Right now, my chihuahua, Angel, is lying at my feet snoozing away. Later, she’ll wake up, eat, go outside for a bit and play — and then it will be nap time again. What a life, right?
Unlike people, who are usually awake all day, then sleep at night, dogs don’t have a regular sleep regimen. They catch several short naps during the day.
How Long Do Dogs Sleep Per Day?
- Adult dogs sleep 12–14 hours per day on average
- Puppies sleep 18 hours per day or more
—Source: Canine Behavior: Insights and Answers
If your pet sleeps more or less than the average, it’s not necessarily cause for alarm. Every pet is different.
“It depends on so many different factors such as environment, breed, sex and age of the pet,” says Dr. Pierre S. Bichsel, DVM, quoted in a 2005 article.
How much of the day do dogs spend sleeping?
- Around 50% of a dog’s day is sleep
- Approximately 30% of the day is rest (mostly awake but inactive)
- Dogs are active only about 20% of each day
—Source: The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know
Naps During the Day
Time spent napping depends on the dog’s age and personality. Different breeds also seem to have different sleep requirements. Large breeds, such as mastiffs and Saint Bernards, generally spend a lot of time sleeping — up to 18 hours a day.
True, dogs do sleep more than humans, but they don’t sleep as soundly as we do. When they sleep and how much they sleep depends on the level of activity in their lives.
Check out this quick video of a dog “sleep talking”:
When You Should Be Concerned
You should be concerned if your dog’s sleeping habits suddenly change.
These changes may be caused by:
- A low-quality diet — it can slow a dog down because the food does not provide him with the nutrients he needs for energy. Some pet foods contain ingredients that are hard to digest, forcing your pet to spend more energy digesting the food and less energy playing fetch with you.
- Aging — senior dogs sleep more, getting up and moving around more at night and sleeping a longer time during the day.
- Poor health — a heart condition or an underactive thyroid gland are examples. If you have concerns, let your veterinarian examine your pet.
As for puppies, well, they are babies — they are going to sleep a lot. But if you are worried that your pup is sleeping too much, get him checked by a vet, too, to rule out any health problems.
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