My own perfect dogs, Drake and Pippa, are currently sleeping next to me as I am typing. Probably out of boredom- but a bloggers gotta do what a bloggers gotta do. Actually, these two would almost certainly be sleeping even if I wasn’t preoccupied with my laptop because dogs like to sleep. But, how much sleep does a dog truly need? This is the question that I’ve had on my brain and the information I’ve found was not surprising, but merely reassuring that my sleepy mutts are in fact- normal and healthy.
Why do dogs sleep so much?
Well, dogs are unlike us humans who stay up all day long (typically) and then, all at once, sleep for an extended stretch of time. Since their sleep schedule is more sporadic, they spend less quality time in deep sleep. As a result, dogs need more time catching z’s in order to tally more of the therapeutic sleep they need.
It’s also important to notice that your dog may not actually be sleeping as much as you think. While you are in your, normal once a day, deep sleep, your dog is probably in and out of sleep constantly and possibly wandering around the house for any number of reasons.
How much sleep do dogs actually need?
So this is the big question at hand! There are actually many different opinions out there, but I’ve gathered that on average, in 24 hours, a dog typically needs between 12-14 hours of sleep. Canines are adjustable sleepers, who do not need a strict and solid schedule to abide by. Dogs can fade in and out of sleep very easily. Hence their immediate alertness when there is a knock on the door… instantly ready to go, no coffee needed.
Older dogs need more sleep just as us humans do as we get older. Suddenly, more frequent cat naps are necessary for them to refuel their playful energy.
Again, just like people, dogs also sleep more when they are young! Beyond their mighty explorations of this brand new world, their little bodies are emitting so much energy and are growing at a rapid rate. A puppy needs a crazy amount of sleep: around 18-20 hours a day… and if you have ever raised a puppy, then you’re probably very happy with these extensive sleeping demands.
Excessive sleeping is a very normal part of your dog’s daily routine so you shouldn’t worry if your pup particularly loves to snooze most of the day. However there are instances where the health of your dog might affect their sleeping habits. The biggest advice I have found to note any cause for concern, would be dramatic changes in your dog’s sleeping habits. If an extremely active dog becomes noticeably less energetic and is sleeping more, or the opposite, I would definitely give your vet a call. Best to be safe when Fido is concerned.
Larger breeds tend to sleep more earning themselves the nickname, mat dogs. In addition, depending on the breed type and what they are actually bred to do, their sleeping schedule may differ. For example- a working dog, say a police canine, will sleep for fewer hours than a normal pup, because aside from the mental alertness their jobs require of them, they have more to do, less down time.
What kind of sleeping cycle do dogs have?
Surprisingly- or rather not, a dogs sleeping cycle is very similar to our own. Proof that yes, a dog CAN in fact, dream! Dogs do enter into the REM (rapid eye movement) cycle of sleep, just like we do. However, since their sleeping schedule is not consistent and varies from day to day, the amount of time they spend in this type of deep sleep is fewer and far between.
Long story short, your dog likes to sleep… a lot! Eat, play, snooze, repeat.