How Much Sleep do Dogs Need?

Bringing a new fur-baby home means an all-new overwhelming experience. There are so many new activities added to your daily schedule and so many things to think about that you’re bound to miss some of the important ones. Adding to this, you also need to gauge the behavior of your dog to understand his/her personality. 

However, one very important part of bringing a puppy home is establishing a routine. Some dogs are content to snooze for 12 straight hours at night without fussing. While it is convenient for the owners who are not early birds, is it good to let your dog sleep all day long? 

Most of the dog owners who want to establish a schedule for their pet often ask, how much sleep do dogs need?

According to a trainer from Philadelphia, some dogs like to start their day on their own schedule and remain healthy. However, if their behavior changes or there are signs of distress at night, it is a sign to set a routine alarm for them every morning. 

Especially for adult dogs, some of them may face serious health risks if their sleep patterns aren’t scheduled properly. . If they sleep fine on their own then the owners can figure out what works for all. But if you observe any sign of distress, it is time to get back to schedule.

What is a Schedule?

As a universal rule, bigger breeds of dog doze more than the smaller breeds. Also, older dogs tire more easily and sleep to shake off the tiredness. In general, dogs can spend almost half of their day asleep. 30% of that time they are awake but lazy and relaxed, and 20% is spent playing and staying active. 

The primary concern with a dog’s sleep schedule is how frequently and when they need to tend to nature’s call. Sleeping schedules are mostly defined by the bathroom breaks that your dogs need. If this bathroom issue is not addressed, you will often find your dog waking up in the middle of the night. They tend to go elsewhere, relieve themselves, and come back to sleep. 

Moreover, the meal timings of your dog also determines their bathroom schedules. Hence, when you keep a check on their mealtime, you can figure out their bathroom and sleep schedule. 

Different Sleep Patterns

The sleeping pattern of your dog closely resembles your own but is significantly different. Once asleep they take roughly around ten minutes to transition from the slow-wave to Rapid Eye Movement (REM). During this time, their breathing slows, blood pressure lowers, and the heart rate drops. Once they enter the REM phase, their eyeballs start moving under the closed lids and their body may twitch as they dream.

Dogs have an irregular sleep pattern. As a result, they spend only 10% of their nap time in REM. Also, since they can randomly fall asleep, mostly out of boredom, they tend to wake up promptly and jump to alertness. Consequently, they require more hours of total sleep to recompense for their lost REM time.

In contrast, human beings reflect a more typical pattern of staying awake during the day and sleeping through the night. Hence, they spend almost 25% of their sleep time in REM.

However, how much sleep dogs ultimately need depends on the individual breed, personality, and pup in general. Some dogs are laid back and perfectly content with having their basic needs met. Others may require more playtime and outdoor activities to stay happy and healthy. A lot of these things also depend on their age, health, and their lifestyle.  

The Breed Factor

As stated, the amount of sleep your dog needs also depends on their breed. For instance, security dogs, working dogs, dogs assigned for special tasks and so on must stay awake and alert for the most part of the day. They must stay alert to perform the physically and mentally challenging tasks like  pulling sleds, water rescue tasks, and protecting the property. 

On the other hand, dogs who are not trained for such special tasks or have retired from their jobs laze around and sleep most of the day. This is also the case with most old dogs who get easily tired. 

It is also noteworthy that most dogs stick to their sleep schedules. That said, most of these canine animals are insistent to adjust to their sleep schedule, sticking to the routine. Training and proper scheduling is an important part of this intent that is developed over the years among them. 

If the environment is changed for the dogs, or they go somewhere else, it may take a day or a two for them to adjust to their sleep schedule. However, many of them bounce back quickly. They are smart at knowing who is around them and how to adapt to the situation. 

Sketch a Sleep Schedule for Your Puppy

Puppies are a lot like human babies. They have too much energy to play and explore their surroundings until they succumb to exhaustion. Hence, if you see them sleeping around more than 15 hours it should not be surprising. Puppies need at least 18-20 hours of sleep to renew their batteries. 

Moreover, since they are not yet physically capable of too much physical exertion without , they require a proper sleep schedule. If you want to figure out the sleep schedule for your puppy you can consider this schedule. 

For every month of your puppy’s age,  add an extra hour. For instance, if your puppy is six months old, they need to sleep for seven hours before they need some rest. . Eventually, as the puppy grows older, say nine or ten months old, they can go up to 10 to 12 hours without falling asleep. . However, rescued dogs, no matter the age, may also need a structured overnight sleep schedule to get used to the environment and the routine. 

In due course, if you observe that your dog is adjusting nicely to the scheduling without any behavior change, you may relax a bit on the schedule. 

Observe any Health Changes

At the end of the day, dogs love to sleep. The highlight of their day is snoozing. So you have nothing to worry about even if you think your dog will win a medal in snoozing. However, if you establish a good schedule and something changes in your dog’s normal habits, the first thing you should do is book an appointment with your vet. Excessive sleep may signal conditions of canine depression, diabetes, hypothyroidism, or possible loss of hearing. 

It is important to determine whether the change is medical or behavioral. 

Lastly. It is important that you keep in mind that your pet is a living being with emotions and needs. You can schedule and train them for a better, healthy life but you cannot force them into a routine. Most of our canine friends are babies who look up to us to fulfill their basic needs. Food, water, sleep, and activities to keep them energized – all these automatically become a part of our own lives as they live with us. . It is only natural that we adjust to their lifestyles and they adjust to ours! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *