Why does my dog sleep all the time?
So why does my dog sleep all the time?
You may be thinking, why does my dog sleep all the time? In fact it is not, and it just seems like it. Dogs need more sleep than humans and require on average about 12 hours a day. Depending on its age and breed, this can vary a lot.
Puppies and elderly dogs generally require more sleep than other dogs, and sometimes as much as 18 hours a day. So it might seem like your dog is just sleeping all the time, but in reality dogs, have a different sleeping pattern to humans.
Deep sleep is vital for the brain to process information. Humans reach deep sleep in about 90 minutes, but a dog can reach deep sleep in about 15 minutes.
Dogs vs humans
Us humans are much simpler when it comes to sleeping. When it gets late, we go to bed and sleep all night. In the morning, we then get up and stay awake all day and then repeat the process again. Some people are different to others, but most people follow this pattern.
With dogs, they do not sleep all in one go like we do. They tend to take lots of naps throughout the day, and then be active and rest between the naps. With lots of short naps, they are able to recharge their energy and be ready to get up and go all the time. Larger dogs tend to want more sleep than smaller dogs.
Puppies and elderly dogs sleep more
Puppies sleep a lot. They can sleep up to 18 hours a day. This is perfectly normal and just part of the growing up process. When they want to sleep, you should let them and not try and keep them awake. Just like babies, lack of sleep can have an affect on their behaviour. A tired puppy will not be keen to learn things and it will affect its ability to make correct choices.
If a puppy is overworked without enough sleep, it will be unable to settle down when at home. If this is allowed to continue, then you will end up with a puppy that will be frantic and biting anything that moves. Neither you or the puppy will be able to relax.
Elderly dogs will also need more sleep, and this is perfectly normal. They can sleep about 14 to 18 hours a day. One thing that can happen, is that an elderly dog can start to sleep more during the night like humans. But they will still take naps during the day as well. An elderly dog will start to slow down in its day to day activities, and this is fine and it has earned the right to have some rest.
My dog is sleeping a lot more than usual
As already mentioned, a dog sleeping a lot should not give too much cause for concern. But if you truly believe your dog is sleeping even more than normal, then there could be something wrong.
When humans become ill, we will generally complain about it and make it known that something is wrong. With dogs, they generally do not complain like us and will just tend to sleep more than normal. If this is the case, then there are numerous things that a dog could be suffering from. Here are some common illnesses that can cause a dog to sleep more than normal.
- Kennel cough.
- Heart worm.
- Heart disease.
- Liver disease.
If you suspect that your dog is sleeping too much and are concerned that something is wrong, then it is always best to play safe and visit a vet to have it checked out. That way, you would be nipping the problem in the bud and not letting it continue longer than it needs to.
Also, if your dog is on some sort of medication from the vet, this can have a knock on affect of making it sleep more than normal. Your vet will advise on this and it will be perfectly normal if the medication can cause more drowsiness than normal.
On the flip side, there are some medical conditions that can cause a dog to not get enough sleep. This should be easily noticeable just like your dog sleeping too much.
A good bed for your dog is very important
It is very important for your dog to have a proper bed and blankets to sleep on for the following reasons.
Insulation. The bed will keep your dog off of the floor which can be cold, especially in the winter. Many dogs like to curl up on their bed, which provides warmth, comfort and good health.
Privacy and security. Giving your dog a proper bed, gives your dog a known place which it can call its own. When a dog is sleeping or just on its bed, then you should generally leave them alone, especially if children are around. This allows the dog to have some time to itself, away from everyone else.
Cushioning for joints and bones. As a dog gets older, the comfort of a nice bed will be more important than ever. There are special beds more suited to older dogs for this exact reason.
Increased control over loose hair. A lot of dog breeds will shed a lot of hair. Some more than others. Their bed will be one of the main places where loose hair will collect. So this can make it easier for you to clean it up.
Injury prevention. A dog bed on the floor will stop a dog having to keep jumping up to get to be able to go to sleep. This is very important for small and elderly dogs.
So with all that sleeping which is normal for a dog, who would not want to be a dog? Lets face it, everyone would like to take a quick nap here and there throughout the day. And when people get older, this is what they will tend to do, to recharge their batteries.
So lots of sleeping for a dog is perfectly normal and should not give cause for concern. Unless it is literally sleeping all the time, with no active moments in between.
Us humans have things to do during the day, and this keeps us active and focused on our activities. But lots of domestic dogs, generally do not have a lot to do during the day. We will exercise them and play with them, but apart from that, they generally have a lot of time to themselves. So grabbing a quick nap here and there is perfectly normal for them.