A dog laying on her crate or the floor is a familiar sight. At least once in our lives, we met a dog that seems to sleep most of the day – as if it’s not interested to do anything than snatch those forty winks! These creatures enjoy naps to the fullest.
Why do dogs sleep so much? There are a few more reasons why dogs sleep a lot, other than the fact that they need to rest. Take note of these because some of these can be a cause of concern, especially if you got a dog sleeping so much all of a sudden.
A typical dog spends 12-14 hours a day sleeping. Here are all the reasons why dogs spend half of the day asleep as well as what you can do about it.
Why do dogs sleep so much?
Your dog is naturally born with low-energy
Some breeds of dogs have very low energy that you’ll often see them snoozing. If you got a couch potato, you might want to read up whether it has something to do with the breed. French Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, and Greyhounds are just some of the laziest dogs you will ever meet.
These types of dogs are content lounging and enjoying their nap time. A nice bed mattress will be worth buying because they spend most of their lives sleeping. They would rather sit comfortably on the couch all day long than play outside for hours. But take note that even low-energy dogs need exercise daily. You may want to use treats and toys to encourage your pet to get up and move around.
Your dog might be feeling stressed lately
Like humans, some dogs fall asleep as a response to stress. A dog sleeping so much all of a sudden may be going through an anxious situation. Is there something that might be causing your dog to be stressed or nervous?
If your dog doesn’t look like she’s stressed, your dog might be suffering from extreme boredom. Doggy boredom can be recognized by restless behavior, backyard-digging, and jumping more often.
Young puppies need to sleep a lot, just like human babies. They need enough nap time for proper development. But pups sleeping more than 20 hours should be examined by a vet because it can be a case of extreme lethargy. There are many possible causes to it such as insufficient diet and not having enough body fluids.
How many hours do dogs sleep? The number of hours depends on age and your dog’s lifestyle. Puppies should sleep at least 18 hours per day for proper growth. Just like in humans, the hours of slumber are reduced as they age.
Senior dogs also sleep more than their younger counterparts. As long as the long nap times are not accompanied by other body changes such as appetite loss, it should not be a cause of concern.
Your dog might have sleep apnea
Canine sleep apnea is almost similar to human sleep apnea. You might have heard your dog snore loudly while sleeping and you might think she’s just in a deep sleep. Perhaps she’s just having a good dream. But do dogs dream, anyway?
Yes, dogs dream but the snoring is not a good sign. It can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that often affects dogs with short noses. Obese dogs are more prone to this disorder because their bodies contain more fatty tissues that can block their airways.
Sleep apnea in dogs can be treated naturally when seen early. Diet modification can help an overweight dog sheds the extra pounds. A vet may suggest feeding the dog a low-calorie diet and limited treats. If your dog weighs more than the average weight for her age and size, consider changing her diet and avoid table scraps as much as possible.
In advanced stages, a vet may already suggest surgery to avoid further airway blockage. A smart collar can also be used to diagnose and treat canine sleep apnea. The collar tracks the pet’s breath per minute and sleeping positions.
It can be a symptom of an underlying condition
A dog sleeping so much all of a sudden might be suffering from an illness or disorder. The changes in your pet’s sleeping pattern can also signify changes in her body. For example, a dog with thyroid deficiencies will sleep a lot because the body is already slowing down. Because of the absence of essential hormones, your dog will appear weak most of the time.
Other than thyroid problems, conditions such as cancer and metabolic diseases can cause a dog to sleep a lot. A dog with cancerous tumors is in pain and most cases, our pets cope with pain just by sleeping.
If humans have difficulty sleeping when experiencing pain, it’s the other way around for our fur babies. They might resort to taking naps as a way to heal their bodies. Besides, it’s not easy to move when you’re in pain so you might as well sleep, right?
Why do dogs sleep so much conclusion
Why do dogs sleep so much? The answer depends on their age, lifestyle, and current health conditions. Newborn pups and senior dogs are subject to longer nap times because they need more rest. If you have a puppy or an old dog, it’s wise to invest in a decent bed. For puppies, consider beds that double as a crate. A cuddler is also perfect for young dogs who just got separated from their mothers.
Consider getting help from your vet if your pet sleeps more than usual. Conditions like hypothyroidism cause lethargy or extreme weakness in dogs, causing them to sleep more often than they normally do. Keep an eye for symptoms like thinning of hair and dryness of the skin. These are the common signs of low thyroid in canines.
Knowing how many hours do dogs sleep will give you an idea if your pet’s sleeping habits are normal. Unless she’s a newborn puppy and she does not belong to the low-energy breeds, she does not need to slumber half of the day.