When a person looks at their dog it seems like they are always sleeping. It appears that a dog is able to sleep at any time of the day or night. This has people wondering how much sleep do dogs need.
They need more sleep then a person would think. The dog is not sleeping just to be lazy but to get enough rest.
Want to know how many hours do dogs sleep? Scientists have studied the sleeping habit of dogs and determined that they will spend around half of their time sleeping. While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, these tips apply for any breed.
How Many Hours of Sleep Do Dogs Need?
There is a difference between how long do dogs sleep and how many hours of or how much sleep do dogs need. Dog breed and age affect how long dogs sleep; for example, active and working dogs may not need as much sleep due to their genetics historically requiring them to meet physical and mental demand.
A larger breed such as mastiffs and St. Bernard’s seem to nap throughout the day.
Lapdog type breeds, like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, on the other hand, may sleep as much as 50 percent of the day, with 20 percent playing and 30 percent relaxing around the house.
Puppies that use a lot of energy need a lot more sleep. How many hours do puppies sleep? A puppy can sleep anywhere between 18 and 20 hours in a day.
The typical adult dog can spend between 12 and 14 hours a day sleeping. A dog will spend around half of the day sleeping. They will lay around for another 30 percent of the day. They may not be doing anything but saying they are watching what their humans are doing. The dog will spend another 20 percent of the day being active and playing. Dogs do not need a flexible sleep schedule.
Older dogs need to get more rest as well. Senior dogs can sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day. Older dogs may oversleep due to medical conditions like osteoarthritis and hypothyroidism. Some dogs may experience a form of Alzheimer’s called canine cognitive dysfunction. This can have an effect on a dog’s sleeping patterns as well.
They can adapt to sleeping at different times. When the humans are playing or there is someone at the door the dog will want to be awake. When there is nothing going on and the dog is bored they will go to sleep.
How Many Hours a Day Do Dogs Sleep?
Suggested Answer: Dog sleeping patterns are very similar to that humans. There are three phases:
First, dogs go through a slow wave of sleep (also known as SWS phase). During this time, there is a drop in breathing rate, blood pressure, and heart rate. During this period, dogs will be “dozing off”, where mental functions are slowed down while their body is still engaged.
Shortly after, dogs will spend around 10 percent of their sleep times in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During REM, their eyes roll under closed lids, and their bodies make movements in response to their dreams.
Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
Humans and dogs go through the REM phase of sleep, however, humans spend up to 25% of their time sleep in REM, while dogs spend only about 10%, drifting in an out of sessions and having more inconsistent sleep schedules. This is one reason why dogs can sleep longer. They need additional time to feel fully rested.
While many dogs do sleep through the night some like to get up and explore at this time. There is no set time of the day or night when a dog has to sleep.
Dogs remain less in the REM phase because they have inconsistent sleeping schedules. They are quite flexible sleepers. This means that they have the ability to fall asleep due to boredom and wake up easily when there is a reason for it. While humans need a bit of ‘sobering’ after waking up, dogs usually become alert almost instantly.
Farm dogs, police dogs, working dogs, all spend a lot of energy throughout the day, but surprisingly sleep less because they a lot more things to do and be active. Therefore, boredom contributes to frequent sleeping quite a lot.
Why Do Dogs Twitch While Sleeping?
It is common to see dogs twitch, snore, growl, or jerk their feet when sleeping. Like humans, dogs also have dreams. Dog’s body movements during sleep are connected to their acting out their doggy dreams.
It is advisable to leave your dog to dream in peace and only take action if the dog seems distressed. In some cases, dogs may also experience nightmares. As a pet owner, you might consider softly or calmly waking your dog by gently calling their name and not use your hand to wake them to prevent from getting bitten.
Young puppies tend to dream more in their sleep than older dogs.
Dog Sleeping A Lot? When Things Aren’t Normal
While dogs can have a variety in their sleeping times there are some things that a person should take notice of. If there is a drastic change in the sleeping schedule, for example, is an active dog is sleeping too much or a tired dog is suddenly awake most of the time this can be a sign that something may be wrong.
A person should contact the vet to check the dog for some health issues. A change in the diet can be responsible for the changes in sleeping. A dog may be experiencing a medical condition that may need treating and changes in sleep patterns can be a sign that something needs to be done.
Aging or poor health can also affect sleeping cycles of some dogs.
Sudden changes in accommodations like moving or changing families can also have an effect on dogs sleeping patterns.
Dogs do need a lot of sleep and they will spend most of their time sleeping. A dog needs sleep so they can have the energy to play and to interact with their humans.
Important Tips for Managing Sleep
Exercise is important for helping to manage sleep. Exercise helps to ensure a well-balanced lifestyle and helps to regulate burning off extra energy and promote healthy sleep patterns.
Sleep is also important for effective training. Dogs who get sleep after training have been shown to improve memory and remember lessons learned.
As your dog will be sleeping most of his life, one thing that you can do to make sure your dog gets enough and comfortable sleep are to buy him a good Orthopedic Dog Bed.
A good quality dog bed will ensure your dog is insulated from the weather and will also take care of his tired bones and muscles. This is the least you can do to take care of your hairy friend.
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