Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
Sometimes it might seem that all your dog does is sleep and you begin to wonder why does your dog sleep so much.
Every time you look at them they are curled up in their favourite place taking another nap. But it’s important to remember that the age, breed, lifestyle and exercise a dog gets can all impact on how much time they sleep each day.
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Do All Dogs Sleep The Same Amount?
When you get a new puppy they are full of energy, they run around non stop and expel every bit of energy they have at all times. Because of this level of exercise and enthusiasm, sometimes they even fall asleep as they are playing, as they get tired extremely easily.
An older dog will also spend more time napping as they lead a more sedentary lifestyle. Much like an older person might take a nap midday, your mature dog will also do the same.
Working dogs who are extremely active all day will probably sleep most of the time they are not working due the physical demands of their working dog role. It’s also thought that big dogs sleep longer than small dogs.
As you can see there are so many lifestyle and age factors that come into play when you think about how much a dog sleeps.
Is My Dog Sleeping Too Much?
When your dog is fully sleeping you will notice that their body relaxes and they are extremely restful. When they enter the REM stage of sleep this is when you will see their eyes moving, their paws moving like they are running and you will often hear them making soft barking noises.
Dogs do sleep a lot more than humans, but they are more alert to their surroundings when they are sleeping. Have you ever noticed your dog can seem to be fast asleep and then they are wide awake seconds later at the slightest noise. So while they seem to be always asleep, a lot of the time its a very light state of sleep they are in.
If however you are concerned about how much your dog is sleeping you should consult with your vet. If you have seen a sudden change in their sleep pattern it could be cause for concern and it is always best to get these things checked by a professional.
How Long Do Dogs Sleep Each Day?
- Around 50% of a dog’s day is spent sleeping
- Approximately 30% of the day is spent resting (not asleep but in full rest mode)
- Dogs are active only about 20% of each day
—Statistics Sourced from The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know
- Adult dogs sleep 12 to 14 hours per day
- Puppies get even more sleep at a staggering 18 hours per day or more
—Statistics Sourced from Canine Behavior: Insights and Answers
How Can I Make My Dog More Active?
There are lots of ways that you can keep your dog more active during the day if you feel that they are sleeping too much.
#1. Extra Walks
If your dog has been asleep all day why not get them up and excited about going for a walk. The mental stimulation of being out and about in new surroundings is a great way to keep them active and engaged.
Dogs love to go for a walk and it’s a great way to stop them lounging on the sofa all day without stretching their legs.
#2. Interactive Toys
Why not make your dog work for their treats to keep them active. There are lots of amazing interactive toys you can purchase for your dog that will keep them active, both mentally and physically, during the day.
Your dog will love using their skills to get the treats out of their puzzle ball or game, making treat time a fun activity for them.
#3. Hide and Seek
Why not hide treats around the house for your dog to find. It can be a great way to get them moving up and down stairs if you have treats hidden around the house in different rooms.
You could have a series of balls for them to find, or plastic bottles, whatever they love and will hunt for.
#4. Throw a Ball/Frisbie
If your dog loves chasing a ball or frisbie then they will love spending time playing these games with you. Throwing a ball in the garden, or up and down the stairs, is a great way to get some extra exercise in for your dog during the day.
If you dogs sleeping habits have changed suddenly then we do recommend that you seek the advice of your vet in case there is an underlying medical reason. You can also read our article on how much exercise your dog needs each day to understand more about how active your dog should be.