Dogs sleep averagely for twelve to fourteen hours in a day. If you have noticed, you must be asking yourself the same question over and over. We have conducted some research into this interesting matter, and we have some amazing ideas to share with you.
It is normally your dog who wakes you up in the morning, right? However, when you come out of the shower you are most likely to find him or her fast asleep, yet again. And you are left with one question, “Why is my dog sleeping too much?”
Animal experts suggest that dogs do usually sleep for 50% during the day. They would rest comfortably for 30% of the day, and be energetic for 20% of the day. On the other hand, puppies may sleep longer than grownups while grooming.
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Table of Contents
Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much
According to research, a dog’s sleep begins with a quiet sleep, then active sleep, followed by a spontaneous arousal and five minutes of waking time. Quiet sleep involves a dog lying still, except for breathing with the eye closed.
Active sleep consists of a dog lying with its head down and its neck muscles relaxed. However, the eyes may show rapid movement. You may also observe irregular movements of the muzzle, tongue, tail, ear, legs, or paws.
The dog may vocalize by barking, yelping, and whining. During active sleep, your dog will normally lie down on its side. It will finish the active sleeping by impulsively awakening either by straightening all four legs or by raising its head and watching about and followed by an audible sigh.
The sleep patterns of working dogs appear largely the same regardless of whether they are working at night or during the day. Basically, dogs are more likely to sleep during the day, but maybe more active at night when on active duty.
The following reasons will help you understand man’s best friend long sleeping habits.
Nothing to do
What would you do if you had absolutely nothing to do during your off day? Would you not sleep? Well, that is the feeling. The biggest reason why most healthy dogs would choose to sleep extensively is lack of something to do.
A greater percentage of dogs would settle for playing with their masters. If you were a dog, what would you do if your master chooses to chain you on your spot or leave you all by yourself at home and leave for the day. Would you not sleep?
Not doing anything, such as obeying commands, running here and there, and so on is exhausting and boring. And that is probably why dogs choose to sleep for many hours during the course of the day.
Age of the dog
A dog’s age affects its sleep. Normally, puppies and older dogs are known to sleep more than the middle-aged. Puppies do spend most of their day playing and growing. So, sleeping comes naturally to them, and they may sleep for approximately eighteen to twenty hours.
Senior or older dogs also sleep for longer hours when they have nothing to do. For larger breeds, a dog is considered as a senior when it is about six or seven years old. For smaller breeds, a dog is regarded a senior at ten or eleven years of age.
Irrespective of when your hound is considered a senior, you will surely see the changes brought about by aging. It may stop responding to commands as usual. For instance, your dog may not stand up quickly to respond to a command.
Other facets of your dog that may be hindered by aging are declined hearing and gray muzzle. However, your dog may not be sleeping all that time. It may just be resting at times with the eyes closed.
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Your dog’s breed
You are most likely to experience normal sleeping patterns with natural dog breeds. However, you should expect some differences with breed dogs. Large breeds such as Great Pyrenees, St. Bernard, Mastiffs, and Newfoundlands do usually require more sleep.
Technically, the amount of sleep a dog would require may depend on what the dog breed was intended to do. Working dogs would rarely sleep during active hours. But dogs that are not trained to do anything are prone to sleep for many hours.
Dogs show some of the same symptoms people do when they are sick, including runny waste, running nose, general slowness, and sleeping. So, the long sleeping hours may not be a normal behavior. You are advised to be taking your hound to the vet regularly.
Your dog requires annual checkups and visits to stay on a vet’s vaccination program. A dog cannot tell you when it feels sick, but its behavior can tell if you are paying attention. Make sure you know your hound’s routine.
Dogs tend to get intimate with their environment. Therefore, relocation can be a significant factor in their lives. They react to environment and people around them. Changing the environment for a dog may affect its mood or behavior.
The whole relocation thing can be very stressful for your hound, and it may take time for it to embrace the new people and environment. It may express all the stressful events in its life through increased hours of sleeping. So, there is no cause for alarm, not unless you are sure it is sick.
Like us, dogs get depressed. Losing someone or companionship can greatly affect a dog’s life. It cannot comprehend where the person it loves has gone. Generally, new people, animals, and environment can make a dog feel blue. It may think that it is no longer the center of everything.
A depressed dog may sleep more than normal. It may eat all the time, become fastidious or even refuse to eat altogether. It is more likely to act lethargic, and may retreat from everyone and everything and hide in the basement to sleep.
Heavy sleeping along with depressed feelings come naturally for a dog as it is for a human, but they can lead to health problems. Therefore, do well to help your dog live through the depression and not just assume it is the usual doggy sleep.
Diabetes is one of the major causes of lethargy in dogs. Therefore, you may see your dog sleeping too much and assume that is normal. Well, it might be normal, but is always advisable to make close observations.
Sluggishness or excessive sleeping may be an indication of other diseases. You need to become a good observer of your dog’s lifestyle and activities. This will allow you to accurately report information to your pet’s veterinarian.
Diabetes is more common in older and middle age dogs, particularly if they are overheavy. High carb diets, as well as lack of exercise, contribute to the development of diabetes. High-fat diets and lack of exercise can also increase weight gain and lead to diabetes.
Specific breeds are known to be more vulnerable to diabetes, but the risk factors for this increased susceptibility are not understood. We hope you know the risk factors that are associated with your dog’s breed.
The major symptoms you should look out for when your dog sleeps excessively are:
- Lethargy or weakness
- Lack of responsiveness
- Disorientation and staggering
Diabetes can be regulated in most affected dogs. Your pet may have ups and downs and it may require intensive care. We urge you not to feel overwhelmed the first time you notice the changes. Your diabetic partner can live long and happy, you just have to get it to a vet in time.
Regardless of the fact that a diabetic dog always needs to be under the care of a vet, it is fairly easy to control the symptoms by giving administering insulin shots twice a day. You can also improve your pet’s blood sugar balance by giving it high fiber foods.
What If None of the Aforementioned Reasons Apply to My Dog
It is rare, but you may observe a condition with your dog’s excessive sleeping behavior that is not associated with any of the abovementioned reasons. The first thing to do is avoid panicking, it may be nothing, you never know.
You should instinctively take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup. This should particularly be the move to take, if you do not know the symptoms of Lyme disease, hypothyroidism, and diabetes. Most of the medically related issues may be fatal.
Not unless your dog is sick, you should try as much as possible to make its sleep comfortable by giving it a comfy place to rest. Some experts recommend getting your dog an orthopedic bed made with egg-crate foam.
It is okay to worry about your pet’s excessive sleep, but do not be jealous to the extent that you disturb its sleep. It is your best friend and it’s no secret that you want the best for it. All you have to do is ensure it is healthy by visiting a vet regularly.