Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Sleeping dog
NY Longbow / Flickr

Look at your beloved pet dog. What is he doing right now? Probably sleeping, isn’t it? Dogs usually sleep a lot. Have you ever thought about why? They even snooze and sprawl out anywhere anytime in a day.

Well, it’s normal. If you are an extremely busy dog owner and spend most of the time outside your home, then you should know that they sleep even more when you are not around. We usually wonder how a dog even sleeps during the day time! Let’s find out.

How Much Time Does a Dog Invest in Sleeping?

Yes, indeed, dogs usually spent a lot of time sleeping, but the amount totally depends on their age. On average, they spend half of their time in a day that is nearly 12 to 14 hours sleeping while puppies even spend more time.

You will be assured to know that most puppies spend up to 20 hours a day for sleeping. That’s because it’s their grown-up time. It totally depends on each breed and its characteristics. Large dogs usually spend up to 18 hours, even when they are not aged. On the other hand, active doggies spend less time sleeping than other dogs.

It also depends on their sleeping patterns.

Check Out the Sleeping Patterns of Dogs

You will find significant similarities in a dog’s sleeping patterns and human’s sleeping patterns. That’s because both of them are mammals with some sharp differences. Humans usually spend 8 hours sleeping at night. But previously, when this modern society did not come into existence, humans woke up after spending a few hours and again used to sleep for a few hours. This was their sleeping pattern.

Sleeping dog
Russiansilver / Flickr

Dogs still follow this schedule of sleeping. They usually have short wave sleep, which is also known as SWS. You may notice rapid eye movement or REM, just like we humans in them.

Humans usually take hours to reach REM from SWS, while dogs can have REM sleep within just 20 minutes. Have you ever seen your dog whimpering or making noises or twitching while sleeping? Sometimes you will feel like he is chasing someone. All these are included in their sleeping pattern. So never get worried about these things.

Yes! A dog sleeps a lot, but they don’t take a long time to sleep. If you notice their sleeping pattern, you will find multiple shot times sleeps throughout the day. That is why these animals also wake up easily. When you are enjoying your deep sleep, they can start barking after hearing a small noise.

When Should You Look for Help?

Naturally, dogs spend most of their time sleeping and resting. But too much sleep can indicate some health problems as well. Now the question is, how can you identify they are sleeping too much? Let’s find out.

  • If your dog’s sleeping pattern changes suddenly, then it’s time to take extra care of him.
  • Let’s assume a situation. A particular thing grabs your pet’s attention instantly all the time. But all of a sudden, he is not even paying attention to that thing because he wants to sleep. You should find out what’s happening in this situation. Why is he sleeping when he can pay his attention to something better?
  • If your dog is not interested in drinking or eating anymore just to sleep, then you should concentrate on this sign.
  • If your beloved dog falls asleep suddenly in the middle of his play, then again, you have to take care of him.
  • Dogs usually wake up in the morning early. If he is facing trouble waking up even in the morning, this can also be a sign of minor health problems.
  • Excessive stress can also affect a dog. Yes, you heard it right!
  • Excessive sleep can also come with different symptoms like unwillingness to jump work or play, a decrease or increase in urination, excessive eating or unwillingness to eat and lameness.
  • Some behavioral changes can also be found, like staring at walls, drooling, increasing aggression, and sometimes excessive fear.

Some of these signs can really be a sign of worry. But sometimes these are just the lazy sides of your dog, and he is aging with grace. But you can always get the help of a vet.

Caroline Adolfsson / Flickr

Your preferred vet may give you some tests after asking a few questions. That’s because even if you have all the details and symptoms of your dog’s sleep, it will be tricky to nail down the real problem.

But don’t think twice before getting the help of a vet. Keep in mind that drowsiness can be the result of back pain, anxiety, hypothyroidism, diabetes or other serious problems. How can you be sure about the problem if you don’t run the tests suggested by the vet?

So always keep track of his symptoms and sleeping patterns. A healthy weight is also necessary for a dog, just like humans.


Older dogs usually sleep more just because they are aging. So if he is older than seven years, then it’s natural to sleep more. It happens because of arthritis, excessive tiredness, or slower metabolism. A healthy dog usually needs 12 hours to 14 hours of sleep, just like a cat. So you don’t have to take tension unless you notice a significant change in his sleeping habits. Then it can be related to a particular medical condition.

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