A dog’s life has much to be jealous of. Especially the fact that they seem to spend half their day - and the entire night - sleeping. When they’re not sleeping, they’re usually relaxing. You might wonder if these seemingly lazy habits are bad
How much sleep your particular dog needs depends on a few factors. The average adult dog needs 12 to 14 hours of sleep. Puppies can require 18-20 hours as they grow, and older dogs will tire more easily. Larger breeds require more sleep, and working dogs are better at being awake for longer periods of time.
Essentially, pay attention to your dog. If they are acting out, they may need more sleep. Conversely, if they can’t sleep through the night, they might be getting too much during the day.
In humans and dogs alike, sleep happens in cycles. We both enter light sleep for a time before going into rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep. The later cycles of sleep are deeper, making them when we process memories, grow, and recharge. As humans, about 25% of our sleep is spent in REM sleep, but we typically sleep during the night and stay awake all day.
Dogs only spend about 10% of their sleeping time in REM sleep. This is because they doze throughout the day and wake suddenly when something interesting happens. The extra sleep is needed for dogs to get the full amount of REM sleep they need.
With their need for sleep, long naps aren’t usually a concern with dogs. Your dog will likely develop her own sleep patterns and napping times. It is when these patterns change that there might be a health problem.
In general, a sleeping schedule revolves around how often the dog needs a potty break, especially for puppies that can only go a few hours. Alternate sleeping with activity, both mentally and physically challenging. Then provide a quiet place for your dog to nap afterwards if she needs to.
If your dog is having trouble sleeping through the night, increase the activity during the day. If she is hard to control, try scheduling more naps throughout the day. A healthy sleep schedule can help prevent behavioral challenges, eliminate midnight wake ups, and ensure your dog gets the rest she needs.