Is it normal for your four-legged friend to be lazy most of the day? What does it mean if your puppy is napping for a long time? Are they bored, depressed, or completely healthy? If oversleeping has become a problem with your puppy, it may be time to fix it once and for all.
Why Dogs Sleep So Much
Research shows that many dogs sleep an average of 11 hours in a 24-hour cycle. Also, they need a lot of rest time and have a minimal activity each day. This is normal for carnivores – lions spend 16 or more hours a day sleeping and resting!
Most dogs sleep as long as there is nothing better to do. Because they don’t have a smartphone, job, or homework, sleep is often the best way to pass a long, tedious time.
How long your dog sleeps depends on a variety of factors:
- Puppies and older dogs may spend more time sleeping.
- Overweight and sick dogs may also sleep more than healthy dogs.
- Certain breeds tend to sleep more.
Of course, hour after hour naps can also be a sign of a problem. Many diseases and age-related problems can accompany changes in sleep patterns. Stress and separation anxiety can also manifest in extra naps during the day.
In most cases, a dog that sleeps 12 hours or more a day has no reason to worry. This is normal! But owners should be aware that excessive sleep can also be a sign of an underlying problem, and it’s best to talk to your veterinarian when you have these problems.
When your dog seems to be sleeping more than normal, consider environmental changes. Small changes in a dog’s life can lead to major changes in their sleeping habits.
New pet: If you suddenly have a noisy kitten in the house, your dog may be looking for his own quiet place to rest.
Hot weather: If your dog is sleepy in the summer, watch for signs of heat exhaustion, such as lethargy, excessive drooling, or vomiting.
Schedule Changes: Have you recently found a new job or changed your work schedule? Dogs who are home alone for long periods of time may feel bored or lonely.
Game time increased: Has your puppy recently started attending a new puppy nursery? Do you two train for 5km together? Increased playtime or exercise can be exhausting for your puppy, and it may take some time for them to adjust to the new exercise level before returning to their normal sleep patterns.
How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?
Did you know that dogs usually sleep half of their time – about 12 hours a day. Of the remaining 12 hours, they spend 7 hours staying awake and relaxed and another 5 hours active. In general, larger dogs and older dogs nap more because they require higher energy levels to support their activities.
How Much Do Puppies Sleep?
Puppies sleep better. Young puppies may sleep 18-20 hours a day during their first few months of growth, just like babies. You may see puppies playing frantically and then suddenly falling asleep and taking a nap. They need sleep to help their brain and body develop. As puppies grow, they will sleep 14 hours a day. By the time they’re a year old, they’ll have more adult sleep habits.
When To Worry About Your Dog Sleeping Too Much
Your dog may be sleeping too much…especially if his habits change. If you notice him falling asleep suddenly most of the day, this could be a sign that something is wrong. If he takes longer to wake up from his nap, it could also be a sign that he’s not feeling his best.
Prolonged sleep may portend a number of different health problems:
- Depression or cognitive impairment
- Hearing loss
- Heart disease
- Arthritis or other chronic pain
When To Ask Your Vet About Your Dog’s Sleep Habits
If you have questions or concerns about your dog’s sleeping habits, you should consult your veterinarian. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Changes in sleep patterns
A dog that is lethargic due to illness is not the same as a dog that just likes to sleep. If your dog is just sleeping a lot, it’s not necessarily abnormal, though, if your dog starts sleeping more than normal, it could be a cause for concern.
Another cause for concern is if your pet can’t feel comfortable. This may indicate possible orthopedic problems or respiratory distress. These problems can lead to agitation at rest
If you notice that your dog’s sleep patterns are changing, see a veterinarian. Because an underlying medical condition may be causing your dog to have sleep problems.
- Major life changes
Sometimes, changes in the dog’s sleep time can be related to changes in the surrounding environment. Just like humans, your dog’s mood can affect their sleep habits.
- Cute puppy sleeping on the bed under a plaid
Did you move recently? Introducing a new person or pet into the home? According to the Sleep Aid Institute, if your dog’s environment has changed in some way, it could be the cause of short-term habit changes.
It’s normal for a dog to behave a little differently in a new environment. Just like humans, you may find that stress or anxiety makes it harder for your dog to fall asleep.
When To Manage Your Dog’s Sleep Schedule
If you have a new puppy, or recently adopted a dog, it’s a good idea to give it a sleep schedule. You want to make sure he poops as needed, sleeps through the night, and eats at the right time. You want to avoid any accidents on your favorite rug. You also need to get him used to your own sleep schedule.
If you have an older dog, it needs more sleep. But you also don’t want him to sleep too much. Wake him every once in a while to make sure he stays hydrated, and take breaks in the bathroom to remove this water. If his joints are a little squeaky, getting up and moving around every few hours will also keep him from getting too stiff.
If you notice your dog is sleeping a lot, it’s probably not a cause for panic. However, if their sleeping habits suddenly change, a call to the veterinarian will be required. Paying close attention to your pet’s daily routine will help you provide them with a healthy, active lifestyle every day