These health problems are all good reasons to seek help from your veterinarian right away, especially if your dog is experiencing excessive sleeping.
If your dog has anemia, then your vet will look at blood work and additional diagnostics to determine a cause for the anemia, such as intestinal parasites and immune-mediated disorders.
Anemic dogs will need treatment specific to the cause, and supportive care ranges from high-calorie foods, an iron supplement, and a blood transfusion in cases with severe anemia. Dogs with gastrointestinal issues may also have intestinal parasites, and health problems with other organs can mimic signs of gastrointestinal disease.
If your dog is experiencing shorter sleep cycles, then your vet may recommend diagnostics based on your dog’s medical history and physical exam findings. Dogs with panting and coughing due to heart disease will need chest x-rays and to be tested for heartworm disease.
Baseline blood and urine testing can help rule out diabetes and other endocrine disorders that can cause panting and pacing. If your dog has anxiety, then your vet may have multiple recommendations like pheromone-based calming products, CBD oil, behavior modification training, and anti-anxiety medications.
Some of the tenets of treating anxiety can also be applied to cases where senior dogs are showing signs of canine cognitive dysfunction.
If you’re not sure about where your dog’s sleep patterns stand, then try to keep track of his sleep-wake cycles in a journal or notebook. It is helpful to make notes about your dog’s behavior throughout the day when he naps and for how long.
If he is pacing around at night, then be sure to keep track of that as well. For example, older dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction may be more likely to pace back and forth at night, moving from room to room.
Once you’ve tracked a week or two in this book, you will be able to see how your dog’s sleep patterns compare to the average 12 to 14 hours of sleep that most dogs experience.
When is the last time that you’ve thought about your dog’s sleep patterns? It turns out that keeping track of your dog’s sleep-wake cycles can say a lot about his overall health, and many of the things that can affect humans can also affect your furry friend.
If you ever feel that your dog is sleeping too much or too little, then be sure to contact your veterinarian for more information. If you’ve taken notes, then bring them with you. There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to helping your dog!