Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much and Other Sleep-Related Q&A

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Dogs sleep a lot—it’s just one of those things we know about them. But why do dogs sleep so much, how many hours of sleep do they need, and what should you do if your dog isn’t sleeping well?

In this blog post, we’ll answer all these questions and more, providing some insight into dogs’ sleeping patterns and when you should consult a vet about their sleeping habits. So, if you’re curious about canine slumber habits, keep reading!

How Many Hours Do Dogs Sleep? 

The first thing we should look at is how many hours a day dogs sleep. On average, adult dogs sleep for 12 to 14 hours a day, which means most dogs spend 50% of their day snoozing!

This number is even higher for puppies who sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day! Their naps are quite short—one minute you may find your puppy sleeping soundly, and the next they’ll be running around! As they grow older, their sleeping time reduces to 8 to 14 hours, while senior dogs above 5 years of age sleep 18 to 20 hours a day.

The average hours also vary depending on dog breeds—small-breed dogs sleep for 14 to 16 hours a day, while large-breed dogs sleep up to 18 hours!

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Now let’s look at the reasons why dogs love to sleep so much!

  • They’re Active When Awake

Dogs are known as highly active creatures that run, play, and jump around all day long. This takes a lot out of them, and they need time to recover from all that activity, especially if they’re puppies and older dogs who have to recharge from time to time!

  • They’re Bored

It’s possible for your dog to get bored, especially when you’re busy or out for work. This can make them doze off since they have nothing better to do.

  • They Need It for Good Health

If your dog sleeps all day, it’s because they need sleep for good health. Studies show that lack of sleep can be detrimental to your pup’s health. Puppies require sleep to build their immune system, learning capacity, and memory, and even older dogs benefit a lot from sleeping long hours, as it helps them maintain their energy levels.

  • They’re Just Lying Down

Sometimes, dogs will appear to be sleeping when they’re actually just being lazy and resting—who wants to be on their feet all day? This is normal behavior and nothing to worry about, as they may jump into action anytime!

  • They’re Sick

Pet parents often wonder “is my dog sleeping too much,” especially when they start sleeping more than usual. It could be because your dog is sick—just like humans, dogs like resting when they’re not feeling well too.

  • They’re Stressed

Dogs can sense negative energy, which can cause stress and lead to them sleeping more than usual. Loud noises, dog depression, or moving to a new place can also cause your dog stress. If you think your dog is stressed, give them some peace and quiet and see if their sleep patterns improve.

  • Pregnancy

Another reason why dogs sleep more is that they’re pregnant. Throughout the duration of the dog’s pregnancy, they need to rest and conserve their energy to care for the developing puppies, which is normal and desired for pregnant dogs!

  • Lack of Good Nutrition

We’ve discussed how much sleep do dogs need, and if you think your dog is sleeping too much, it could be because they lack proper nutrition. A dog that doesn’t get proper nutrients may lack the energy for any activity and as a result, may prefer resting more.

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs sleep for 12-14 hours a day on average, while senior dogs and puppies can sleep for 18 to 20 hours.
  • There are several reasons why dogs love to sleep—the first is that they’re very active when awake, and have to rest to recover.
  • A dog that sleeps all day could also be bored, or may just be lying around. They also start sleeping more if they’re pregnant.
  • Another reason could be that they’re sick, stressed, or lack the proper nutrition to be active.
  • Many dogs also sleep to maintain their health, as sleep is very important for them to live a healthy life!

Dog’s Sleeping Behavior 

Pet parents should be aware of the dog’s sleeping patterns, as this can help understand your dog better and know if there’s something you should be concerned about!

REM Sleep 

Like humans, dogs go through different stages of sleep. The first stage of dogs sleep cycle is called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and it’s the deepest stage of sleep when dogs dream. During REM sleep, your dog’s brain activity is similar to when they’re awake. They may move their legs or even bark in their sleep as they dream, and this cycle occurs roughly every 20 minutes!

