Dog Health

How Much Should Dogs Sleep?

September 13, 2022

Have you ever wondered how much time your dog should spend sleeping?  Lately, my younger dog Fenrir has been waking me up early.  I have to admit I’ve felt a bit jealous when, after forcing me to get up earlier than I’d like, Fen saunters off and goes back to bed!  Both of my dogs, although they’re a bit older now, are high energy breeds.  I spend as much time as I’m able to, during the day, working on their training or spending time exercising them outside.  I am lucky to be able to work from home, so I can spend more time with my dogs than your average person.  Most people work full time, and assume that their dogs spend most of their day sleeping.  But do they, really?

How much, on average, should dogs sleep per day?

On average, healthy adult dogs will sleep anywhere between 12 to 18 hours a day.  Older dogs, larger dogs, and growing puppies generally spend more time sleeping.  High energy breeds, adult small breed dogs, and working dogs usually spend less of their time sleeping.  Much like humans, how much sleep a dog needs a day can be a very individual thing. 

dogs sleepNaps are Normal!

Most dogs, as they adapt to our schedules, will sleep through the night.  It’s normal for dogs to nap when they’re bored, which is probably why it’s so common for dogs to sleep the day away while their owners are at work.  It’s also normal for dogs to take a series of short naps throughout the day, normally when things are quite and calm, and to stay awake when things are a bit more interesting.

Keep Track of Your Dogs’ Sleep Schedule

While sleeping a lot can be normal for dogs, owners should watch out for dramatic changes to their pet’s sleep cycles, or lethargy.  Sometimes sleeping too much, especially when paired with general lethargy, can be a sign of something more serious, such as illness or a poor diet.  Learn to recognize you’re pet’s regular sleeping pattern so that you can easily detect when something is amiss.  Sleeping more as they reach their senior years is normal for most dogs.  However, this progression is usually a gradual thing.  If your dog, all of a sudden, spends a lot more time sleeping then a trip to your vet for a checkup is recommended.

Sound off in the comments!  How much time a day does your dog spend sleeping?

dogs sleep

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