Many dog owners are familiar with this: while you are throwing the household chores, your furry friendlies peacefully in bed and dozes off. Sometimes the impression arises that the dog is just lounging all day. But how long do dogs actually sleep and what is normal? This advisory article provides an overview of the sleep needs of dogs and explains why there are differences from fur nose to fur nose.
Dogs are true adapters. They adjust their daily routine according to their people. If mistress or master is asleep, they too can slumber peacefully. But the four-legged friends also doze off outside of the night’s sleep. They are far more flexible, because they slumber almost everywhere, fall asleep quickly, and are awake and alert again within a very short time. The talent of finding sleep in almost any place and at any time proves to be very practical and is almost enviable.
How many hours of sleep dogs need depends on several factors.
The following figures are guidelines. First of all: If your four-legged friend is usually not a sleepyhead, an illness can be behind an increased need for sleep. In case of doubt, the advice of a veterinarian should be sought.
How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?
The question “How long do dogs sleep?” Is not answered with a single number of hours. There are several criteria that influence the sleeping habits of your four-legged friend.
Growing is exhausting! Puppies and young dogs have an increased need for sleep. Adult dogs are awake more often and bring up the rear among the sleepyheads: their need for sleep is lowest. In older dogs, the need for more rest and sleep returns.
Many dogs were originally bred for a specific purpose. Often the focus was on working with people. Therefore, even nowadays, B. Border Collies, German Shepherds, or Australian Shepherds always want to participate in human life. As a result, they run the risk of suppressing their natural need for relaxation. A Pug, French bulldog, or a Pekingese, on the other hand, usually have no problem finding sufficient rest.
Sick four-legged friends need more sleep in order to protect themselves. This is where your dog owners are in demand: A dog with physical complaints absolutely needs rest. Just like us, humans, dogs also feel an increased urge to sleep after an operation, a cold, or a gastrointestinal infection, for example. Tips on how you can support your darling can be found in the last paragraph.
How Long Do Dogs Sleep?
The fact is: four-legged friends have an increased need for sleep compared to humans. The average length of sleep for adult and healthy dogs is between 12-20 hours. Puppies, sick dogs, and seniors even work up to 22 hours a day. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean deep sleep. You can read in the next paragraph how the many hours can be explained.
How Long Does a Dog Sleep: From Relaxing to Deep Sleep?
What exactly is behind the sleep of your best friend? Dogs by no means need up to 22 hours of deep sleep. The dog’s sleep rhythm is a little different than that of humans. Nevertheless, they too go through a deep sleep phase and dogs also dream. Sleep is divided into two phases:
- light sleep
- deep sleep
Light sleep is easy to spot. Dogs can already recover from a small nap on the floor or cuddling on the lap of their humans. Often the four-legged friends are ready to doze. This can also be interpreted based on your sleeping position.
So-called REM sleep takes place during deep sleep. REM stands for “Rapid Eye Movement”. In this phase, four-legged friends process the events. If dog owners watch their slumbering fur noses, they will recognize flickering eyes under the half-open lids. This is usually accompanied by a twitch of the legs or a whimper. Since the REM phase has a shorter duration compared to humans, the dog compensates for this with increased sleep. Only with sufficient sleep will your four-legged friend feel relaxed and have energy for daily adventures.
What are the Consequences of a Lack of Sleep?
If a four-legged friend hardly comes to rest, this has considerable consequences. The range begins with a slight over-the-top behavior, increases to increased nervousness, and even end in aggressive behavior. However, a lack of sleep in dogs is not only reflected in behavior. In the long term, four-legged friends become more susceptible to physical complaints, and the risk of chronic illness increases.
How Long Do Dogs Sleep? Tips for More Relaxation
The following pieces of advice can help your dog get more sleep:
- Structure: an orderly daily routine brings routine into everyday life and the four-legged friend recognizes by itself when it is time for a nap.
- Low noise level: when the dog lies down to sleep, avoid unnecessary noise.
- Proximity to people: even if dogs need rest, many do not want to relax in isolation in another room, but rather slumber close to their caregiver.
- Comfort: a cozy dog bed in a low-irritant environment promotes restful sleep.
Finally, something about capacity utilization. A healthy mix of physical and mental workload promotes restful sleep. However, you have to pay attention to the balance. Too much of a good thing can lead to the four-legged friend being over-excited and unable to calm down. Pay attention to the right dose of agility, dog dance, and co. If the dog is constantly on the move, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to “shut down”. Too little utilization, however, leads to boredom. The urge to exercise is higher than after a nap. With a healthy average, the four-legged friend has no problems finding restful sleep in his bed.