Labeled as man’s best friend, dogs are known for their loyalty and devotion. Dogs are pack animals, so once they find their family, they will stick by their family’s side through all the ups and downs life has to offer.
In return, dog owners share their lives with their furry friends. They go on all kinds of adventures together, such as daily walks and trips to the dog park, celebrate life’s major events together, and cuddle up after long, hard days.
Naturally, dogs adapt to and mimic their human family’s lifestyles, including activity levels, eating habits, and sleeping patterns. On average, adult humans require seven to eight hours of sleep every night. So, how often do dogs sleep?
How Often Do Dogs Sleep?
This answer varies greatly based on a variety of factors. In short, dogs sleep anywhere from eight to fourteen hours every day, with an average of about twelve hours. Sleep is vital for the health and wellbeing of your dog. It not only improves your dog’s development, memory, and cognitive functions, but it also boosts their digestive and immune functions.
The age of your dog will greatly impact the amount of sleep they need to thrive. Your dog’s sleeping patterns will also change as they age due to their different needs throughout their lives. Puppies and senior dogs generally sleep more than adult dogs. Adult dogs sleep longer overnight while puppies and older dogs take more frequent naps throughout the day to refill their energy reserves.
Similar to humans, older dogs may be more restless at night and have trouble falling asleep. Puppies and older dogs may also need to go to the bathroom more frequently throughout the night. This usually disrupts sleep and requires a more consistent schedule.
The health of your dog impacts the quality and duration of their sleep. Healthier dogs require less sleep and often receive a higher quality of sleep, while dogs with health issues require more sleep which may not be as comfortable or refreshing.
Overweight dogs generally sleep more than dogs that maintain their optimal weight. Contact your veterinarian to diagnose and treat any health issues your dog may have. Your veterinarian will also be able to provide advice to ensure your dog’s specific needs are met and optimal comfort is reached.
Your dog’s lifestyle is another factor that greatly determines your dog’s need for sleep, as well as the motivation behind their sleep cycles. Dogs are incredibly intelligent and require stimulation in the form of play and exploration to ensure their health and happiness. If a dog is left at home all day without any stimulation, they are more likely to sleep the day away due to boredom.
A dog who is adequately entertained and challenged may still require naps throughout the day, but their naps will be shorter and more efficient than those of the bored dogs. If your dog is a working dog, such as a herding or guide dog, they will likely sleep less during the day but longer overnight.
While it is not the highest indicator of how much sleep your dog needs, some breeds of dogs are prone to more active or sedentary lifestyles. Some of the most active dog breeds include many of the terriers, Pomeranians, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, and Beagles.
Some of the more sedentary dog breeds include bulldogs, greyhounds, Great Danes, Mastiffs, spaniels, and pugs. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rules. Your dog is an individual, so they specifically may not adhere to the breed norm. However, it is important to take their breed into consideration when establishing a lifestyle and routines to ensure your dog receives renewing sleep.
Achieve High Quality of Sleep for Your Dog
It is important to establish a routine with your dog. Dogs thrive on repetition and are much happier when they follow routines. Make sure your dog gets an adequate amount of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. Create a relaxing environment for them to sleep in.
This includes minimizing noise (such as turning off the television), a comfortable dog bed in a space where your dog feels safe, and perhaps a night light or their favorite comfort toy.
Establish a bedtime routine with your dog that signals it is time to sleep. This may look different for each dog. Perhaps tucking them in and giving them plenty of goodnight cuddles is all your dog needs for a soothing night of rest. Most importantly, make sure to address and treat any underlying conditions or discomforts your pet may have.
Signs of Inadequate Sleep in Your Dog
Changes in sleeping patterns are usually the first symptoms of serious underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, and arthritis. Some of the signs to look out for include longer naps than normal, lack of motivation for toys, food, or activities your dog usually enjoys, excessive grogginess or reluctance when waking up, or unusual moodiness. Keep a sleep log for your dog to share with your veterinarian to ensure a more accurate diagnosis.
Unusual signs of stress, anxiety, and aggression in your dog may indicate a lack of adequate sleep. Just like humans, dogs can get cranky without enough sleep to regulate their mental and physical needs. A well-rested dog is much more relaxed and less irritable. They are much better behaved and follow commands more readily.
How Often Do Dogs Sleep? While there are many factors that determine how much sleep dogs need, it is important to evaluate your own dog’s unique needs and lifestyle.
Each dog is different, so make sure to consult your veterinarian to address any issues your dog may have in regard to their sleep routines, especially if your dog suddenly changes routines without an apparent cause. After all, sleep is incredibly important and contributes to our dog’s overall health and wellbeing.