Dogs sleep a lot. You may be wondering why they do this, and if it's something to worry about. The answer is no! Most dogs sleep 12-14 hours per day (this can vary depending on the breed). This is completely normal, so don't panic.
Dogs have different needs for sleep than humans do - their bodies are wired differently. They need that much rest because they're working hard while you're asleep!
Your pup may snore or twitch while sleeping, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with him at all. If your dog has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your veterinarian about what might be going on and how best to help them feel better and get more restful sleep in the future.
Sleep is an important part of every dog's life, and it helps them recharge their batteries for the day ahead! Dogs have the same amount of REM sleep, or rapid eye movement, and deep sleep as humans do, in addition to a couple extra hours of light sleep than we do.
Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps So Much
The average dog sleeps about 12 hours per day. The amount of sleep a dog needs can vary, though, and the reasons why dogs sleep so much are different for older dogs than they are for younger dogs.
Puppies are much more likely to sleep more than adult dogs. This is partly because they are still growing and their bodies need more rest to recover from the energy needed for growth spurts. Puppies sleep much more than adult dogs while they're in that all-important window of socialization.
Puppies are learning a lot about what's okay when they're awake and what isn't, so don't be too concerned if he or she sleeps a lot. But this is an important time to establish a sleep schedule and normal sleep cycle.
As dogs enter adulthood and grow much less rapidly than when they were a puppy, they tend to sleep less. While your older dog may sleep much less than a puppy, he or she will still sleep more than an adult human being.
Senior and Older Dogs
Dogs will again start sleeping a lot more as they get older. Generally, one of two things is occurring. A dog may have a medical condition like arthritis or hip dysplasia that makes it painful to get up and around.
This will make them sleep more and will also reduce their appetite, which can lead to weight loss. If this happens, take your older friend to the vet for an exam.
The natural aging process slows down your dog's metabolism, causing them to require even more rest. Just like humans.
Other Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps a Lot
If your pup is overweight or sick, they may tend to sleep more than normal. Some teething pups sleep more than others. Also, this can be why older dogs may sleep more - they just start getting tired and need to rest.
Your dog may sleep more just because there's nothing else better to do at that time! In addition to the 50% of their day sleeping, dogs may spend another 30% or so doing nothing and lounging around.
Some dogs sleep a lot to burn off excess energy. This is why you may see your dog running around, playing with toys and then plopping down in exhaustion for a good nap!
Dog Breeds and Their Sleep
Even your pup's breed can impact how little or how often he or she sleeps. Working dogs that were bred to work or herd will tend to sleep more than dogs who are simply companions. This is why you may see a miniature schnauzer sleeping most of the day, but your border collie friend never seems to rest!
Your dog's genetic makeup is also why some breeds tend to sleep in different positions. You may see one dog positioned in a tight little ball, and the other in a stretched out "U" shape. Some dogs snore while they sleep, but this is also why you can find some breeds on their side, with one leg raised above the rest of their body!
Impact on Mental and Emotional Health
There is also some evidence that shows dogs can experience depression and anxiety like humans do, leading them to need or want extra rest as well. In a sense, they are trying to sleep it off. Literally!
If you notice your dog is sleeping more than usual, and maybe seems to be yawning a lot, this can be cause for concern. Dogs sleep so much because they use it as an outlet for feelings of sadness or stress. If you, as pet parents, have a new baby in the house who's keeping everyone up at night, this could also be stressing the pup out as well.
Signs to Look for With Health Changes and Sleep
While excessive sleeping is usually not cause for concern, there are signs to look for that should be cause for concern.
Look for changes in sleep pattern. If your pup usually takes a morning siesta at the same time for the same length of time most mornings and that changes suddenly, it may be time to schedule an appointment for the vet.
The sudden changes in sleep patterns could be a sign that a disease is onsetting. You should be particularly concerned if your dog's sleeping pattern changes drastically, especially if he or she begins to sleep during the day when they normally don't. Excessive sleeping at night may indicate a neurological problem; however, excessive daytime napping could just mean that they are very tired.
According to some animal health experts, it is also important to look for why exactly your dog is sleeping. If they are no longer able to sleep on their own bed, and instead spend the night on your couch or in your bedroom, it may be time for you to introduce a new dog bed into the house so that he can stay comfortable where he belongs.
If your pup is lethargic or struggling to wake up and be alert quickly, this may be another sign that they are sleeping too much. Whether your dog is spending far too many hours sleeping in their own bed, or whether they have just started to prefer the comfort of your own bed over their own, this may be a sign that you need to take better care of them.
While there are many reasons why your dog might be sleeping so much, it is important to pay attention for signs of health changes and sleep as any change in behavior could indicate a larger problem. If you're looking for more pet articles like this one, subscribe to our blog today!