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Pet Bucket Blog

Is Your Dog Sleeping Too Much?

 by simone on 04 Aug 2014 |
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Everyone appreciates a good night’s sleep or sneaking in a nice, re-energising nap during the day. It’s the same for pooches - although it seems like all they do some days is sleep, and sleep, then sleep some more. So how do we know whether our dogs’ sleeping habits are normal or if they are actually unwell?
Adult dogs will sleep between 12–18 hours each day. Most will average 14 hours including several naps throughout the daytime. Whilst deep REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep typically makes up 20–25 per cent of our total sleep, for adult dogs it’s only 10-12 per cent. Puppies spend more time in the REM stage. REM is the deeper, dream stage of sleep accompanied by movement of the eyes under the lids and sometimes, jerky body movements.
It’s no surprise that the deeper your sleep, the more rested you feel. Even though dogs sleep longer, they are mostly in a lighter stage of sleep and waking frequently.
There are several factors that will influence how much your dog will sleep.
Puppies and older dogs need more sleep. Puppies expend a heap of energy playing and learning and need to recuperate, often sleeping for 18-20 hours each day. For older dogs, everything they do takes more effort than it used to and rest is ismportant for their health.
Large dogs tend to need more sleep than smaller dogs. Generally larger breeds will sleep for between 14 and 18 hours and quite surprisingly, this is why some larger breeds are actually more suited to apartment living than small ones.
Activity level
Active dogs, such as working and service dogs, require less sleep than companion animals that spend most of the time indoors. For pets, sleep can also be the result of boredom.
Dogs are light sleepers and will be affected by noisy environments. Cold or very hot weather, bright light and even being uncomfortable can interrupt their quality of sleep. To us it seems like dogs can sleep anywhere, even on a bed of jagged pebbles – and they probably could – but they’d sleep much better if they had a cosy, padded spot to curl up in.
Low quality food does not provide dogs with the correct nutritional requirements to give them energy they need and is often more difficult for them to digest.
If your dog has had an illness or surgery then lots of rest and sleep are necessary for the recovery process. Some health conditions and medications may also cause your dog to sleep more than usual.
However, if you think your dog is sleeping too much, or their sleeping has increased rapidly for no obvious reason then consult a vet. You should also take careful notice of any changes to their appetite and thirst level, weight, mood, coat and skin condition, eyesight and coordination. Conditions such as rabies, distemper, parvovirus, spotted fever and Lyme disease, canine depression, hypothyroidism, diabetes and cancer will cause your dog to become lethargic but will involve additional symptoms. 


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