So, we’ve given you advice about HOW to get your dog to sleep, now we’re going to let you know just WHY dogs sleep as much as they do!
The amount that dogs sleep is actually due to many reasons, including age, activity level, size and more.
Age Isn’t Just A Number – the amount your dogs sleeps does depend on their age, more than most things. If you have anew puppy, it’s so tempting to spend all your waking hours playing with them.
This isn’t the best idea! Puppies, just like human infants, need to spend a lot of their time asleep! It’s not just important for them to rest as they get tired quicker. Sleeping is also extremely important for their development.
Plenty of sleep when they need to will ensure our puppy doesn’t become sick, stays happy, healthy, and well adjusted.
Up to 12 Weeks Old – puppies and dogs up to this age can sleep up to 20 hours a day. This is very healthy for your puppy and its in this time that they develop physically and mentally.
Fully Grown Dogs – from about a year old, dogs can sleep up to 13 hours a day, though not all in one go (like many human teenagers!). They’ll likely sleep a solid 8 hours overnight, then nap, doze and even fully sleep an additional 5 hours during the day.
This is usually when there’s nothing else to do, or they’re left in the house alone with little other distractions or interactions. Dogs will also usually sleep after walks and playtime.
Older Dogs – like us, dogs will probably sleep more as they get older. Things like walks and playtime will tire an older dog quicker and they’ll likely need to rest more often and longer.
Dogs older than 7 years (for most dog breeds) will probably sleep almost as much as puppies do during the day, they can sleep up to 18 hours a day, though this can increase depending on your dogs health.
If an older dog suffers with arthritis or other health issues, they might sleep even more than this.
Time Of Year Can Change Their Sleep – No, really! Time of year can cause your dog to sleep more or less. A little like us, daylight can rouse us earlier and keep us up later. In winter dogs tend to be less active as they are in the summer.
Due to the lack of daylight, colder weather and harsh temperatures, dogs tend to be lazier in the winter months. We don’t blame them! Few people or dogs would be keen on long walkies in freezing rain or snow!
With less activity, dogs will nap more during the day. Conversely, summer and hotter weather will affect your dog’s sleeping patterns too. Daylight can also mean they wake earlier and go to bed later in the evening.
During particularly warm nights your dog may move more to get comfortable or even get up and move completely to seek out cooler resting places.
During these hotter months make sure your dog had access to plenty of fresh drinking water and shade during the day.
Sleep Can Depend On Their Bodies & Physicality – Dogs are an incredibly varied species, the most varied breed by breed as any other species in the animal kingdom! Larger breeds of dogs like Newfoundland’s and St. Bernard’s etc. generally need more rest than smaller breeds.
It also depends on whether your dog is a “Working Dog” breeds such as Border Collies. These dogs are bred to be less sedentary and more alert during the day. Breeds who aren’t bred to be like this are far more likely to be able to relax and nap more.
When To Worry – Changes in sleep patterns can be an indications that something is wrong with your dog.
If you notice any distinct changes in your dog’s sleeping habits, get them to the vet for a check-up. Excessive sleeping in normal boisterous dogs can be linked to diabetes, canine depression, and hypothyroidism.
Please do bear in mind that everything in this post is strictly advisory and has been gathered from various reputable sources from the internet. We’re not vets, and you should always seek professional advice if you ever have concerns.
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