A sleeping dog is an adorable sight to behold, whether they are curled up in a furry ball or stretched out and displaying their warm little bellies. While it’s awfully cute to watch your fuzzy friend snooze away and twitch (dreaming of chasing squirrels, no doubt), some pet parents wonder if their dog is sleeping too much or not enough. We’ll take a look at how much dogs sleep so you can determine if your pal is catching the right amount of zzz’s.
How Much Should Dogs Sleep?
Dogs sleep a lot; most adult dogs sleep an average of 12 to 14 hours a day. Some small dogs sleep even longer hours, and some giant breeds get a lot of shuteye too; 17 hours a day is normal for Newfoundlands. Puppies also sleep a lot; they clock in at 18 to 20 hours of snooze time a day. And senior dogs may also require more sleep.
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When Dogs Sleep Too Much or Too Little
If your dog is sleeping more than what’s normal, talk to your veterinarian. Many illnesses cause lethargy, so your dog’s excessive slumber may be a sign that they’re not feeling well.
On the other hand, if your dog isn’t getting enough sleep you might notice that they seem tired when they should otherwise be active (for example, on walks or while playing). Other signs that your dog may not be sleeping enough include sleepiness during the day but energy at night, needing to go outside for a bathroom break in the middle of the night, and waking up early in the morning.
Additionally, there are a number of sleep disorders that can affect how well your buddy snoozes, including insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, REM Behavior Disorder, and Limb Movement Disorder. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re worried that your dog isn’t getting the rest they deserve.
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Tips To Help Dogs Sleep Better
If you suspect that your dog’s sleep habits are off, contact your veterinarian first so that they can check for any illnesses or sleep disorders. Additionally, there are things you can do to help your dog sleep better:
- Make sure that your dog is getting the right amount of exercise (that means not too little and not too much). Talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate exercise routine for your particular pooch.
- Offer your dog a cozy place to sleep that is free of distractions. Many dogs learn to love their crate and it becomes their sleep haven, while other dogs get used to a comfy dog bed. If your dog sleeps in bed with you, just make sure there is enough room for everyone; if you and your dog are disturbing each other at night, neither of you will be getting the sleep you need.
- Get your dog on a routine. If you dim the lights and tell your dog to “go to bed” at the same time every night, their body clock will mostly likely get used to the schedule, and you’ll find your friend heading off to the dreamland when they should.
How much do your dogs sleep? Leave a comment and let us know, and try PetPlus, a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.