Let Sleeping Dogs Sleep...

June 25, 2017




Are you worried your dog sleeps too much? Do you think your dog could be bored? Well, consider that the average dog sleeps 12-14 hours a day. If your dog has acclimated to your sleep habits, he or she probably already gets 7-8 hours of sleep at night, which means that 4-7 hours of sleep are reserved for naps during the day.

 Different dogs have different sleep requirements. Active, working dogs (police dogs, service dogs) naturally sleep less because they are active all day. Dogs that were bred for working may also sleep less than the average dog even if they are not actively working.

Passive working dogs (one that guards livestock) tend to sleep more during the day so they can stay awake more at night, when they are on alert. Even a companion Great Pyrenees may sleep more during the day than at night, due to breeding. Those genetic influences can be challenging to overcome!

 Large breeds will need more sleep than a medium or small-sized dog. A puppy will also require more naps than an average adult dog. It is not uncommon for  large breeds and/or puppies to sleep up to 18 hours a day. Older dogs will also sleep more, especially in the form of naps during the day. Even dogs that were very active in their youth will naturally need more sleep during the day as they age.

Something else to consider: dogs spend about 10% of their sleep in REM (deep sleep) while humans spend 25% of their sleep in REM. Because dogs get less REM sleep, they need more of it to have adequate rest.

So don’t worry too much if your dog tends to sleep a lot during the day. What is more important is to pay attention to changes in sleep patterns.  Dogs can suffer from sleep disorders or medical issues (including sleep apnea) that will affect their sleep, or your pup may not be getting enough stimulation during the day (our See Spot Think brain game box can help with that...) Any of these things can result in more sleep during the day and less at night when you are home to entertain them. If you are concerned about any of these possibilities, contact your vet.


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