Do you think your dog is a sleepyhead? Or do you think your furry friend doesn’t get enough sleep? You may be a little worried about your dog’s sleeping habits and that’s why today, in our Las Almenas blog, we want to clear your doubts and tell you how much do dogs sleep get.
Dog’s sleeping habits
Dogs sleep in a similar way to us. In general, they usually sleep at night and take short naps during the day.
That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog spends some time during the day with his eyes closed, snoozing. Even more so if we are talking about a puppy or an older dog.
What they also agree with us is that they have dreams and nightmares and even snore and make noises, as happens in certain breeds that have a flat nose.
Phases of sleep in dogs
Dogs have two types of sleep: light sleep, also called “alert wave” sleep; and deep, restorative sleep in which they experience the REM phase, which is rapid eye movement.
Are you worried that your dog has spasms when he sleeps? Well, this is because he is in the REM sleep phase. This is the stage in which dreams occur in dogs. That is why he may make involuntary movements and may even bark or make him eat or drink. And it is also the reason why he can wake up startled.
In case you see him very agitated during sleep, you may feel like waking him up, but it is better not to do it because he may become aggressive and moody. Dogs, like humans, need undisturbed sleep for good mental activity.
Generally, their sleep cycles are shorter than ours. This is because part of their sleep is kept on alert, especially in the naps they take during the day. At night, they do tend to be deeper sleepers.
Another important question when determining how much sleep dogs get is to keep in mind that they quickly adapt to the habits of their human companions, so your dog’s sleep will also depend on how much you sleep and the times you are accustomed to resting.
How much do dogs sleep get on a daily basis?
As in many other questions, the answer is: it depends!
Yes, to know how much dogs sleep per day we will have to pay attention to the breed, the age, the physical characteristics of each dog and even the time of the year in which we are.
As you can see, there are many aspects that determine how much dogs sleep. Here we are going to explain them one by one:
Age is one of the most important factors when it comes to knowing how much dogs sleep. So we are going to divide it into different age brackets:
PUPPY: How much sleep does a puppy get? If we talk about a puppy, just like babies, they are very sleepy. They can spend 90% of the day sleeping, although not often, but irregularly until they finally learn to sleep in their own bed at night.
This may cause you some disappointment because when a puppy comes home, the whole family wants to play with him. But it is important that you encourage your puppy to sleep so that he can regain his strength and avoid health problems.
Since at the beginning the noise and all the novelties of his new home will make him a bit excited, it is necessary that you find him a quiet place where he can rest.
If you want to know how and what to have ready for the moment your puppy arrives home, you will surely be interested in this article: How to prepare your puppy’s arrival home.
UNTIL 12 WEEKS OF AGE. Until your puppy is 12 weeks old, it is very normal for him to sleep 18-20 hours each day. That’s still a lot, isn’t it?
You may find it boring to see him sleeping so much without being able to share so many things you are looking forward to do with your new friend, but you better be patient because all this sleeping time is beneficial for him, as it improves his learning and memory.
Little by little, you will see that he will stay awake more hours.
ADULT: How much sleep do adult dogs get? Well, they can easily sleep about 14 hours a day. Of these, 8-9 hours will be at night and the rest will be in short naps during the day.
It is possible that, after a walk or some exercise, your dog will want to rest. But dogs sleep not only because they are tired, but also because they are bored. So, at any age, boredom can be a good reason to go to sleep for a while.
OLDER DOGS. When they get older, and are over 7 years old, the number of hours a day a dog sleeps increases again, up to 18 hours a day. They can even sleep more if the dog has health problems.
-Time of year
As it happens to many other animals, the season and time of the year condition the hours of sleep.
If you’re wondering how much sleep dogs get in winter, here’s the answer: much more than in summer. In winter we all get lazier and prefer to spend more time at home. If so, being at ease and possibly bored, your dog will spend more time napping.
However, in summer the opposite can happen, especially if you live in very hot areas, as the heat can disturb his sleep and rest. Just as it happens to us, your dog may wake up several times to look for water or some cooler ground to cool down and reduce his body temperature.
In both cases, whether due to cold or heat, you have to help your dog to sleep in the best conditions, so that he can rest properly.
The genetics of each breed is also one of the issues that can affect how much dogs sleep.
This is another of the issues that can influence how much dogs sleep. Generally, the most sleepy breeds tend to be large breeds, but there are also small or mini dogs that are lazier by nature and will thank you for letting them sleep a little longer in their favorite place.
In Las Almenas, for example, we breed one of these breeds known for being especially sleepy. This is the case of the Shih Tzu which, curiously, is known as the “zen dog”, due to its calm and relaxed character. However, in addition to being a sleepy dog, it is also very cheerful, affectionate and fun.
How much do active dogs sleep? Because they get more exercise, they may need more sleep than those who lead a quieter life.
As with children, routines are very important for dogs. Breaking with schedules is also cause enough to disturb the sleep of your furry friend. So, after a trip or a visit home from family or friends, your dog may feel very tired and need a good night’s sleep.
What to do if your dog sleeps more or less hours?
We have already told you how much sleep dogs usually get, but what happens if they sleep more or less hours?
As it happens to people, lack of sleep can also cause some discomfort in your dog and irritate his character. In a way, this is quite logical, don’t you think?
If, on the other hand, your dog spends the day sleeping, the first thing you should think is that he is bored. Therefore, you have to make sure he goes out and exercises to burn energy. If he doesn’t, he will probably start barking excessively or he will prepare some mischief at home.
If you see that he sleeps a lot, does not want to move and is apathetic, then it may be necessary to go to the vet. Mostly to rule out any health problems.
It could be anemia, which causes him to sleep longer when he runs out of energy. It could also be due to cognitive dysfunction, something that can occur in elderly dogs. This may be the cause of the dog being awake at night and sleeping during the day.
Your veterinarian will also be able to rule out other types of psychological problems such as depression and sadness that could cause your dog to be more listless and drowsy for much of the day.
However, sleeping a lot need not be a problem. Before jumping to conclusions, go over his routines, maybe he’s just tired.
Now that you know how much dogs sleep, tell us your experience. Is your dog a sleepyhead? Do you love to watch him sleep? Or do you have any questions you want to ask us? Here below you have the comments box for you to write what you prefer. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or on our Las Almenas YouTube channel, where you are always welcome!