How Many Hours Do Dogs Sleep A Day?
Everyone has watched their dog sleep and wondered why does my dog sleep so much. While sleeping a lot is very normal for dogs when is it considered excessive. This article covers how long your dog sleeps and what factors contribute to the long hours asleep.
What factors contribute to the duration of sleep?
There are many different factors that go into how long your dog sleeps. Age, breed, size, and health all come into play when trying to see how much sleep your dog needs.
Just like with people younger and older animals will sleep more than middle-aged animals. Most a puppies days are spent either sleeping or in constant play. It can be normal for puppies to sleep up to 20 hours a day. This is because they burn a lot of calories during playtime and with still developing bodies the energy is also used to help them grow. So there is a lot of replenishing that needs to take place in order for the puppy to function at optimal levels.
Older dogs will take long naps followed by periods of slowly moving around the house, then another nap. Older dogs will slow down with age but there may be a medical reason why your older dog suddenly sleeps more. If you notice your dog is now suddenly sleeping more, see your local veterinarian for a complete examination.
It is always recommended to have at least yearly check-ups done for your pets, but suddenly when behavioral changes occur like sleeping much more than usual they should be addressed immediately. Sometimes if something is wrong the veterinarian may be able to prescribe medicine to get your pup feeling energized and more active.
Many breeds love to sleep all day and often very large breed dogs such as Mastiffs and St. Bernard’s tend to sleep a lot more than other breeds of dogs. This is likely due to their massive size. Mastiffs and St. Bernard's can weigh in excess of 200+ pounds. To put it quite bluntly it takes a lot of fuel to move that size of the body. So proper diet and plenty of sleep are needed to maintain energy levels.
Larger dogs seem to sleep more than little dogs. Smaller dogs may sleep less but they are also less active and spend a lot of their away time just relaxing around the house. Even for a small dog that is very active they still do not burn near the calories or need the amount of energy it takes to move a Mastiff around. So they tend to not have to sleep as much.
If your pet is sick rest is very crucial to their recovery. Your dog needs to be able to sleep a lot when they are recovering from an illness. During sleep, your dog's immune system can use precious energy to fight off illness or disease rather than divert energy to moving around or playing. Which also is a way to recognize that your pet may not be feeling good.