How much a dog sleeps according to size, age and breed
How many hours does a dog sleep? Are you worried they are sleeping too much? We will answer these questions according to the dog you have. Stick around to find out.
Just like humans need to sleep, dogs do too. But, while it is recommended that people sleep between 7 and 8 hours per night to enjoy good health and for the brain to work correctly, the situation is slightly different with dogs. Therefore, how much does a dog sleep? It depends on several factors.
The first thing we need to know to be able find out how many hours a dog sleeps is to start from the fact that animals don’t share the same sleep patterns as us. Dogs spend half of their time sleeping, in other words, 12 hours on average! It is also worth mentioning that dogs’ sleep states are divided between the sleepy state (when they are very tired), slow wave sleep (when their breathing slows and their heart activity reduces) and the REM phase, or deep sleep, (which is notable because of the involuntary movements of the limbs and a more irregular breathing pattern).
In terms of how many hours a small breed of dog sleeps, there are apparently not many guidelines about sizes of dogs and their relationship with sleep. Indeed, it is true that dogs that do more physical activity during the day, that are more active (like the Border Collie, German Shepherd or Golden Retriever), spend more time sleeping, as they need to recharge their batteries. If, on the other hand, the dog has a slightly more sedentary life, they may not need to lie down in their bed to rest for as long (or, if they do, it is more due to boredom than tiredness).
Even so, some breeds are considered particularly sleepy, such as the Basset Hound (which can sleep for up to 20 hours), Mastiff (around 18 hours), Saint Bernard (also 18 hours) or Pug and Chow-Chow (which sleep for an average of 14 hours).
How many hours should an adult dog sleep for?
Age is one of the factors that has the most influence on the hours a dog sleeps for. To find out how much a puppy sleeps, we should take into account that they may need around 18 or 20 hours of sleep. But rest reassured, sleep has a very positive influence on their development, physically and mentally, so there is no need to worry. It is normal for a puppy to sleep a lot, so aim for this to be the case so he/she can grow to be healthy and strong.
On the other hand, and in terms of how many hours an adult dog sleeps for, you should know that 12-13 hours is normal, as we mentioned at the start. Specifically, it is most common for dogs to sleep for around 9 hours at night and the other 3 or 4 spread throughout the day in the form of small naps or siestas. As the dog gets older, they will spend more time resting and will do so more continuously (in other words, without so many interruptions).
Bearing all of this in mind will help you to know whether your dog is getting the rest he/she needs and, if not, get a professional’s opinion and check what might be happening. Drastic changes in sleep routine can be related to potential medical conditions. There is no doubt whatsoever that sleeping is necessary to look after our health and also the health of our four-legged friends.