How Much Sleep Does Your Dog Need?

  • 04/02/2019
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Just like humans, dogs need sleep. But dogs don't sleep just like humans.

Generally, dogs sleep well. As flexible sleepers, they can adjust their sleep schedule and find the time to get the rest they need. But like humans, dogs can experience sleep problems.

Dog Sleep Needs

Dogs sleep similar to toddlers. They need to sleep about 12 to 14 hours per day. However, not all of that sleep is at night, with dogs napping throughout the day.

Of course, like humans, not all dogs have the same sleep needs. The actual number of hours of sleep your dog needs will vary based on their activity, health, age, and more.

Puppies, like newborn humans, will sleep much more than adult dogs, usually up to 20 hours per day. Senior dogs also have greater sleep needs, as do larger breeds. Working dogs or dogs with active lifestyles may sleep less than breeds known for being sedentary.

Dogs are typically very good at sleeping and can be flexible, catching sleep throughout the day as they need it instead of saving all of their sleep time for the night. Dogs may sleep while you're away at work. And dogs don't need to complete a full sleep cycle to get enough rest, as they are generally lighter sleepers than humans and remain on alert as predators monitoring for potential prey even as they sleep.

There is a thing as too much sleep for dogs, and dogs who sleep excessively or out of their normal routine may be suffering from a health issue. Or, they could just be catching up on extra activity, a change in routine, a change in your family, or other factors that require more sleep. However, it's a good idea to monitor your dog for excessive sleep, as it can indicate a problem.

Supporting Healthy Dog Sleep

  • Give your dog activity during the day. Healthy exercise and activity can help your dog sleep well at night. They need stimulation and physical activity to wear them out during the day so they can rest at night.
  • Maintain good health. Stay on top of regular vet appointments and vaccinations so your dog can stay healthy. Sometimes, illness can interfere with healthy sleep.
  • Make sure your dog has a healthy sleep environment. Dogs can sleep just about anywhere, but that doesn't mean they're getting restful sleep. Dogs need a quiet sleep environment, as they are light sleepers and may wake up to react to even small noises. Give them their own comfortable dog bed so they know they have a private place where they can sleep.
  • Don't bother your dog while sleeping. Letting sleeping dogs lie is a good idea. No one likes to be disturbed while sleeping, and dogs are no exception. Avoid letting children try to play with dogs or otherwise bother them while they're resting.

 Like humans, dogs need plenty of sleep to feel their best. But dogs have different sleep needs, and although they can sleep flexibly, they may need your help to sleep well. Make sure your dog is healthy, has a comfortable and private place to sleep unbothered, and take care of health, activity, and attention needs throughout the day so they can rest well at night.

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