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My Dog Sleeps All Day, Are They OK? Vet-Approved Canine Facts & FAQ

Written by: Annaliese Morgan

Last Updated on May 20, 2024 by Dogster Team

jack russell terrier puppy sleeping on the rag

My Dog Sleeps All Day, Are They OK? Vet-Approved Canine Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

It’s a classic topic of conversation and a frequent joke passed around by your friends and colleagues about how much your dog may sleep. We often call them lazy or think of them as a couch potato, but all laughs and comments aside, it has likely crossed your mind if it is ok for your dog to sleep so much.

For the most part, yes, it is ok that your dog sleeps for a good portion of the day. Depending on how much, this can be perfectly normal behavior and nothing to be concerned about. Dogs require more sleep than humans, and their sleep patterns and cycles, albeit function in a similar way to ours, are a bit different. With that said, they shouldn’t be sleeping for the entire day, and if this behavior has only started recently and isn’t something they’ve always done, it’s best to get them checked out by a vet

The amount of sleep dogs need varies individually and is dependent on factors such as their age, breed, health status, and individual characteristics. However, as a general guideline, you can find out how much sleep a dog needs per 24 hours below, as well as some instances when you should be concerned.

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How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?

You may have already noticed your dog sleeps for many hours a day. The actual number of hours spent snoozing away is estimated to be between 10 and 14 hours a day, although it can vary a few hours on either side of those numbers due to factors such as age and exercise routines. Below is an estimation of the sleep required by your dog depending on their life stage.

  • Puppies: Investigation into sleep duration and behaviors suggested that puppies may sleep 12-20 hours a day.1 This may come in the form of longer stretches at night with multiple short naps during the day. As your puppy gets older, they should start to sleep less and less.
  • Adults: Most adult dogs sleep somewhere between 10 and 14 hours a day, mostly during the night. Although most of their sleep is nocturnal, they may take naps for good proportions of the day too.
  • Seniors: A dog is classed as a senior from around 8 years old for most breeds (or 5 years old if they are a large breed). They will typically still sleep for the same amount of hours as an adult dog or maybe slightly more, but they tend to wake less during the night, sleep longer in the mornings, and are likely to take more day naps, as discovered by research characterizing behavioral sleep.2
beagle dog sleeping on the floor
Image Credit: Sigma_S, Shutterstock

Is It Ok if My Dog Sleeps All Day?

It’s not uncommon for dogs to sleep a significant portion of the day as we can understand from the information above, especially if they are puppies, seniors, are laid-back, or have lower energy levels. If your dog is healthy, has a balanced diet, and is engaging in regular appropriate exercise and mental stimulation, it’s generally okay if they sleep for extended periods.

However, sometimes excessive sleeping can be a sign of an underlying health condition or a behavioral issue. If you notice a sudden change in your dog’s sleep patterns, such as sleeping more, excessive lethargy, reluctance to move, or if they seem unresponsive, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any potential problems and to ensure your dog’s well-being. They can also correctly gauge the proper sleep time required for your individual dog.

It is well worth getting to know your dog as much as possible, including their habits, energy levels, and traits, as well as their sleeping patterns and preferences. The more you know about what is normal for them, the quicker you can spot their abnormal behaviors and take action promptly.

Reasons Your Dog Might Sleep a Lot

There are several reasons why your dog may sleep a lot. This is not an exhaustive list, and it’s essential to consider various factors and the bigger picture to determine if their sleep is indeed within a normal range or if there might be an underlying issue.

Here are some common reasons why dogs may sleep more than usual:

  • Age – Puppies and senior dogs tend to sleep more than adult dogs, as we discovered earlier.
  • Breed – Some dog breeds, like the British Bulldog, are naturally more laid-back and have lower energy levels, leading them to sleep more than more active breeds, such as Spaniels and Border Collies.
  • Health – If your dog is unwell or in pain, they may sleep more than usual. Various medical conditions, such as infections, arthritis, low thyroid function (hypothyroidism), or digestive problems, can all affect a dog’s energy levels and therefore sleeping patterns.
  • Diet – Poor-quality nutrition and an inadequate or inappropriate diet may lead to lethargy, low vitality, and increased sleep. Ensure your dog is on a balanced and appropriate diet for their age, breed, and health. Ask your vet if you have any questions about what to feed your dog.
  • Exercise and Boredom – Dogs that are not getting enough or the appropriate amount of physical and mental exercise may become lethargic and sleep more. Regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are all crucial for your dog’s well-being.
  • Stress or Anxiety – Dogs may sleep more when they are stressed or anxious. Changes in their environment or routine, new arrivals in the home or neighborhood, or a lack of social interaction can all contribute to increased sleep.
  • Weather – Weather conditions, such as extreme heat or humidity, can impact a dog’s activity level. Similar to pet parents, you may find your dog sleeping longer during these times.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s sleeping habits, book a check-up with your veterinarian. They can help rule out any potential health issues and provide guidance on diet, exercise, behavior, and overall well-being.

beagle dog sleeping on bed
Image Credit: Kuznetsov Alexey, Shutterstock

Should I Wake My Dog Up if They Are Sleeping Too Much?

As long as you are not overly concerned about the length of sleep for their age group, and you have assessed the bigger picture for other contributing factors, you likely do not need to wake them up unnecessarily. Dogs are very capable of looking after themselves and will not let themselves starve or withhold the need to urinate and defecate for overly long periods. It is also completely fine to wake them for mealtimes and walks should you need to, though. Regardless, it’s best to consult your vet if you’re at all concerned or have questions about your pet’s behavior.

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Conclusion

It’s important to note that individual dogs all have different sleep patterns, even if some breeds are known to be more energetic than others. Pay attention to your own dog’s behavior and adjust their sleep environment accordingly to ensure they get the rest they need and a good quality of sleep as well. If you notice any changes in your dog’s sleeping habits or health, check in with your veterinarian to rule out any other potential health issues. Otherwise, sweet dreams and happy snoozes!


Featured Image Credit: Lazy_Bear, Shutterstock

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