Lazy or Tired? Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much

why do dogs sleep so much

If you can see your dog from where you are, take a quick peek at that good puppy dog.  What are they doing?

If you’re not reading this from the comfort of your home, then venture a guess as to what your dog is doing at this very moment.

The safe bet is that he or she is sleeping!

Don’t be alarmed! It is completely normal.

The average dog follows the 50/30/20 rule.  That is to say that, 50% of their day is spent sleeping, 30% of their day is spent just laying around being lazy, and the remaining 20% of their day in some sort energy exerting activity.why dogs sleep so much

But “why does my dog sleep so much,” you ask?  Just know that sleeping for long periods of time is a normal part of your dog’s life cycle.

Additionally, there are many factors that influence how much or how little your dog sleeps.

Factor #1 – Breed of Dog – What Was Your Dog Bred to Do?

All dog breeds were created to meet a need.  Dogs were bred for different reasons, and depending upon what your dog was bred to do will genetically influence the amount of sleep your dog needs.

why does my dog sleep so muchPrior to general domestication, dogs were bred to perform tasks such as herding and hunting.  Those activities required a great amount of focus and would keep a dog’s attention for hours on end.  Hunters and herders would follow more traditional “sleep patterns” in that they would work during the day and sleep at night.

Today, most of our pets don’t work.  As a result, much like humans, when there isn’t much activity in their lives and they just lay around, it’s easy for their eyes to get heavy and a nap just feels good.

Yes, dogs get bored too!

Factor #2 – The Age of Your Dog – Puppies vs. Adults

Surely you have noticed that puppies have much more energy and spend the majority of their awake time exploring, playing and following you around.  Just like toddlers, they are into everything!

Well, just like humans, the more energy they expend, the more quickly they will tucker themselves out. This leads to the need for more frequent naps in order to re-fill those energy tanks for the next go-round of playing and exploring.why dogs sleep so muchJust like children, puppies will experience short bursts of energy that will usually result in them plopping down and falling asleep just about anywhere.

Older, more mature dogs also require a lot of sleep.  Although this may seem counter-intuitive since they do not normally have as much energy as a puppy, as your dog ages, (just like us) life just takes a toll on them.

Activities just simply take more out of them causing them to tire more quickly.

Factor #3 – The Size of Your Dog – Large Dogs vs. Small Dogs

Age and size really kind of go hand-in-hand.  Small dogs typically tend to act like puppies.  They are usually much more energetic and it doesn’t require as much effort or energy for them to move around.

Because of this, they tend to move around a lot more.  So even though your little dog may no longer be a puppy, you may find that they have the same amounts or short bursts of energy followed by a period of sleep.why do dogs sleep so much

Conversely, larger dogs tend to require more sleep.  Because it requires more effort and energy for them to move about, larger dogs tend to sleep just as frequently as smaller dogs.  They aren’t typically as energetic, but the bigger they are, the more energy they expend.  Thus, the more sleep that they will need to recuperate.

Factor #4 – Medical Related Reasons – Health, Injury, and Illness

Much like their humans, dogs will require more sleep when they are hurt or sick.  Oddly enough, as much as our dogs sleep, we tend to notice when they are sleeping more than usual.  We also observe their behavior during the periods when they are awake and can identify when something is wrong.

I know it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway…

If you notice something is off with your dog’s behavior, energy, or sleep patterns, please consult your Vet immediately.

Too much sleep or lethargic movements during waking hours can be an indicator of some health problems such as:

·         Diabetes

·         Infectious Diseases

·         Hypothyroidism

·         Canine Depression

Puppy Dog Sleep Pattern F.A.Q.

Q: How much do dogs sleep?

A: On average, your dog will sleep 12-14 hours out of the day.  Remember the 50/30/20 rule.  50% sleep, 30% lazy lounging, and 20% playful activity.

Q: We recently moved and I noticed my dog has been sleeping more than usual.  Should I be concerned?

A: Yes, and no.  Dogs need time to adjust to new environments just like humans do.  Many Vets also believe that dogs can become depressed like humans do.  A change in the environment such as a move, loss of a companion, and even a break-up between their humans can definitely effect a dog’s mood causing him or her to sleep more.  This is normal, but monitor the behavior.  If the behavior continues for more than a couple of weeks, then consult with your Vet.

Q: Sometimes my dog whimpers, jumps and acts like he is running in his sleep.  Is this normal?

A: Yes, dogs experience sleep patterns and dreams just like we do.  Shortly after falling asleep, your dog will enter into REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), which is the most active stage of sleep.  Your dogs brains are very active during this stage of sleep and eye movement, jumping, barking, whimpering, or leg movement simulating running is very normal.much do dogs sleep


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