How long do dogs sleep? And other dog sleeping questions
All dogs are different, and that includes their sleeping habits too. But how many hours of sleep do dogs really need? Read our guide to dog sleeping behaviours to find out.
How many hours a day do dogs sleep?
If you’re wondering how much sleep your dog needs, then you’re not alone. You may be worried they are sleeping too much, or not enough. As a rough guide, dogs need between 12-14 hours sleep. However, it depends on the breed as to how many hours they usually do sleep for.
It is commonly known that bigger breeds, like Bulldogs, Mastiffs and Greyhounds, are renowned for sleeping more often than medium and small sized dogs. However, that doesn’t mean that smaller breeds don’t need their sleep too. Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos and Chihuahuas are very well known for the amount that they sleep – in some cases up to 18-20 hours per day.
If you’re looking at bringing a new four-legged friend into your life, make sure to do lots of research into their breed and how long they tend to sleep for. This will help you understand their little quirks and routines, and hopefully avoid any concerns (like whether they sleep too much).
Do dogs sleep through the night?
Yes! Dogs can sleep through the night if you train them to. You can teach your dog to sleep through the night by getting them into a good routine. No matter where your dog decides to sleep, whether that’s downstairs or in a crate next to your bed, your dog will learn that when you go to bed, they should too.
By being active with your dog during the day, this should also help them sleep through the night. Take them for walks, do brain training activities, give them plenty of nourishment toys to play with, and feed them as required to help them live a fulfilling life, and sleep better at night-time.
If your dog is still a puppy, don’t worry too much if they are not sleeping through the night. Like human babies, they can wake up in the night wanting comfort or toilet breaks.
What should I do if my dog sleeps all day?
A dog that seems to be sleeping for a lot of the day doesn’t need to be a huge concern, as you will have read above, a dog does sleep a lot more than a human and very much enjoys a nap.
You should also factor in the age of your dog. If your dog is getting a little more elderly, it might be that they want to relax and sleep more than they used to. If they are usually excited for a walk, but are deciding to have a nap instead, it might just be that they are wanting to rest that day.
However, you should always trust your instinct when it comes to your dog’s sleeping behaviours. If you feel like they are sleeping even more than usual, don’t hesitate to contact your vet to see if there is anything wrong with your dog. If too much sleep (or a lack of sleep) is paired with other behaviours such as being off their food or refusing to drink water, you should contact a medical professional, as this could be signs of an illness.
What should I do when my senior dog won’t sleep through the night?
As your dog gets older, they may develop some odd quirks in their daily routine. One of these is restlessness throughout the night.
Old dogs can struggle to sleep through the night due to many disorders, such as:
- Medical problems that cause discomfort like arthritis, urinary tract infections or kidney disease
- Cognitive problems, like cognitive dysfunction which can cause confusion and nightwalking
Go to your vets if you are worried your dog is having problems sleeping at night.
There are lots of things you can do to help your elderly dog sleep through the night, such as providing pain relief if they have disorders like arthritis or changing their diet to one more suited for an elderly dog. Elderly dogs can get a little bit more confused than other dogs, so if there have been any big changes in your life, such as moving to a new home, this could be the cause of your senior dog getting less sleep than usual. Try to keep their space as familiar as possible to avoid stress.
Sleep is a crucial part of a dog’s routine and will contribute to a healthy lifestyle if they sleep the appropriate amount. Read our We Talk Dog blog for more information on how to care for your dog, and make sure they are covered by dog insurance too so you know they are covered if they were to fall ill.
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