How Many Hours A Day Do Dogs Sleep?
Dogs are animals which spend most of their time sleeping. They need to rest from physical activity and mental activities. If they don’t get enough sleep, they may suffer from various health problems such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc. Some breeds like huskies and greyhounds sleep less than others like pups or mastiffs.
Most dogs sleep between 8-12 hours a day. Greyhounds sleep more than any other breed because they have longer legs and bigger bodies. Mastiff’s usually sleep less than any other breed because of their short legs and small body size.
Some breeds like German Shepherds, Great Danes and Dobermans sleep less than others like Rottweilers or Husky. Some breeds like Chow Chows and Beagles sleep more than others like Labradors or Poodles.
In general, some breeds tend to sleep more than others. However, there are exceptions too. For example Labrador Retrievers are known to be very active during the daytime but still fall asleep around midnight. Old English Sheepdogs sleep less than other herding dogs like German Shepherds or Border Collies.
In this article we have provided all the necessary information about dogs sleep cycle. How many hours do dogs sleep, how much sleep do they need, what happens when they don’t get enough sleep and so on. We have also discussed why some dogs sleep more than others and why some need less sleep.
Greyhounds are one of the dog breeds which need very less sleep. They sleep for only 2-4 hours each day. On the other hand, Dachshunds can sleep up to 14 hours each day.
We have shared some amazing facts about dogs sleep cycle which are listed below.
A puppy sleeps for around 16 hours in a day which reduces as the dog grows older.
A lot of dogs sleep outside the home because it makes them feel secure. They are also able to hear any sounds of possible dangers and wake up immediately.
Dogs dream just like humans do. They can get excited, wag their tails or get their paws while sleeping.
A dog sleeps with one eye open always in order to stay alert. They may sleep very soundly but they are never off their guard.
Due to the short sleep time and excessive physical activity, most dogs are prone to Collapsing Trachea.
Dogs may suffer from Insomnia if the environment is not suitable for them.
While sleeping, a dog’s brain takes a rest but its ears and nose keep working. This is why the dog wakes up immediately if there is a sudden noise or someone calls its name.
Dogs can sleep in various positions like on their backs, bellies or sides. There are some who can even slip into a coma if they over indulge in a daytime nap.
Most dogs sleep for 4-6 hours in a day and may sleep for longer periods if they are not given enough physical exercise or kept indoors most of the time.
Dogs sleep more during cold season and less during summer.
Dogs prefer to sleep in a quiet environment and get disturbed by the slightest of noises. Some owners may think that their pet is hypersensitive or having some problems with their hearing when it is not the case. The dog may be merely reacting to a sound that its owner can’t even hear.
Some dogs sleep so soundly that they can sleep through a fire alarm. If you need to wake up your pet in a hurry, you will need to make some noise which is comparable to that of a fire engine siren.
How Much Sleep Does a Dog Need?
A dog’s sleeping habit and duration depends upon various factors like age, breed, environment and lifestyle.
Just like humans, a dog may sleep for 2-3 hours to more than 10 hours each day. However, on an average a dog sleeps for 3 to 4 hours.
Studies show that an adult dog needs 10-13 hours of sleep every day.
Dogs which are kept outside in a kennel or those who live in warmer climates tend to sleep more than those living in colder regions.
Just like human babies, puppies also sleep for around 18-20 hours a day. This increases gradually to 3-8 hours as they grow older.
Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
The reason why dogs sleep so much is because their senses are heightened when they sleep. They can hear, see and smell things more clearly when they are asleep. This is why they get disturbed very easily when they are asleep.
Dogs sleep less when they are young and grow older, their sleeping habit reduces as well.
The amount of sleep also varies depends upon the breed of dog. For example, a Beagle sleeps for less time than a St. Bernard.
Does Dogs Sleeping A Lot Affect Their Health?
If your dog sleeps more than the normal duration, it might affect its health. Excess sleeping can be a sign of an underlying health issue. Some of them are as follows:
Some breeds of dogs need less sleep while some need more. The average sleeping time for various breeds are as follows:
Short Sleeping Dogs:
Beagle: 10-13 hours
10-13 hours Greyhound: 10-12 hours
Medium Sleeping Dogs:
Bernese Mountain Dog: 9-11 hours
9-11 hours German Shepherd: 9-11 hours
9-11 hours Golden Retriever: 9-11 hours
9-11 hours Labrador Retriever: 9-11 hours
Long Sleeping Dogs:
Borzoi: 12-14 hours
12-14 hours Great Dane: 12-14 hours
12-14 hours Scottish Deerhound: 12-14 hours
Some dogs may sleep even more than the listed duration if they are kept in a kennel. Since these dogs are used to sleeping in a den, their sleeping habits remain the same even when they grow older.
