Is my dog sleeping too much?

Is My Dog Sleeping Too Much?

Posted Jun 25, 2018 in Health & Safety

If your dog is like most you probably catch them hitting the snooze button more than a few times a day. And after a while, it may start to strike concern in the state of your furry friend’s health. Most of the time your dog’s much-needed rest should not be alarming. But there are times when there could be some underlining issues associated with your pup’s excessive napping. 

The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep 

Just like for us, sleep is vital to a dog’s overall health. But unlike humans, dogs have a different definition of “enough sleep”. Since they are such light sleepers, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you or the mailman, they need to take more frequent naps throughout the day. Sleeping is also crucial to your pup’s brain development, memory, learning capacity, and immune system. It’s also important because a sleep-deprived pup has an increased risk of infection and is more likely to become aggressive due to an increase in stress.

An Appropriate Amount of Sleep

Since every dog is different, some will need more sleep than others. A general rule to follow is that your four-legged friend should be sleeping around half of the day. So 12-14 hours shouldn’t be seen as unusual. But as mentioned before, dog’s tend to be light sleepers, so they may be spending a lot of time resting but not actively sleeping. Due to the amount of time they do spend snoozing, you want to make sure they have reliable bedding.

The Exception of Puppies 

During the first year of your puppy’s life, they undergo a multitude of changes. Because of this, it is essential that they are receiving quality sleep. In fact, they need around 15-20 hours of it a day. So it should not be seen as a concern if one minute your furry-friend is stampeding around the house and then dozing off the next. 

Understanding Your Dog’s Sleeping Patterns 

It’s difficult to know if Fido is sleeping more than usual if you don’t keep track of their normal sleep schedule. Knowing your dog’s regular sleeping habits can help you determine any changes in their physical or emotional health. A pup who may be suffering from pain or illness will often retire from their usual activities to spend more time resting in their beds.  

What Causes Oversleeping 

It can be hard to tell when your four-legged friend is in pain if they are not visibly or audibly showing signs of distress. An increase in sleep could mean your dog is suffering from low-grade pain such as arthritis. Another cause of their drowsiness could be due to hormonal problems, like under-active thyroid glands. An overweight or obese dog will also spend more time sleeping due to the added weight increasing their exhaustion.  

Dogs usually spend a majority of the day sleeping and that is totally normal. But each dog is unique in their sleeping patterns due to their breed, age, and size. So if you do suspect your dog is acting lethargic and sleeping an unhealthy amount the best thing to do is make an appointment with your vet. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. 

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