Unlike humans who generally stay up all day and then sleep for one long stretch at night, dogs spread out their sleep.
Dogs can sometimes appear to sleep for days at a time, and you might think they’re just being lazy. Sometimes this can be natural, or a symptom of something else.
Petplan looks at how much sleep is considered normal for your dog, and why their sleep cycle is so different to ours…
Dog sleep: what is normal?
Just like humans, all dog’s sleeping patterns vary and depend on a variety of things, including:
Adult dogs should roughly have between 12 and 14 hours sleep per day. You may think this is a lot, but canines in the wild also spend their days snoozing, only waking properly to play and hunt for food when required. Larger breeds are also known to nap a lot!
Puppies, despite being a ball of energy when they’re awake, sometimes need up to 18 hours of sleep per day! From exploring to learning, puppies use a lot of energy when they’re young and rest is necessary.
At first, puppies may find sleeping during the night daunting, making it difficult for them to have a ‘bedtime’ which coincides with yours. However, persistence is key – introduce the concept of sleeping alone to your puppy by moving their bed further from your room each night.
Your dog’s daily activity
Surprisingly, your dog will only spend around five hours a day being active, half their day sleeping, and the remaining parts of the day resting.
This is because a dog’s sleep cycle isn’t as routine as ours, meaning that dogs do not reach the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep.
However, activity of dogs also depends on the environment. For instance, farm dogs, police dogs, sporting dogs, and guide dogs naturally have a duty to fulfil and therefore don’t have time to sleep as much as their lapdog counterparts.
Where should they sleep?
As a dog owner, you can probably vouch for the fact that dogs will nap anywhere that’s comfortable and warm, and sometimes lie in awkward positions.
However, providing your pooch with a dog bed is essential for their well-being and general happiness. It gives them a space which is only for sleeping, and somewhere to go if they want some ‘me time’.
A dog bed needn’t be expensive, but for older dogs maybe consider a thicker, comfier bed to provide support for fragile bones.
Is there a problem?
If your dog’s sleeping behaviour seems to change radically, i.e. an extremely active dog seems constantly fatigued, or vice versa, there could be several reasons why, including:
- Change in diet
- Health problems – heart condition or under active thyroid
If you notice a change or you’re worried about any abnormalities with your dog’s sleep, consult a vet who will advise you further and check if the problem is more severe.
Where does your dog love to nap? How many hours do they spend sleeping? Let us know in the comments below…