If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ve observed your pooch’s adorable sleeping positions. After all, they spend a lot of time asleep. In addition to dozing off with you overnight, most dogs take frequent naps during the day. After yet another snooze, you may wonder, “Wait, how many hours do dogs sleep?”
The simple answer is that dogs sleep 12 to 14 hours per day on average. According to Dr. Jonathan Roberts, BVSC, roughly 75% of a dog’s sleep occurs during the night while the remainder happens during the day. However, each pup’s patterns may vary.
From age to exercise, there are a range of factors that require some dogs to have different sleeping needs than others. Keep reading to find out how much sleep veterinarians recommend for all kinds of dogs, as well as tips for keeping your canine well-rested.
When it comes to sleep, your dog’s age is one of the most important factors affecting their naptime needs. To make sure your dog is getting proper rest, read through the following veterinarian-recommended sleeping habits for dogs at every stage.
Your dog will need the most sleep as a puppy, which is usually the first six to 12 months of their life. According to Dr. Brian Evans, DVM, puppies need around 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day for proper development. In fact, studies show that sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your pup’s health.
During this period, Dr. Corinne Wigfall, BVM, BVS, recommends that puppies nap in a crate or kennel in order to establish healthy sleeping patterns. Since your puppy is still potty-training, a crate also saves you from having to get pee out of your mattress.
Once your dog is between one and five years old, they’ll start sleeping a little less than when they were a puppy. Dr. Evans advises that adult dogs get eight to 14 hours of sleep per day to be their happiest, healthiest selves.
When your adult dog outgrows their crate, you may also want to get them a cozy dog bed so they get in the habit of napping in their own nook. The separate space helps you avoid bedroom allergies that are often worsened by pet dander, while providing extra room for you to sprawl on your own comfy mattress.
Dogs start to need more rest between the ages of five and 10 years old. According to Dr. Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM, senior dogs sleep between 18 to 20 hours per day, much like they did as a puppy.
If you see your older pooch napping for most of the day, it’s probably not a cause for concern. Just like older humans, older dogs often don’t have as much energy and need to catch some extra Z’s to stay healthy.
A range of factors including age, breed, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, exercise, surroundings, and health can affect your dog’s sleep. Learn all the elements contributing to your pooch’s unique resting habits below.
As discussed above, age is one of the biggest determining factors for a dog’s sleeping needs. Puppies and senior dogs require the most sleep, resting for 18 to 20 hours per day. Meanwhile, adult dogs only need to sleep for eight to 14 hours each day.
In addition to age, continue reading the other factors that influence a dog’s sleep patterns.
Some dog breeds need more sleep than others. Dr. Phillips recommends that large dog breeds like mastiffs and Great Danes sleep more than their smaller counterparts. While giant breeds may need up to 18 hours of shut-eye per day, toy or small dogs need 14 to 16 hours a day and medium-sized pups need just 10 to 14 hours of sleep.
In addition to size alone, Dr. Evans explains that home or sled breeds like huskies may prioritize sleep less than others, since they’re bred for important tasks like protecting people and property.
Dogs tend to take shorter naps instead of resting for consecutive hours, which means they don’t get as much deep sleep as humans do. The lower amount of deep sleep means they also get fewer hours in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage, making dogs light sleepers.
According to a study, the number of REM and non-REM sleep stages affects an individual dog’s sleep behavior. Without as much REM sleep, your pooch will need to take frequent rests but will be able to quickly become alert right after naptime.
Each dog’s activity level also affects their sleeping patterns. According to Dr. Pedro M. Aponte, DVM, Ph.D., dogs that don’t get enough activity during the day may have extra energy at bedtime and find it difficult to wind down for bed.
Meanwhile, high-energy dogs like Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Boxers can be very active during awake hours. However, once it’s time to snooze, they’re out like a light.
Your dog’s surroundings also have an impact on their sleeping habits. Dr. Wigfall explains that a new partner, family member, pet, or living situation can disturb your pooch’s usual naptime routine.
In addition, loud noise from a party or fireworks can give your dog stress and anxiety, which makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep. Fortunately, some time after the fireworks show ends or a new partner moves in, your pup should be able to return to their healthy sleep schedule.
According to Dr. Wigfall, your dog’s underlying health issues may also be disrupting their sleep pattern. For example, a metabolic or urinary disease requires frequent urination, which makes it difficult for dogs to sleep for longer stretches of time.
In addition, health-related issues in their joints, skin, or heart can result in pain, itching, or coughing that affect your dog’s ability to have normal sleep. Sleep apnea resulting from brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome can also cause interruptions during your dog’s sleeping hours.
If you notice your dog is sleeping too much or too little, there are several steps you can take to improve their sleeping habits. Dr. Aponte suggests adding the following to your dog’s routine:
For dogs whose sleep is disturbed by bathroom breaks, Dr. Roberts recommends taking your pup out to do its business before bed. With these simple fixes, your dog’s sleeping patterns should get back on track.
Although certain canine sleep troubles can be solved with easy steps, others may point to something more serious. According to expert tips from veterinarians, it may be a good idea to go to the vet if your dog is sleeping way more or less than the recommended hours.
In addition, if your dog deviates from their normal sleeping pattern or drastically changes their sleeping habits in a short period of time, it’s a good idea to consult a professional.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.
Now you know how many hours dogs sleep, but you may still have some unaddressed questions about their naptime habits. Here are the answers to the most common curiosities and concerns about dog sleep:
On average, dogs sleep 12 to 14 hours a day. Puppies and senior dogs tend to sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day. Meanwhile, adult dogs only need eight to 12 hours of shut-eye per day.
Dogs may appear to sleep all the time because of their unique habits. Instead of just sleeping at night like humans, dogs also get several hours of sleep during the day. Their naptimes may seem constant, but they only add up to around 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day.
According to Dr. Roberts, around 75% of a dog’s sleep happens at night while the rest occurs in the daytime. The average dog sleeps around nine hours in a night and three hours during the day. That means humans can sleep with their dog each night.
Puppies stop sleeping so much once they enter adulthood, which usually starts when they’re between six and 12 months old. While puppies sleep as much as 18 to 20 hours per day, adult dogs only sleep between eight and 14 hours per day.
Yes, dogs dream just like humans do! According to research at MIT, rats experience dreams during the REM sleep stage, suggesting that other pets dream too. If you notice your dog in a deep sleep with their eyes moving rapidly under their eyelids, they might just be dreaming.
Dogs’ sleeping needs are different from your own sleeping needs. Knowing how many hours dogs sleep can help you determine whether your pup is catching enough Z’s. With advice from experts, you can adjust your dog’s sleeping habits and help them get some drool-worthy rest.
No matter your dog’s unique sleeping habits, a cozy dog bed can help them snooze comfortably. If you end up sharing the bed with your pooch instead, just make sure to get a mattress protector in case of any accidents.