Nothing is more precious than a sleeping dog, but it can be trouble for dog owners who notice their furry friend sleeping too much. How often should your dog be sleeping? This question can be challenging to answer and may depend on many factors.
Not only will the age of your dog matter, but its diet, daily habits, and amount of exercise can contribute to its quality and quantity of sleep. Some dogs may have sleeping disorders or may not sleep if they feel stressed.
For example, your dog may be so used to sleeping in bed with you that they can’t go to bed unless you sleep with them. Sleeping together can negatively impact a dog’s sleep patterns and may cause long-term harm or discomfort.
However, there are some ways you can help your dog get as much rest as they need, stay refreshed all day long, and sleep independently from you. Although challenging for some dog owners who want to sleep with their dog, these methods can help you break bad habits and keep both you and your dog well-rested all day.
How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?
The amount of sleep your dog will need depends on many factors, but the primary one is age. A puppy may need plenty of rest because they develop rapidly. Adult dogs are carefree and need less sleep until they get fatigued at nighttime. Senior dogs may require a lot of sleep and even more if they have health conditions.
Puppies are energetic and fun, but they need plenty of sleep to keep them happy, healthy, and growing. Puppies will likely need at least 11 hours a day, and they may be so tired after some play that they take hour-long naps throughout the afternoon and evening.
Adult dogs will not likely need more than eight hours of overnight sleep daily. However, many adult dogs may take small naps during the day if they’ve spent time playing or running around outside.
Senior dogs will sleep overnight but may take many naps every day. Some of these naps may only last 20 or 30 minutes. Others can last an hour or more. Although it can be concerning, napping is typical for senior dogs and shouldn’t pose any concerns.
Signs Your Dog Is Lacking Sleep
There could be dozens of reasons your dog lacks sleep, and each can present differently. Be on the lookout for any signs that indicate your dog is restless, tired, and moody. Noticing these symptoms could be the first step toward discovering a sleep issue in your dog.
Always refer to your dog’s veterinarian for questions about their health and a plan of action to help them feel better.
Depression may be causing your dog to lose sleep. Some dogs require significant attention and time from their owners, and if they feel neglected, they may exhibit depressive symptoms. This scenario can be troubling for many pet owners, but noticing the signs can lead to faster treatment. Consult with your veterinarian about any potential depressive signs.
If your dog has a chronic illness, it may be lacking sleep. Sometimes, dogs may wake up during the night with diarrhea or the urge to vomit. Nausea can negatively impact their sleep and make them nap more during the day.
Insomnia and narcolepsy are two major sleep disorders that can impact dogs in similar ways that they impact humans. Take note of how your dog behaves during the night to see if they wake often.
Narcolepsy signs include sudden unconsciousness, falling on the side or stomach, and remaining still. Note if your dog presents with these symptoms and consult with your veterinarian.
How To Help Your Dog Sleep Better
There are many ways to help your dog feel and sleep better, and most of them are simple enough to do at home. Whether your dog is lacking sleep due to emotional distress or a sleep disorder, these methods can help them feel more motivated to get some rest after a long day.
Offer Proper Nutrition
Ensuring your dog has a proper diet can help rule out chronic illness due to food intolerances. A balanced diet can also help you ensure that your dog is receiving all the vital vitamins and nutrients they need to remain healthy, happy, and active.
Some vitamins and minerals can combat sleeplessness and promote a good night’s rest.
Play With Them
Spend quality time with your dog, showing affection to them, and running around with them. Your dog may get exercise from this play time and sleep better knowing they’ve had a fun and exciting day with their favorite person.
Bring your dog to a dog park or invite over a friend who has a dog. Socializing your dog with other humans and canines can have a profound impact on their mood, overall well-being, and emotional health.
Practice Sleeping Independently
Train your dog to sleep in its own bed to prevent codependence between you and your furry friend. Having their own bed can promote a better quality of sleep.
Understanding how much sleep your dog needs is the first step to ensuring that they are well-rested, happy, and healthy. Although it can take plenty of time to determine how much sleep they need, it’ll help you and your dog come up with a plan to make sure they’re getting proper rest.
Consider keeping a log to monitor the signs your dog may be showing to determine if they are lacking sleep. A dog lacking sleep may present as tired during the day, lethargic, and moody.
Some problems like sleep disorders, dietary issues, or nightmares may plague your furry friend, but there are ways to assuage these issues. Your dog may also be dependent on you for sleep if you share a bed with them. With patience, attention to detail, and some training, your dog will be well on their way to sleeping independently, happily, and soundly.