Did you know that dogs spend more than half of their day sleeping or relaxing? The dogs spend 50 percent of the day sleeping; 30 percent of their time, they’ll be awake but relaxing. Most dogs spend only 20 percent of their day awake and active. So, why do dogs sleep so much? The sleep duration may vary from dog to dog. Older dogs may tend to sleep more often and for longer periods than younger dogs. More factors can cause the dogs to sleep so much; some factors may be normal while others might cause an alarm, which may require veterinary intervention. Read through the article and get the appropriate answers on….
How Many Hours Does A Dog Need To Sleep Every Day
Dogs need a lot of sleep, and they actually need a lot more sleep than humans do. They simply sleep when their body tells them that they need to sleep! On average, an adult dog should sleep for about 12 to 14 hours a day, but this varies for every individual dog.
Another reason why dogs need more sleep than we do is that dogs have a different sleep pattern than we do.
When we sleep, we spend about 25% of the time in REM (aka rapid eye movement) sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep (it is also the stage of sleep where you dream). Dogs, on the other hand, only spend about 10% in REM sleep.
Dogs & REM Sleep
This is because dogs have such irregular sleep schedules and they wake up quickly and become alert at little sounds. This causes dogs to need more sleep, in general, to make up for the loss of that REM sleep. (And yes, just like we dream during REM sleep, scientists believe that dogs also dream during this phase!
What’s more is that scientists believe that dogs dream similarly to us and they replay parts of their day in their dreams! So when your dog is whimpering or moving their legs while fast asleep, they are probably dreaming!
Plus, dogs simply enjoy sleeping! So, since they really enjoy it, it makes sense that they want to spend a large portion of the day sleeping.
Dogs spend about 50% of the day sleeping, and then they usually spend another 30% of the day just lounging around. During this time, they may just be hanging out or looking out the window, so even though they are awake, they are not doing much of anything, and that is just the way that they like it!
So, really, your dog is only awake and active for about 20% of the day.
When Excessive Sleeping Might Be a Concern
While it’s natural for dogs to sleep a significant portion of the day, there are times when excessive sleep could indicate underlying health issues or emotional distress. Changes in a dog’s sleeping patterns, especially if sudden, should not be overlooked.
Lethargy and prolonged periods of inactivity, coupled with a loss of interest in play or daily activities, can be a sign of medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, or even depression in dogs. Another red flag is when a typically active dog starts to sleep more than usual without any evident reason like a change in activity levels.
Other accompanying symptoms, such as changes in appetite, unexplained weight loss, or behavioral shifts, further emphasize the need for a vet consultation. It’s crucial to distinguish between a dog’s natural need for rest and potential health problems. After all, your furry friend’s well-being depends on your vigilance and proactive care. Always consult with a veterinarian if you’re unsure about your dog’s sleep patterns.
7 Reasons Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much
1. The Dog’s Age
The longer sleeping durations shouldn’t worry the dog owner, as the dog’s age might play a huge role. The older and mature tend to spend most of their days sleeping or relaxing, unlike the younger dogs. The same happens with the puppies, which might spend up to 18 hours of the whole day sleeping.
This trend shouldn’t be worrying you because as the dog gets older, they tend to sleep more frequently. Furthermore, the puppies sleep more hours because when they’re awake, they’re always very playful. Thus, they get exhausted, which makes them rest for a longer duration.
2. The Breed
The dog’s breed is a significant factor determining the length of sleeping hours for the dog. The breed determines the dog’s size, activities, and growth rate. These factors are essential in affecting the duration of sleep a dog may need. Smaller dog breeds take longer times to get older, and they get exhausted less quickly; therefore, they tend to sleep less.
In contrast to the large dog breeds like Saint Bernard or Great Dane, they’ll spend most of their time sleeping. The reason being these dog breeds get exhausted quickly, and they age faster. Most dog keepers and experts usually refer to these breeds as lazy dogs, as they tend to sleep too much.
3. Boredom, Anxiety, and Stress
Psychological factors can also be a vital determinant of the duration your dog may spend sleeping. Factors such as stress, boredom, and anxiety might increase the period your dog spends sleeping or relaxing. A dog may become lethargic and start dozing off if they have signs of stress or anxiousness.
You can help the dog to prevent long sleeping hours by helping it deal with psychological difficulties. Providing routine activities will be very important to enhance the dog’s physical and mental ability. Improving the mental capacity will be necessary for helping reduce the duration the dog spends relaxing or sleeping.
