How Much Do Dogs Sleep? What’s Normal And What’s Not
Is it normal for my dog to sleep all day? How much do dogs actually sleep? Does their sleeping pattern change with age and is it normal for them to snore? Any dog lover or pet owner must’ve at some point thought their dog is either very lazy or very active. These worries can easily be put to rest by knowing what’s normal behavior among dogs. Let’s dive straight in and answer these questions for you and your pooch.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleeping or resting is essential for all organisms, including humans and dogs. It has been proven that dogs grow better when they get ample sleep during their puppyhood. When we sleep we rest, recharge and refresh ourselves. Our mind also gets an opportunity to organize all the information that we absorb during the day. Playing, interacting, going on an adventure every day gets tiresome for dogs too. However, they sleep a little differently than us human beings.
Why do dogs sleep so much?
You will notice that your dog does not go into deep sleep for long periods like you. That’s because they have relatively shorter sleep cycles. They tend to nap and are a lot more aware of sounds and motion than us.
Dogs spend a big part of their day either sleeping or relaxing. Apart from the fact that they experience much less REM sleep time than us, they are also balls of energy when they are active. Recharging their batteries by sleeping more than 8 hours a day is quite normal among dogs
How much sleep do dogs need?
It’s true that most dogs need more than 8 hours of sleep. An adult human averages at about 7 to 9 hours of sleep whereas most dogs will need as much sleep as human toddlers, 10 to 13 hours everyday. The average can change from breed to breed but most adult dogs will sleep anywhere between 8 to 13.5 hours a day.
Dogs spend a big part of their day either sleeping or relaxing. Apart from the fact that they experience much less REM sleep time than us, they are also balls of energy when they are active.Recharging their batteries by sleeping more than 8 hours a day seems only fair!
Puppies sleep more than adult dogs and take tiny naps during the day. On average, a young puppy sleeps about 18 to 20 hours a day. Their sleep pattern and duration slowly decreases as they grow old with time.
During the growth phase, the little balls of fluff rest more. This makes sleep essential for their overall development. Hence one shouldn’t worry about their dog sleeping too much. At this age, all they will do is play, eat, and sleep.
Adult or older dogs sleep a little less than puppies. They’ll dose off for 8 – 13.5 hours or roughly for 10 hours a day.
Dogs, adult or small, usually wake up early and are charged way before us. By noon, when we are caught up with work, they are probably napping and this is when we wonder “how long do dogs sleep?”. But the truth is that they have already recharged themselves with power naps.
When your dog crosses 5 years they are officially getting old. Dog years are different from human years and for them, everything runs faster. With age, your dog might sleep more.
On average, senior dogs sleep for about 16 to 18 hours a day. It is more resting than sleeping, that naturally happens to all of us because of old age. The battery levels drop when a dog grows old and they just like to sit in a cosy place and relax.
You might notice that some dogs sleep all day and there is nothing wrong with it. Each dog is different and has different needs. Some dogs might eat a lot when they grow old, some might do just the opposite. The same could be the case with sleep. Depending on the breed, size and health of the dog, the sleeping habits might vary.
Breed Wise Sleeping Pattern
Usually small or tiny dog breeds sleep for about 14 – 16 hours a day. A medium-sized dog, on the other hand, sleeps less than small dog breeds. Their average sleeping hours lie between 10 – 14 hours a day.
Large breeds need more hours of sleep, hence they doze off for 14 – 18 hours a day. Sometimes people also call them ‘mat dogs’ as they tend to sleep a lot. But the sleeping habit also depends on their daily routine, diet and of course their health.
Some breeds like Bulldogs, Shih Tzu, Mastiff, Basset Hound, French bulldog, Pekingese, Chow chow, Greyhound, Saint Bernard, and Lhasa Apso sleep more than other dog breeds. However, breeds such as Airedale Terrier, Pomeranian, Lagotto Romagnolo, Australian Terrier or Golden Retrievers are some of the most active breeds and will be running around the house full of energy for a big chunk of the day.
Do remember that each dog comes with its own personality and breed is just a general measure. Try to understand what’s normal for your dog instead of what’s normal for the breed.
What can affect your dog’s sleep?
Apart from natural ageing, a dog’s sleeping pattern can be affected by stress, anxiety and disturbances in their routine. Some dogs have a lot of pent-up energy and need regular exercise to be able to rest well. Health issues such as frequent urination due to kidney diseases, itching due to fleas and recent injuries can also make them restless.
Do remember that dogs are social sleepers. Which means that they adapt to the situation or their parent’s sleep cycle. You will notice that your pet will generally come and lay down next to you if you are resting or sleeping. However, dogs are crepuscular, which means that they are most active during twilight and dusk.
When should you seek medical advice?
You should be more careful about your dog’s health as they age. Sudden diseases might catch up real fast with your buddy. As the dog grows old, health issues such as kidney diseases, heart diseases, and diabetes can affect his/her health.
If you find your dog with any of the following issues then you shouldn’t wait to take your dog to the vet:
- Slow waking
- Being lethargic about exercises
- Noticeable changes in the sleep pattern
- Not eating properly
Each reason could mean something and definitely point out an unhealthy situation your dog might be going through. Make sure you are vigilant about it and actually take your pet to the doctor when needed.
How to improve your dog’s sleeping habits
It’s not always a health issue that could be the reason for a disturbed dog sleep pattern. It could be the need for a comfortable bed. And who doesn’t like comfort while sleeping? Dogs love to fall asleep on our beds, perhaps because they are the softest. So you can assume that your pet is looking for a softer best too!
You could always get a comfy dog bed for your loved one. If you are looking for a soft comfortable bed for your dog, check out our range of dog beds that are indestructible and are made of memory foam to provide the ultimate comfort for your dog. If your dog is still staying awake way more than he should, here are some ways that you could regulate your dog’s sleep. You could
- Let your dog pick up a sleeping corner
- Set a sleeping time for your dog
- Make sure they aren’t disturbed while sleeping
- Feed them on time to ensure they do everything on time
If you are unable to notice a sleep pattern then you should ask the experts. You may not realize it now, but a dog’s sleep is important for its overall wellbeing. You could always be the better pet owner by knowing when and how to comfort your dog. As far as sleep is concerned, dogs will outsleep us any day, so a little understanding can go a long way.
Dogs are social sleepers and will generally sleep more than most human beings. Their sleeping pattern and quality is determined by many factors. The best way to find out what’s normal and what’s not is to observe your pooch closely. Hope this read brings you closer to understanding your pet and his/her sleeping habits.
Are dogs nocturnal?
Not strictly. Dogs are social sleepers and are called crepuscular. This means that they are most active during twilight and dusk. They will wake up early in the morning and or in the evening to play, bark, or go for their daily walks. This routine forms a part of behaviour which is normal amongst dogs.
Why do dogs snore?
Just like for humans, a blocked nasal passage can cause snoring in dogs. Notice that snoring is at its loudest when dogs are sleeping on their back. This is because the tongue can slide back into the throat and create a physical restriction for the flow of air and cause the rumbling sound we call snoring.
Other common reasons for snoring are obesity, allergies, or a dog cold (also called Rhinitis) in dogs. If you think your dog’s breathing is too laboured, consult a physician immediately.