How Much Do Dogs Sleep


How Much Do Dogs Sleep?

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on April 10, 2015.

Does it appear that your dog sleeps all day and night, barely waking for food and a potty break? When do dogs sleep you ask, as your dog’s appears to sleep all night and nap all day?

Keep reading to learn about dog sleeping habits and find the answer to your question “How Much Do Dogs Sleep?”

Dogs sleep very differently to people and not just in the way they physically sprawl out. Their frequency and duration elements are very different so let’s look at these in detail.

How Much Sleep Do Dogs Sleep a Day?

How much do dogs sleep on average? The short version is “it depends.” People have a general pattern of being awake for 10-12 hours and then sleep for 8+ hours during the night. Dogs don’t have a standard routine of sleep.

How Long Do Dogs Sleep?

How much do dogs sleep in 24 hours? They nap numerous times through the day. Your dog will wake up anytime food is available, and this includes snacks and treats as well as his main meal.

He’ll wake up to go for a walk, to bark at people at the door, to scare the postman, and so the list goes on, and then he’ll inevitably have another nap.

How Dogs Sleep?

Research suggests that when a dog sleeps, as little as 10% is spent in REM sleep. This is the active period when he also dreams.

People spend 20-25% of their sleep time in REM sleep. The reason for the big difference is that dogs sleep in shorter bursts so there’s less chance of them achieving REM sleep.

How Much Do Dogs Sleep
How Much Do Dogs Sleep

Dogs don’t need the same amount of deep sleep that people do. This means they need to nap more often to ensure they have sufficient rest.

How Much Do Dogs Sleep In a Day?

What time do dogs sleep? If you add it all together, a dog can sleep anywhere between 12 and 18 hours each day.

The range is big because certain elements will affect how much sleep they get and at what end of the range they’ll generally be in.

These elements include:

Is it Normal For Puppies to Sleep a Lot? How Much Do Puppies Sleep?

Why puppies sleep more than adult dogs. Puppies sleep a lot, as they have shorter battery lives and when they’re awake, they run around a lot and literally end up exhausted so they need to sleep to recharge themselves. Quality sleep time for puppies is necessary for the pup’s development and growth.

How Many Hours Per Day Do Puppies Sleep?

Puppies are babies and babies require lots of sleep. Puppies generally require 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day. Puppies sleep a lot and play a lot.

How Much Do Adult Dogs Sleep?

How much do older dogs sleep? Do old dogs sleep a lot? Senior dogs also sleep more. Because they’re older, they need extra energy to do the things that they could easily do when they were younger. As with puppies, they have to recharge more frequently.

Level of Dog’s Activity

Very active dog breeds don’t sleep as much as low active dog breeds. One reason is that they have extra energy and are more active for a larger part of the day than the dogs who lead lazy, sedentary lifestyles. Working dogs, such as search and rescue, police and service dogs, work for a large part of each day and sleep less.

Companion dogs and dogs that are home on their own for most of the day may sleep more often because they’re bored. If this is your dog, learn how to keep him mentally and physically active.

Dog’s Diet

If your dog’s diet is lacking in quality, it will slow him down in two ways. Firstly, he doesn’t receive enough nutrients to make him energised so he becomes quite lethargic. Secondly, low quality food has fillers and some hard to digest ingredients.

Compare this to yourself after a big meal. You feel like a nap because your body is pushing extra energy into your digestive system because of the additional workload.

Your dog’s systems have to focus on digesting the tough foods and that leaves less energy for playtime. It’s crucial to learn about what goes into the food you choose for your dog.

Larger breeds Sleep More Than Smaller Dog Breeds

For example, Newfoundlands and St. Bernards will sleep up to 18 hours per day. These dogs are great for apartments because their energy is low and they can live in the smaller spaces, providing you walk them regularly.

How Much Should Dogs Sleep?

Learn how much sleep is regarded as normal for your particular dog. Then you’ll notice if your dog just wants to sleep too much or your dog is sleeping more than normal and can work out what is wrong. It may be a dietary change, lack of exercise, sickness or something else. If necessary, contact your vet for advice or an examination of your dog.

It’s a good idea to get a sense for how much sleep is normal for your dog. Then if you notice a sudden change in dog sleeping habits, you’ll know something is going on. A change in dog daily sleep may be as a result of a food alteration, needing more exercise, a change in life cycle, or something wrong internally.

If you notice a sudden change, take a look at what may be causing it and call your vet if needed. Research reveals that dogs sleep a bit like people do, with the same cycles, and this includes a certain amount of REM sleep.

How we know this, is due to the fact that that research has been done to compare a human’s sleeping brainwaves and a dog’s sleeping brainwaves. So we can assume that dogs do dream.

What Sort Of Dreams Do Dogs Have?

What Are Their Dreams About?

It’s hard to know what dogs actually dream about because you can’t ask them to tell you. People sometimes think about dreams when they’re awake. So it’s natural to think that dogs can also dream about the things that happen to them.

Watch Your Dog Sleep

Do you ever watch or listen to your dog while he’s asleep? His whimpers might be sounds of him barking at the postman. When his paws twitch, he may be dreaming of happily roaming through the local park. Even though the body is semi-paralysed while he sleeps, you can see small indicators of what he may be dreaming about.

Modern research supports this theory. An article in Psychology Today tells of research conducted with rats to work out what occurred when they were sleeping. They ran in mazes during their waking hours, while monitors measured the activities in their brain while in the different sections.

While they slept, their brains were also monitored and the results were exactly the same as when they were running in the mazes when they were awake.

This proved that the rats were reliving their daytime activities while they were asleep. Dogs have a higher level of brain function than the rats have. Therefore, it’s very likely that if the rats have the capacity to dream about their daily lives during dreams, then they dogs could as well.

Can Dogs have Nightmares?

You can’t know for certain if your dog has night mares. However, it’s logical to assume that if he experiences a stressful event during the day, that stress and fear can easily continue into the dreams. If you believe your dog is experiencing a nightmare, don’t wake him up. Dreams occur during the deep REM cycle, the same cycle that enables you to rest the most.

If you wake your dog while this is happening, you’ll disturb his rest and hell most likely be confused as well. If he has ongoing nightmares, use Rescue Remedy or something similar to ease his anxieties and stress.

If you believe your dog has vivid dreams, you’re most likely correct. Dogs do have dreams and it’s probably about their daytime activities. When you see your dog having a dream, think about what he may have experienced during that day to learn what his dreams might be about.

Final Thoughts on How Much Should Dogs Sleep?

So the answer to how much sleep a dog will get varies enormously according to size, age, diet and exercise regime, but it will usually be 12-18 hours per day.

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  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page

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