4. Thyroxine Deficiency
The dog experts studied the thyroxine levels to provide the perfect response on why dogs sleep so much. The research found out that thyroxine level is a critical determining factor in the dog’s sleeping pattern. When the dog’s body under-secretes the hormone, the dog will sleep for more hours. The under-secretion will significantly reduce the cell’s chemical processes within the dog’s body.
More so, when there is a reduction of cell processes of the metabolic cells, the dog will look unhealthy, thus making them sleep for long durations. Mainly the older dogs will experience this condition, unlike the younger dogs. Additionally, the Doberman pinschers, Great Danes, and Labradors often experience the condition more than the other dog breeds.
In most circumstances, it may be normal for the dog to spend more of its time sleeping. However, sometimes the longer sleep duration may be an indication of a health problem. Diabetes is a critical health issue that makes a dog sleep for longer durations. The condition leads to the risk of hyperglycemia, where the dog’s body cells will be unable to produce the right quantities of insulin.
The underproduction of insulin by the cells will slow down most body processes, thus causing the dog to spend more hours relaxing or sleeping. The Keeshonds, Australian terriers, and Dachshunds breeds are more likely to have diabetes issues than other breeds. It’ll be good to consult your vet if you realize the dog looks sleepy most times and unhealthy. These signs might be an indicator of diabetes.
6. Activity Level
The level of activities will also determine the amount of time the dog will spend sleeping. Depending on the dog breed, size, age, and purpose, the sleeping patterns might vary. Dogs that engage in many activities tend to sleep for more hours as they get exhausted more quickly than the dormant dogs.
Police dogs will usually remain active for more hours due to their need to stay active for longer durations. The dog’s breed is a vital determinant of the level of activity of the dog. Some dogs will have more activities as compared to other dog breeds.
Most dogs tend to sleep more after eating. After consuming a particular meal, the level of insulin in the dog’s body will automatically rise. This insulin will enhance the absorption of different amino acids except for tryptophan. The body will then convert the tryptophan chemically into serotonin, which the cells later convert to melatonin.
These hormones are well-known for their sleep-inducing effects in both dogs and even humans. Therefore, after eating a meal rich in carbohydrates, the dogs will generally feel more sleepy; thus, they sleep for longer hours. However, the rate of sleep due to the animal’s diet will vary with the dog’s breed, age, and type of food you provide the dog.
Why Do Dogs Age So Fast? Watch This Video!
5 Tips to Ensure Your Dog Has Healthy Sleep Habits
Consistent Sleep Schedule
Just like humans, dogs benefit from a regular sleep routine. Set consistent times for waking up, meals, play, and bedtime. This not only helps regulate their internal clock but also provides a sense of security.
Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
Dogs are den animals by nature. Ensure they have a cozy, quiet spot to retreat to, whether it’s a dedicated dog bed, a crate, or a particular corner of a room. Keep it free from excessive noise and disturbances. Soft blankets or toys can also make the space feel more inviting.
Provide Adequate Exercise
Physical activity is pivotal for a dog’s overall health, and it also promotes better sleep. Regular play sessions, walks, or even agility training can tire out your dog, ensuring they sleep soundly and deeply.
Monitor Diet and Feeding Times
A dog’s diet plays a significant role in their sleep pattern. Avoid feeding heavy meals right before bedtime, as it can cause discomfort. Also, ensure they have a balanced diet that meets their energy requirements without overfeeding.
Limit Late Evening Stimulants
Just as caffeine or screen time can disrupt human sleep, certain stimulants can affect dogs. Avoid intense play or training sessions right before bed, as this can over-excite your dog. Similarly, limit treats or toys that can over-stimulate them during evening hours.
Remember, sleep is a vital component of your dog’s well-being. By fostering good sleep habits, you’re ensuring that your four-legged friend remains happy, healthy, and ready to tackle each new day with zest!
Dogs will tend to spend most of their time during the day either sleeping or relaxing. Multiple factors affect the rate of sleep of your dog. The age of your dog, physical activities, psychological difficulties, and diet are some reasons. The elements above answer the questions most dog owners have been asking: why do dogs sleep so much? Hope you learn the top 7 Reasons Why Dogs Sleep So Much by now.
Some of the conditions are normal conditions, which shouldn’t cause any alarm; nonetheless, some conditions may require the interventions of a vet. If you notice your dog sleepy all time and look unhealthy, this may present a health issue; it’ll be good to consult your vet.