One of the most unexpected characteristics of dogs is their ability to sleep. But, on average, how much sleep does a dog get in a day? They can sleep for 12 to 20 hours in many situations, thus they sleep for at least half of their days. This sleep range is fairly broad since several factors influence it, including age, environment, physical activity, and breed.
Taking care of your dog's rest is essential to his physical well-being and mental well-being. It is, as it is for humans, one of the most crucial parts of their well-being. To discover how much a dog sleeps every day, the elements that influence his sleep, and why he is able to sleep so much.
How many hours does a dog sleep a day?
A dog can sleep a minimum of 12–13 hours and a maximum of 20 hours a day. These figures make many people think that they have a very sleepy little furry one, but there are a series of factors that determine the ideal amount of rest for dogs.
It should be noted that, as in humans, dogs have dreams and nightmares and go through identical sleep phases. Some also snore, such as brachycephalic or flat-nosed breeds, which make noises during sleep and even move.
According to age
Age is a very influential factor in a dog's sleep. Depending on how long it has been alive, it will tend to sleep more or less and will need specific hours to rest properly.
- Puppies: If your question is how much puppies sleep, if they are at most 12 weeks old from birth, they are able to sleep for 20 hours a day. It is very healthy for the dog since, in a phase of adaptation to a new environment, if it manages to have so many hours of sleep it will be a sign of acclimatization to its family and home with benefits for memory and learning.
- Adult dogs: If you're wondering how much sleep a 1-year-old dog gets, you should know that dogs over a year old are already considered adults and can sleep up to 13 hours per day, but not consecutively.Generally, they sleep 8 hours at night and the rest during the day, with short restorative naps when coming back from a walk, out of boredom or after playing.
- Senior dogs: dogs older than 7 years are considered "senior" dogs. They can sleep up to 18 hours a day. This sleep is also conditioned by other factors such as health, since if they suffer from any disease they may sleep more (such as arthritis).
To know how much sleep a dog gets per day, you must also take into account the physical characteristics of each dog, as these are decisive in the amount of sleep he needs. On those days with a heavy physical exercise load, he will need more sleep to recover. You will also appreciate that small naps throughout the day will be deeper and longer in time.
Even the visits you receive at home or the trips you take with your dog will influence his rest. Being so sociable and wanting to explore everything, he will make an extra effort to discover new people, places, and environments unknown to him.
Depending on the environment
The environment influences a dog's rest. If, for example, dogs are cold in winter, they tend to be lazier and want to rest more by looking for warm places. They do not feel like going for walks and tend to sleep more.
On the other hand, in summer, the heat can affect them more than it should and disturb their sleeping hours. Being thirstier, you will notice that your little furry one will get up more often during the night to drink water. They will also move around more often to escape the heat and seek cooler areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, under the air conditioner or fan.
According to breed
The breed also determines how many hours a dog sleeps per day. The genetic aspect provides physical characteristics and influences its behavior, requiring specific care, including sleep.
In determining the physical characteristics, the breed of the dog also implies a physical activity to be developed and, consequently, the necessary rest to recover energy.
According to health
Health is another aspect to consider in the hours of sleep a dog requires. In good health, age and physical characteristics, as well as daily exercise, determine a dog's rest, but if he suffers from any disease, he will need more sleep.
Arthritis and other diseases that limit both the physical activity and energy of dogs, influence the hours of sleep of an adult dog, young or old.
Do dogs sleep through the night?
The three stages of sleep in dogs provide insight into how many consecutive hours a dog sleeps at night. The first stage is known as "Slow-wave sleep" and is recognized because it is when breathing begins to slow down and cardiac activity is reduced.
The second stage, REM, is notable for uneven breathing. The eyes may move rapidly, and some dogs growl or cry because they are in deep sleep. And the third phase, known as Wakefulness, takes place every 20 minutes, keeping dogs alert while they are asleep, so they wake up at the slightest movement or noise.
It is this third phase, the waking state, where dogs wake up and cannot sleep all night long, since the REM phase of deep sleep lasts less than the others.
Why do dogs sleep so much
As discussed throughout the article, there are many factors that explain why dogs sleep so much, such as age in puppies and elderly dogs, high physical activity, especially in cold environments, or depending on their health.
But if you are wondering "What if a dog sleeps a lot?", you should know that when they suffer from an illness, are bored or sad, they sleep more than usual. If it is one of these cases and you do not know how to act with your furry friend, go to a veterinarian to find the best solution.
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