothing.
Which Breed Of Dog Sleeps The Most?
Remember, we said the dog breed also determines if a dog will sleep too much. Some dog breeds are known to sleep a lot; some of them will surprise you, but it is part of their instinct, and there is nothing you can do about it. The top dog breeds that sleep a lot are:
- Shih Tzu
- Basset Hound
- French Bulldog
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Lhasa Apso
- Saint Bernard
- Great Dane
- Chow Chow
- Cocker Spaniel
- The Great Pyrenees
Your dog needs its required hours of sleep to remain healthy and strong enough to perform its daily activities. Dogs that get their required hours of sleep are healthier and tend to live longer than dogs that do not. So, you should ensure that nothing tampers with your dog’s night rest.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.