Non-REM Sleep

The second stage of sleep is called non-REM or quiet sleep, which is a lighter stage of sleep when your dog may awake more easily. During non-REM sleep, your dog’s body is working to restore and repair itself. They may snore or make small movements as their body rests and heals. Dogs sleep in this stage 3/4th of the time!

DID YOU KNOW: Sleeping with your dog can reduce depression and loneliness, which is why many people prefer their dogs to sleep in the same room as them!

What to Do If Your Dog Isn’t Sleeping Enough? 

Now that you know why dogs need so much sleep, you may be concerned if your dog isn’t sleeping enough. Here are a few things you can try to get your dog back onto its sleeping cycle!

1. Make the Crate Inviting

When crate training your dog, make sure to make their crate inviting by adding a soft blanket and some toys to make it a comfortable space for them. You should also make sure the crate is in a quiet area of the house to avoid any sleep disruptions.

2. Create a Routine

Another way to help your dog sleep is by creating a routine of going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time each morning. This will help your dog know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up.

3. Engage With Them During the Day

We’ve already discussed why do puppies sleep so much, and it’s because they get tired easily. Exercise is important for your dog’s brain development and physical development, and it will tire your dog out and grant them a better sleep. So, set aside some time for playing with them or taking them out for a walk!

4. Reduce Loud Noises and Distractions

Dogs remain alert when they hear loud noises or any distractions, which prevents them from falling asleep, as they’re always on the lookout. Make sure you reduce loud TV or music noises and remove any distractions when it’s time for bed.

DID YOU KNOW: Apart from soothing physical pain and anxiety in dogs, a good quality CBD oil is also helpful in providing your dog sound sleep.

When to Get Help

When wondering is it ok for dogs to sleep so much, although the answer is usually yes, consider the following factors regarding your dog’s sleep:

  • Your Dog’s Reluctant to Get Up

Most dogs will get up when it’s time for food or their walk, so if your dog seems reluctant or lacks the motivation to do their daily activities, it might be a cause for concern.

  • Change in Dog’s Sleep Patterns

If you notice a change in your dog’s sleeping habits, it could be a sign of underlying health conditions. If your dog is suddenly sleeping more or less than usual, you should consult your vet to find out if there’s any problem.

  • Unwilling to Play

Even though dogs sleep many hours per day, they’re always happy to play with pet parents! If your dog suddenly seems unwilling to play with you or has less energy than usual, it’s always better to look into it.

  • Physical Symptoms

Other physical symptoms you should pay attention to include drooling, falling asleep suddenly, limping, increased aggression or bad mood, and waking up in a state of fright.

If you notice any of these signs, don’t worry—take your dog to the vet, and they’ll provide you with the reason and possible solutions.

Conclusion 

Many pet parents are concerned their dogs sleep so much! But it’s nothing to worry about, as they sleep a lot because it’s important for their physical and mental health. If you notice your dog isn’t sleeping enough, there are a few things you can do to help them, including making their crate inviting, creating a routine, and reducing noise and distractions. On the other hand, if you notice they’re sleeping more than usual, consult your vet for help!

FAQ

Is it normal for a dog to sleep all day?

Yes, it’s pretty normal for dogs to sleep all day, as their average sleeping hours are between 12 and 14 a day!

Which dogs sleep the most?

At 18 hours on average, large dog breeds can sleep the most, while small dog breeds only sleep for 12 to 14 hours.

Do dogs sleep when bored?

Dog parents often wonder why do dogs sleep so much, and one of the main reasons is because they’re bored. When they have nothing to do, dogs prefer lying around.

ABOUT AUTHOR

When she couldn’t decide between being a nurse, a psychotherapist, and a financial genius, Ofelia decided to do all three. Her interests run far and wide, and she loves researching about everything you get to read on our website. Credit cards or top-notch software, she’s here to tell it all like it is.

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