Does Your Dog Sleep Too Much?

german shepherd puppy sleeping on brown wicker basket close up photo
Photo by Lum3n on

It’s a normal part of a dog’s life to sleep at night, and many canines like to get a shut eye during the day as well.

While we have been able to accept that sleeping at night is a normal thing, some dog owners are worried about the way their pet sleeps for long hours during the day.

But why do dogs even spend so much time sleeping anyways?

Why dogs spend so much time asleep?

Per reports from experts at the national sleep foundation, it is very normal for dogs to spend 20% of their day being active, 50% of their day asleep, and 30% resting. This kind of life is very normal for carnivorous animals and even lions spend about 18 hours of everyday resting our sleeping.

Most pet canines will spend lots of hours sleeping when they have no activity to keep them busy. Because these pets have no phones, jobs, or other things to while away time when they are bored, they sleep the time away.

However, the amount of time your dog spends sleeping depends on a variety of factors.

  • Your dog’s age: Older dogs or puppies will likely spend more time resting our sleeping than other dogs will.
  • Your dog’s weight: A sick or overweight dog may also sleep for longer hours than a healthy dog.
  • Your dog’s breed: Some particular breed of dogs are naturally predisposed to sleep and act lazy than other breeds. Someone who has both dogs like an active Boarder collie and a lazy Bernese Mountain Dog can relate to this factors.

But of course several hours of snoozing could mean that something you should worry about is going on with your dog. Many dog age related problems and medical conditions can cause a change in your pet’s Sleep life.

Separation anxiety and stress can also show up in some extra daytime sleeping. In lots of cases a dog that sleeps as long as 12 hours a day may be no cause for concerns.

The 12 hours of sleep could be very normal, but owners should know that it could also be a sign of a problem but it is advisable you consult your vet if you notice anything like this happening with your canine.

Tips on how to make your dog’s day more exciting

Since most dogs do not have school activities or work to keep them busy while your are away from home, it isn’t uncommon for them to feel bored and lonely for long hours everyday.

Pair the long hours dog owners spend at work or away from home with the hours they spend asleep at night and what you have is several hours of lonliness and sleep for your dog. If you feel the dog is probably sleeping it’s life away, then you must consider what other thing it could probably be doing with its time.

One of the best ways to help your dog stay active during the day is to provide it with some puzzle toys. Starting from toys like the very easy rolling of treats inside of a towel or an egg carton to high tech puzzle toys all can help to keep your pet active throughout the day.

You can also check to see if your dog is actively playing with your puzzles or ignoring then when you are away by installing a dog camera in your home.

Mid-day dog walks are also another way to to spice up your canine’s day while you are absent and if you do not think that’s a good idea then you can also consider some long bouts of exercise both in the mornings and evenings.

If you notice that your pet decides to sleep when there are lot of activities it could be engaged in, then you have every cause to bother and visit a vet.

Is my dog sleeping too much? when to seek a vets help

Generally speaking, it is not unusual for dogs to spend several hours sleeping during the day.

With that said, your dog shouldn’t sleep too much especially if it’s not a breed of dog that is known to be very lazy and always looks for the slightest chance to rest or sleep.

There are a couple of tell take signs that your canine is oversleeping. Some of the signs are:

  1. Your dog’s sleep partner must have noticeably changed
  2. Your dog would rather sleep than engage in activities that would normally grab it’s attention and have it running and playing. Disinterest coupled with excessive sleep is bad news for you and deserves a vets immediate attention.
  3. Your dog’s new also routine now interferes with its drinking and eating.
  4. Your dog doesn’t wake up before you or at its Usual time anymore. Worse still, when you try to get your dog to wake up in the morning, it doesn’t show any interest in waking up.
  5. Your dog suddenly falls asleep even when it’s in the middle of playtime. This is called narcolepsy.
  6. Your dog usually wakes up all of a sudden and it’s in a state of stress or fright.
  7. The sudden increase in sleep time is accompanied by several physical symptoms like:
  • An increase or decrease in defecation, urination, or eating.
  • Lameness or limping
  • Unwillingness to play, jump, walk, or run.
  1. If the increase in sleep time is accompanied by some behavioural changes like:
  • A sudden increase in fearfulness and aggression
  • Staring at walls or corners
  • Drooling, unusual pacing, and any other sign of anxiety

Some of the above signs might not be anything to worry about especially if it’s as a result of graceful dog ageing especially if the dog in question has always been on the lazy side.

Nevertheless it isn’t safe to just assume when you can visit a vet and get a confirmation or diagnosis of what exactly is wrong with your canine.

The veterinarian may probably ask you a few questions and run a couple of tests to find out what is wrong with your dog.

Even if you have all the details of your dog’s also life and change in activity documented, it may still be difficult for your vet to pin down the problem.

However that shouldn’t discourage you from trying to get help out find out what the problem is. Drowsy canines may be dealing with hypothyroidism, diabetes, back pain, anxiety, and many other forms of illnesses.

The only way the problem can be pinned down is by getting a thorough workup from the vet. The veterinarian may have to do a blood work and several other tests before he or she finally makes a diagnosis.

Ensure to keep a log of your pet’s Sleep activities and watch out for other symptoms as ask these information will be useful to your vet.

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