So exactly how much do dogs sleep?
If you’re an owner of a dog, then you probably already know that the furry little creatures do love napping. Dogs sleep for relaxation and recharging, very much like a human does.
The average dog will sleep for about 50 percent of their day. This is if your dog is a healthy adult dog. Depending on your dog’s breed, age, and living environment, a dog could spend up to 20 hours sleeping.
Human beings are generally recommended to sleep for seven to eight hours. On the other hand, adult dogs sleep for at least 12 to 14 hours in a day. Their sleep, however, will be broken up in short little naps throughout the day. While it sounds crazy to have your sleep interrupted so often, it’s the norm for dogs.
The number of hours your dog sleeps will depend on the size, weight, breed and diet of your dog. In all cases, a dog’s sleeping pattern will happen in intermittent times during the day or night.
So, how much do dogs sleep, and how much sleep is too much sleep? If you’ve been having these questions in your head, you’re not alone. If you’re concerned or curious about your dog’s sleeping habits, then read on.
Bigger Dogs Sleep for Longer Hours
On average, bigger or larger breeds of dogs tend to sleep more frequently than smaller ones. Breeds like mastiffs and Saint Bernards will take pleasure in sleeping for a good chunk of the day, sometimes even up to 18 hours.
Sleep differs with different breeds and groups of dogs because of how they were bred. Working breeds are more prone to waking up easily since their genes cause them to be more alert. Smaller dogs or toy dog breeds that weren’t bred for hunting purposes, will have a more leisurely lifestyle, snoozing for a big portion of the day.
Dogs Who Are More Active Sleep More
The working group or the hound group of dogs are generally more active and energetic than other dogs. Breeds in other groups, on the other hand, have a more lethargic lifestyle. They will spend more time snoozing or lounging rather than looking for ways to exert their energy.
At the same time, dogs who are more active will be more wiped out after a long day of movement. In that case, if you’re an owner of an energetic dog, you’ll find that when they sleep, they sleep deep. A deep sleep will help reenergize your dog for the next day’s adventures.
Puppies Nap Frequently
Adult dogs on average sleep for at least 12 hours a day. Young puppies, however, spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping. Yes! It takes a lot of recharging for these little puppers to be able to grow and develop.
During their waking hours, puppies will spend a lot of time playing and bouncing all over the place. This can occur in a matter of seconds, where one minute you find your puppy chasing something, and the next your puppy is well passed out.
And just as quickly as they pass out, they wake up as easily. If you accidentally bump into your puppy mid-sleep, they might suddenly wake up in a bounce, ready to play.
Sleep is a crucial part of growing and developing healthily. During sleep, your brain stimulates the nervous system, immune system and muscles. Let your young buddy sleep uninterrupted. It’s better if you get your young puppy a comfortable sleeping spot like a crate or a pillow in a quiet place like your bedroom.
You could practice scheduling your puppy’s naps by going for walks and playing with them. Your dog will most likely be tired after spending so much energy and will feel the much-needed desire for a good and rejuvenating nap.
Older Dogs Nap Frequently Too
Once your dog grows out of its youth and peak years of its lives, you’ll find your dog hitting the sack more often than they usually do. This depends with the breed and size of your dog, as different types of dogs have different average life spans. Smaller dogs live longer (15-16 years) than larger dogs. (7-8 or 10-13 years). In this regard, the seniority of your dog also depends on the breed. A Chihuahua, for instance, is considered a senior at maybe 10 years old. Larger breeds like Labradors hit their senior age at 7 or 8 years old.
If your dog is within the senior citizen age range, then they’ll probably be spending more time snoozing, as age takes away the energy and the bounciness of your dog.
Some Dogs Are Light Sleepers
Do you find it irritable when someone walks into your room and turns on in the lights in the middle of your sleep? If so, then this might mean you’re a light sleeper. The smallest noises or movement can set your alarm signals on and wake you up mid-sleep.
Most watchdogs are also light sleepers. When buying a dog, some people factor this in, especially if moving to an area that isn’t so secure or safe. A dog’s tendency to be more alert even in their sleep gives them the quality of being good guard dogs. This is useful in case of any intrusion or robbery.
A Dog’s Wake-Sleep Cycle
Similar to humans, dogs go through stages of sleep. However, unlike humans, a dogs process through its sleeping stages will differ in time.
While dogs sleep for 12 hours a day, they don’t do it all in one go. Instead, dogs have bursts of sleep that is spread throughout the day. On average, a dog will fall asleep for about 16 minutes, then wake up for 5 minutes, and then might fall back asleep again, and the sleep-wake cycle repeats itself until your dog is fully awake.
You can tell that your dog is asleep (and not pretending to be asleep, perhaps) if their breathing and heart rate slows down. Dogs also experience REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep like we do, and this occurs about 10 into their sleep. Dreams occur in the REM phase of sleeping, which occurs in all mammals and birds. You can tell that your dog is in the REM stage of sleeping if they’re twitching in their sleep, or if their eyes are moving or rolling from behind their closed eyelids. This means that they’re dreaming and are probably seeing images in their sleep like playing fetch or chasing a bug.
Are Dogs Light Sleepers?
Due to their ancestral instincts to protect their pack, dogs tend to be more alert than humans in their sleep. If there’s a sudden intrusion, or an incident occurs that calls for attention, your dog will be the first to get up. This can occur in the idle of their REM stage. If your dog’s sleeping is often disturbed, then you might find them trying to sneak in naps more often throughout the day.
If you have an active and healthy lifestyle with your dog, then you’ll find that they will tire easily. Your dog will spend a good portion of the day just lounging, even if not sleeping. This is not an unhealthy habit and means that your dog is getting a copious amount of relaxation in their day.
Is Your Dog Suddenly Sleeping More?
If you notice that your dog has begun to spend more than the average time sleeping or lounging, this could be linked to other problems. Lethargy can occur in dogs and cause them to be too tired to exert energy. Lethargy is a symptom of a number of diseases and problems, such as diabetes, parvovirus, Lyme disease, or hypothyroidism.
Excessive sleep could also be a sign of depression. If your dog’s environment has changed recently, or if a dog has lost a loved one by death or moving, then dogs might resort to sleeping as a remedy.
If this happens, you shouldn’t worry for too long, as dogs usually bounce back after a certain amount of time and love. If you find that your dog is unable to get out of this lethargic state, then consult a doctor or a vet for advice on steps you can take and what you can do next.
Is Your Dog Not Sleeping Enough?
On the other hand, dogs may be finding it difficult to fall into a deep sleep. There are certain hacks that you can do to tackle this problem. If your dog is restless at home and unable to sleep, then you should consider taking him for a walk.
Getting exercise and time for playing during the day will help wear out your dog by nightfall. A healthy diet is also necessary. Some brands of pet foods will not have the right or enough nutrients for your dog, depending on the breed and size of your dog. This could result in a loss of energy throughout the day, and restlessness at night.
Dogs sleep well if they are relaxed or leading a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve got all the checkboxes ticked, then you’ll find that bedtime will be a whole lot more tranquil, to keep the two of you fresh and ready for the next day.
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