It seems that a dog’s life is a very relaxed one. You can get out of your bed and relieve yourself outside, then come back in for a snack before going to sleep. Wake up and go out again. Eat dinner. Then go back to sleep for another nap.
This may appear to be a long time of sleeping but it is actually normal. You’ll learn everything about the sleep habits of your dog, including how much they require and whether or not you should be concerned if you find that your pet sleeps through the night.
How long do dogs sleep each day?
In average, dogs sleep about 12 hours a day or 50% of the time. Smaller dogs and puppies, as well as large breeds and older dogs, may sleep more.
Dogs will spend an additional 30% of the day awake doing something I like to call “loafing.” Loafing, just like humans do it when they are awake and not really doing anything. Loafing is usually spent lying on the floor, watching people go by and being generally lazy.
This means that a staggering 80% of a dog’s day is spent doing nothing at all.
Why do dogs sleep so much?
The average dog sleeps more than a person. Dogs sleep only when they are told to by their body. This is unlike people, who often have busy schedules but don’t listen to their body.
Dogs need to sleep.
Nicholas Dodman is a professor emeritus of Tufts University. He says, “All through the day, electrical activity occurs in our brain and disorganized, random data are stored at various locations.” We organize it in our sleep and so do dogs. If you don’t allow dogs to do this, they will lose their sense of humor.
Joan C. Hendricks VMD, Ph.D., Dip ACVIM says that sleeping helps dogs’ brain development, learning and memory capacity as well as the immune system. She says that animals and humans who are sleep-deprived tend to be more susceptible to infection.
Experts also believe that lack of rest may be a factor in your dog’s bad mood.
It makes sense why large breeds, puppies and older dogs require more sleep. It is natural for larger dogs to need more sleep because they have to exert themselves to get around.
The young dogs are always running around and exploring. They burn a lot of energy. They then crash hard and rest until they are ready to play again.
The body of older dogs needs more rest to recover from the daily activity.
What if my dog sleeps all day?
Veterinarians are most concerned when dog owners notice a change in their dogs’ sleep pattern. It’s important to consult your vet if you notice that your dog is sleeping longer in the morning.
diabetes or renal disease may be to blame for your dog’s change in sleep pattern. can cause older dogs to sleep longer than normal. These include an underactive thyroid, heart problems, and joint pain.
We also pay attention to the dog’s reaction to being woken up. The majority of dogs are quick to wake up, especially if they have a reason (a leash dangling or some food) for them to get out of bed.
Veterinarians are concerned if their dogs have a hard time waking up or can’t get motivated to perform the activities they enjoy. Keep a log of your dog’s sleep patterns and schedule an appointment to see your veterinarian if you find that they seem to be sleeping more or are difficult for them.
The vet will examine the log to find out if there are any underlying problems that could be making your dog sleep longer or more unwilling to wake up.
How Can I Help My Dog Sleep at Night?
Sleep disruptions can also be caused by age, with older dogs having problems falling asleep more than younger dogs or puppies.
According to Dr. Hendricks, many senior dogs, especially those with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (a similar condition to Alzheimer’s) experience sundowning. They may become restless and confused as the night approaches. The dog may pace and have difficulty falling asleep.
In many cases, this can be managed with medications. Many animals respond well to nightlights placed in their sleeping areas, or to a radio or TV on low volume.
A more serious problem are older dogs that have to go outside more often. This can be a sign of a health problem, but it could also just represent a shift in the dog’s behavior.
Consult your veterinarian if you find that your dog suddenly needs to be let out in the night. You can make it easier for your pet to get out at night by letting him out, using a door or a peepad.
Most dogs who are restless during the night have identifiable causes. The best solution is to contact your vet and ask them to identify the cause. If possible, they can eliminate that trigger.
Do Dogs Sleep Aids Exist?
There isn’t a “one size fits all” solution for sleeping dogs. Most often, diagnosing and treating the root cause of sleep problems is what’s needed to help dogs.
Products such as sprays and plug-in diffusers may calm dogs who are anxious. Benadryl may help calm down other dogs. However, this should only be used under your vet’s guidance.
It is also helpful to create a sleeping area. Many dogs enjoy listening to the radio or watching TV. Some dogs sleep better in their own kennel. Keep the door wide open so that they can have a comfortable sleeping area.
Most dogs can sleep through the night and most of the day with the assistance of their veterinarian.