October 16, 2020 5 min read 0 Comments

The amount of time a dog spends sleeping every day can be slightly concerning to new owners. It may seem like they spend the majority of their days snoozing! However, sleep is a very important part of your dog’s wellbeing.

It keeps them healthy. Your dog’s sleep patterns can indicate if they are having mental or physical problems. Here is some information to help you spot if your dog is sleeping too much.


Why is Sleep Important for Dogs?

Dogs are typically very active when they are awake. We tend to spend our time during the day sitting at a desk exercising our minds, but not our bodies. Your dog’s waking hours are spent doing both. When dogs are awake, they tend to be on the move! Sleep is very important in the recovery of their minds and bodies.

For puppies, this recovery is even more important. They are learning and growing constantly. Their minds are busy and their bodies are extremely active during periods of being awake. Puppies grow very rapidly and sleep allows them some stillness to rest their bodies.


How Much Do Dogs Need to Sleep?

Puppies need more sleep than adult dogs. Depending on the breed and size of your puppy, they may sleep for up to 18 hours a day. It may seem excessive, but their rapid growth requires a lot of rest. Puppies are very curious and active when they are awake so sleep also allows their minds to rest.

An adult dog does not need quite as much rest as a growing puppy. Typically, an adult dog sleeps 12 to 14 hours a day. This can vary greatly depending on a few important factors:

Certain breeds are notoriously lazy. These breeds include Bulldogs, Pugs, and Basset Hounds. They may sleep more than your more active breeds like Labrador and Golden Retrievers.

Age is a HUGE contributor to how much a dog sleeps. As mentioned, puppies can sleep most of the day away. Older dogs tend to revert back to their puppy days. Senior dogs sleep on average 16 to 18 hours a day as well.

The size of your dog will affect how much sleep they need. Very small breeds like Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers will tire very quickly and sleep soundly after minimal activity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, very large breeds like Mastiffs and Great Danes also spend more time sleeping. Their bodies require so much energy to function properly, so their sleep is extremely important.

Your lifestyle can affect your dog’s sleeping habits. If you keep your dog very active, they will likely sleep more. Any breed will tire after vigorous physical activity. Dogs in training may also need more rest. They are being mentally tested during training periods and the stimulation will tire them out!


How Much Does a Normal Puppy Need to Sleep?

A healthy adult dog will sleep about 12 to 14 hours a day with regular exercise. Since every dog is different, it’s important to monitor your dog’s sleeping habits as soon as you get them settled in your home.

It is also important to note that dogs will spend a lot of their day resting if there is no activity for them to do. They may look asleep, but they are just relaxing!

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Is My Dog Sleeping too Much?

Monitoring your dog’s sleeping patterns is something all pet parents should make routine. Dogs sleep a lot, and that is totally healthy. However, if you notice abrupt changes in their sleeping patterns, there may be a problem. Some factors can cause normal changes, and some that should cause concern:

Changing your dog’s diet can affect their sleep. The wrong food can cause excessive tiredness. It can also cause discomfort that makes your dog sleep less. Remember if you change your dog’s food, do it gradually. An upset stomach will likely cause both you and your dog to lose some sleep.

If you take up a new hobby like running or walking, bring your dog along! It is great for them to get exercise with you. Note that changes in daily exercise can cause your dog to sleep more. On the other side, if you start walking your dog less due to changes in weather or schedule, you may notice that they are more restless.

Stress and anxiety can play a huge role in your dog’s health. When they are lacking a routine that includes daily exercise and mental stimulation, they will likely sleep less. They may have trouble relaxing or being still. The stress makes the sleep worse, and the lack of sleep makes the stress worse. If you know there will be a change in your dog’s routine, try to ease them into it slowly. If a big change happens like moving to a new place, plan to exercise them or take them to daycare during the process. This will tire them out and help them adjust better. It will prevent the cycle of anxiety and lack of sleep, and make things much easier for your pup.

Sleep disorders are less common in dogs than humans but can cause major disruptions in your dog’s wellbeing.

Dogs can suffer from REM Behavior Disorder. It is marked by intense activity during your dog’s sleep. This disorder can be more difficult to spot if you have a dog that dreams frequently. If your dog has excessively eventful and physically active dreams very frequently, you may want to mention it to your vet.

Other ailments, more familiar to humans, can also affect your dog’s sleep. Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders dogs face. It will be marked by excessive snoring. This can be not only a little annoying but can also cause your dog’s sleep quality to dwindle. It may not be cause for major concern, but keeping your vet informed on any changes in your dog’s health is always a good idea.

Insomnia, and narcolepsy can also be found in dogs with the same symptoms we would have. Alert your vet immediately if one of these is a concern!

As pet owners, we want our dogs to be as healthy as possible. If they are suffering from lack of sleep, it can have detrimental effects on their health. If you notice any of these warning signs, it is important to take action immediately. You can use this information to help spot If your dog is sleeping too much.


Meet The Author

Nicole DeVault author of Is My Dog Sleeping Too Much?

Nicole DeVault

Nicole is a professional dog trainer who has been in the business for about 5 years. She has two dogs of her own. Milli is a ten-year-old Beagle with plenty of sass to go around, and Axel is her three-year-old Pit bull who has more energy than anyone knows what to do with. Both of her dogs are rescues who came to her with their own set of issues. Working with troubled dogs is where her passion for dog training started. She has grown to learn that teaching people how to communicate with their fur babies allows them to enjoy happy and stress-free lives together.



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