Sleeping for long hours can be a sign of some underlying health problem and needs to be checked by a veterinarian.
Some Medical Conditions That Can Cause Excessive Sleeping
Hypothyroidism: This is a condition where your dog’s thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones that keep the body’s metabolism and energy levels in control. Most of the symptoms are non-specific and can be related to old age. However, one of the most common signs is sleeping for more than 20 hours a day. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.
Diabetes: Dogs, just like humans can suffer from diabetes. Most of the time, dogs get affected by juvenile diabetes or maturity-onset diabetes. Like in human beings, the lack of insulin regulation in the body causes diabetic dogs to experience excessive hunger and urination. However, these dogs can also suffer from sleepiness and lethargy as well.
Epilepsy: A seizure is a sudden burst of excessive electrical activity in the brain. This causes a temporary loss of muscle control and consciousness. Sometimes, dogs suffering from epilepsy may react to the seizure with loud noises by hiding or trying to escape. This is why your dog may sleep for long hours.
Seizures can either be minor or major.
The minor seizures cause your dog’s behavior to change for a few minutes and then go away. During this time, your dog will appear to be asleep but will be aware of his surroundings.
The major seizures are much serious and can last for hours at a time. These types of seizures usually cause your dog to lose control over its bodily functions and may even cause it to collapse altogether.
If you think that your dog is suffering from any of these medical conditions, do take it to the vet immediately.
Anxiety: Your dog might experience anxiety if it is left alone for long periods of time or does not have enough physical activity. The anxiety can cause your dog to engage in unwanted behavior that you and others may find to be annoying. If this continues, your dog may become more anxious which can cause it to sleep for longer periods of time.
Loneliness: When your dog sleeps for extended periods of time, it is probably because it is lonely or bored. Try to interact with your dog on a regular basis to keep it from getting bored. If you have to leave your dog alone for longer periods of time, get an older companion that has been abandoned by its previous owner as this could help prevent your dog from suffering from loneliness or boredom. You can also get your dog a toy that squeaks or a media device such as a radio, CD player or a television to keep it company.
If none of these steps work, then you may have to resort to finding your dog another home where it would be appreciated more.
Genetic Problems: Some dogs are just born with medical problems that prevent them from living a normal life. These types of dogs can suffer from sleeping disorders and may sleep most of the time due to the pain that they’re experiencing.
If your dog is suffering from any of these medical conditions, it is vital that you take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
How to Stop Dogs From Sleeping Too Much
Dogs love to sleep. It is in their nature. However, if your dog sleeps all day and still manages to sleep half of the night as well, then you have a serious problem and you need to take action right away. Check your dog for any of the medical conditions or disorders listed above. If you’re unable to find anything wrong with it, then you may have a lazy dog on your hands and it may be difficult to wake it up.
There are a few things that you can try:
Exercise: The best way to get your dog to be more active is to take it for a walk. Try walking earlier in the day and keep the walks short at first. Slowly increase the time that you’re walking until your dog is able to last for a few hours.
It is also vital that you give your dog ample exercise inside of your home as well. This can be in the form of a small run or a room that it can play in. You can also buy toys such as a Frisbee or ball which can help your dog burn off a little energy as well.
If you’re looking for other ways to get your dog to exercise then try taking it rock climbing, surfing or something similar. The key is to engage your dog in an activity that will prevent it from being lazy.
Diet: Another way to prevent your dog from becoming lazy is to put it on a strict diet. If your dog is overweight then make sure that you cut down on the amount of food that you’re feeding it every day. You can also feed it food that helps promote activity such as fat burners or other supplements.
If your dog is underweight then you may have to force feed it a high calorie paste to help it gain weight gradually.
Stimulation: Just like people, dogs can suffer from boredom as well. If your dog is sleeping too much, then it probably does not have anything to do and this could be the reason behind its sedentary nature. Try getting your dog a companion if you are often away from home for long periods of time.
You can also get your dog new toys to play with or feed it something special that could promote activity. There are a lot of products on the market today that have been designed specifically for this purpose.
Medication: If nothing else works, you may have to consider medicating your dog in order to prevent it from sleeping all the time. Your veterinarian can recommend the best course of action and this is usually something that they will only recommend if you’ve already tried everything else first.
Regardless of the reason why your dog is sleeping too much, it is important that you take action right away. Your dog needs to get off its lazy behind and start doing something more constructive with its time. Get your dog off the couch and make it do something!
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