Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?


Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

We may be envious of our canine companions' lifestyles. All they seem to do is frolic, dine, and sleep the day away. It may appear puzzling that a dog dedicates a substantial 12-14 hours of their day to slumber, but rest assured, this is entirely normal behavior for our furry friends. In the case of puppies, their need for sleep is even more pronounced, ranging from 18 to 20 hours daily. This extended rest period is crucial for young dogs' mental and physical development. It aids in retaining and comprehending the day's lessons, much like how humans consolidate information during sleep. So, while your dog may come across as lazy to you, they are dynamic, with their brains actively processing information and engaging in rapid eye movement during their slumber.

The amount of sleep your canine companion gets can vary significantly based on a range of factors:

  1. Age plays a significant role, as young puppies and older dogs dedicate more of their day to slumber.
  2. The health of your dog matters as well. Overweight or unwell dogs may find themselves in need of more sleep compared to their healthier counterparts.
  3. Different dog breeds have distinct predispositions when it comes to sleep. For instance, inquire with someone who has cared for a leisurely basset hound and contrast it with a high-energy border collie; you'll notice how certain breeds naturally gravitate towards more extended rest periods.

Ways to Make Your Dog's Day More Exciting

Given that most dogs don't have work or school to occupy their time, they commonly experience boredom when left alone for extended periods during the day. Combining these lengthy solitary hours with the time their human spends sleeping can result in a significant chunk of the day spent snoozing for your furry companion. If you wonder why your dog appears to be dozing the day away, it's worth considering their other engaging activities.

Stimulating Engagement

To ensure your dog remains alert and engaged throughout the day, offering a wide array of captivating toys, games, and activities is essential. For instance, consider incorporating puzzle toys into your pet's daily routine, as they can be an excellent means of keeping your furry friend mentally and physically active. Another fun option is hiding kibble or treats within a towel or an egg carton (although, make sure your dog isn't inclined to consume towels). To keep an eye on your dog's response to these enrichment activities, consider using a dog camera, allowing you to observe whether they enthusiastically engage with the puzzle toys or opt to pass on them.


Another way to add zest to your dog's daily routine is by incorporating midday dog walks and extending exercise sessions in the morning and evening. For some dogs, the lively environment of a doggy daycare can be an absolute delight, offering them the opportunity to frolic and interact with other canine companions throughout the day.

However, if you observe that your dog continues to doze off even when enticing activities are available or if they've lost interest in pastime pursuits they once relished, it might indicate an underlying issue. In such cases, you should consult your veterinarian for the appropriate action.

When to see a veterinarian

Typically, it's normal for your dog to allocate a portion of their day to rest or sleep. However, excessive sleep can indicate an underlying health issue.

Several red flags might suggest that your dog is sleeping more than usual:

  1. Alterations in Sleep Patterns.
  2. Even when enticing activities or stimuli that would typically capture their interest are present, they are slumbering.
  3. Sleep interferes with their eating or drinking habits.
  4. Difficulty in rousing your dog from their slumber.
  5. You display lameness or reluctance to engage in activities like walking, running, or jumping.
  6. Noticeable fluctuations in eating, urination, or defecation patterns.
  7. We are experiencing episodes of vomiting or diarrhea.
  8. Coughing, wheezing, or experiencing breathing difficulties.
  9. Other behavioral problems accompany an increase in sleep.
  10. Signs of disorientation, confusion, wandering at home, or staring at walls or corners.
  11. Heightened aggression or fearfulness.
  12. Restlessness, such as pacing, along with other indications of anxiety.

If you observe any of these signs in your dog, it's essential to consult with your vet promptly to assess and address any potential underlying health concerns.

These indicators may have gradually manifested over time, particularly in older dogs. It is always crucial to bring such changes to your veterinarian's attention, as there may be strategies to enhance your dog's comfort during their golden years.

When you consult your vet regarding these concerns, they will likely pose several inquiries and may recommend various diagnostic tests. Dogs with increased sleep or reluctance to move may have discomfort, such as arthritis or acute injuries. They could also be contending with endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism or diabetes or potentially suffer from other medical conditions encompassing heart disease, neurological issues, or additional health challenges. A comprehensive evaluation by your veterinarian, including a thorough physical examination, blood work, and potentially additional tests, is essential for pinpointing the underlying cause and embarking on restoring your furry companion's well-being.

It's beneficial to keep a record of your dog's sleep patterns along with any accompanying symptoms. Ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight and has ample opportunities for engaging in activities during their alone time. If your dog continues to exhibit an unusual amount of sleep despite these considerations, it is advisable to schedule a visit to the vet for a more in-depth assessment.

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