Puppies may sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day. Adult dogs, however, tend to sleep a little less. So, how long do dogs sleep depends on several factors like their age, size, and breed. This blog will tell you everything about how much sleep is normal for your furry friend.
How Many Hours a Day Do Dogs Sleep?
Your doggo sleeps more than humans and that is quite natural. Their sleep schedule changes with age. Let’s take a look at how long they sleep according to their age.
- Puppies- The American Kennel Club reports that puppies sleep for around 18 hours a day. Do puppies sleep a lot? Yes, they sleep a lot more than adult dogs because a lot of energy is spent growing physically and exploring new things.
- Adult dogs- Adult dogs need an average of 11 hours of sleep every day. Even after sleeping at night, they love their daytime nap. So, don’t be worried if you see your dog curled up in bed during the day even after getting enough sleep at night.
- Senior dogs- Senior dogs require more time to rest and rejuvenate. So, they sleep more at night than young adult dogs. Though puppies and senior dogs are at two opposite ends of the age spectrum, their sleeping patterns are quite similar.
Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
There is the slightest sound in the house and your dog springs alert. Your dog doesn’t go into a deep sleep for long periods like you. That’s because they have shorter sleep cycles. That is why they tend to nap almost throughout the day.
Your dogs are bundles of energy when they are awake. They never get tired of running and playing around the house. So, their body requires adequate sleep to recharge and rejuvenate. Moreover, since their sleep cycles are light and shorter, they tend to sleep so much to give their body much-needed rest.
How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?
How much sleep does your furry friend need to stay happy and healthy? It’s true that they need more sleep than humans. While humans need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep everyday, most dogs need around 11 to 13 hours of sleep on an average.
Puppies require more sleep since they are in the growth phase and use up a lot of energy while awake. So, their body needs rest to recharge. Plus, older dogs also tend to sleep more than young adults. That is because sleep helps to rejuvenate their bodies.
You might notice some dogs sleeping almost throughout the day. However, there’s nothing wrong with it. The sleeping pattern of all dogs is not the same. It differs with their age, size, and breed.
Do Dogs Have the Same Sleep Cycles as Humans?
Dogs also go through the same sleep cycles as humans like slow-wave and REM sleep. However, the pattern and duration of these cycles differ in humans and dogs.
In humans, the REM cycle lasts for about an hour. But dogs tend to have a mean REM sleep cycle of 20 minutes.
Contrary to humans, animals tend to sleep in bursts. While humans will sleep at a stretch for a long duration, dogs will sleep in shorter cycles throughout the day.
Do Dogs Also Suffer from Sleep Disorders?
Disturbances in sleep can affect your furry friend’s physical and cognitive health. Just like humans, they too experience a range of sleep disorders. The most common sleep disorders are narcolepsy, REM sleep behaviour disorder, and sleep breathing disorder.
Let us take a look at each of them so that you know when your bundle of joy is having a problem.
Narcolepsy is a major sleep disorder with excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy as the main symptoms. Cataplexy is a state where your dog might lose muscle control and feel drowsy and tired.
Canine narcolepsy has no permanent treatment. However, it is not a serious or life threatening condition. If the condition is too serious, your vet may give anti-cataplectic medication.
REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder
It is a condition that causes abnormal movements during the REM phase of sleep. Your dog might howl, cry, move its limbs, or bite and chew something. However, these symptoms can be treated with medication in most cases.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a disorder that occurs in many mammals including humans. It occurs when the relaxed tissues of the throat block the airways preventing adequate air from reaching your lungs. Thus, your dogs might snore and also experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
Dog breeds with short muzzles experience the problem of sleep apnea frequently. You might have to get surgery done to solve the problem. However, in some cases, the vet might suggest lifestyle changes like a reduction in weight.
Should Dogs Also Have Sleep Schedules?
What does your dog sleep schedule look like? Do they have a fixed time when they doze off? Well, dogs are quite flexible because they can adapt to the routine of their owner. For instance, if you have a 9-5 job, your doggo will sleep during the day so that they can spend time with you when you come back from work.
It is, however, better to have a fixed sleep schedule for your dog. That will ensure they get adequate sleep every day. Frequent changes in their sleep schedule might take a toll on their health.
Many people complain that their dog sleeps all the time. Dogs do sleep a lot. However, if you see your dog sleeping all day, there is cause for concern.
If you find your dog being lethargic or uninterested in walks, you should be alert. Oversleeping might indicate an underlying problem like diabetes or hypothyroidism. It might also be due to some drastic changes in their life like the death of a loved one.
If you sense some abnormal sleeping patterns in your dog, get in touch with your vet without any delay.
How to Help Dogs Sleep Better?
You don’t want your furry friend to compromise with their health. How well they sleep will impact how lively and playful they are when awake. So, you have to make sure they get some restful sleep. Here’s what you can do for your bundle of joy.
Give Them a Comfortable Bed
Who doesn’t love a soft and cozy bed? You might have noticed that your dogs love to sleep on your bed. That is because they find it soft and comfortable. Why don’t you give them an equally cozy bed? A memory foam dog bed would be the perfect companion for your bundle of joy.
Fix Your Dog Sleep Schedule
Having a fixed schedule will ensure your pooch gets enough sleep every day. That will keep them going. However, frequent changes in their sleep schedule might affect their physical and emotional well being.
Let Your Dog Pick a Sleeping Corner
Dogs love to cuddle up in small corners. Let them choose such a place. You can then put their bed over there. Thus, your doggo will get a comfortable and undisturbed sleep. Make sure you don’t disturb them while sleeping. That will leave their sleep incomplete, affecting their mood and health.
What are the Dog Sleeping Positions?
Now that you have got the answer to your question, “how long do dogs sleep?” Let's look at some of their common sleeping positions.
1. The Side Sleeper
Your dog might lie on the side with four legs stretched out. They do it when they feel relaxed. At times, you might even see them exposing a part of their belly to cool down.
2. The Lion’s Pose
This pose is just like the statues of lions you have seen. Your dog will lie on all four legs with its head on the front paws. And the f=hind limbs will be stretched towards? the side.
3. The Donut
In the donut position, your dog sleeps curled up with its legs close to its body. The nose might also touch its hind legs. When you see your doggo in this position, it is trying to be protective.
4. Head and Neck Raised
If your dog sleeps with its head and neck raised, it might be having difficulty breathing. Raising their head helps it breathe properly. Go for a vet check up if your dog does it regularly.
5. The Belly Up
Your dog sleeps with its belly up and all the four paws in the air. It is the most vulnerable position that your dog sleeps in. If they allow you to touch them in this position, that means they trust you.
Now that you know how much do dogs sleep, you need not worry anymore about your dog sleeping a lot. Furthermore, you now know why puppies sleep so much. So, let your furry friends sleep comfortably so that they wake up with more energy.