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Why Does My Dog Spend the Day Sleeping?

By September 23, 2019Pet Behavior
Why Does My Dog Spend the Day Sleeping?


Dogs really do have the life of Riley! Well, what else can you say when our canine friends spend their days eating, playing, and, above all, sleeping? If only life was so simple for a human! People new to dog-owning are often surprised at just how long their dog sleeps. They may even worry that all those dognaps are an indication that something is wrong with their dog. However, it’s perfectly normal for an adult dog to get in twelve to fourteen hours of kip during a day. So don’t fret – just let your sleeping dog lie!

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Sleep provides the dog’s body with the opportunity to repair itself. If a dog is deprived of adequate sleep, his immune system will weaken, and he will get sick more easily.

How do Dogs Sleep?

Just like their owners, when dogs sleep, they experience periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep, a dog is reliving the day’s events and dreaming. It’s reasonable to assume that a dog is dreaming about catching a Frisbee, chasing squirrels, or scavenging a burger. We may also suppose that if dogs can dream, they can also have nightmares. Even while sleeping, a dog experiences cycles of wakefulness when he may get up and check that everything’s where he left it. He’ll then go back to more serious snoozing and re-enter deep sleep.

How Long do Puppies Sleep?

Puppies sleep even longer than adult dogs. They clock in at around eighteen to twenty hours per day. That small ball of fur has a lot of growing to get through, and sleep provides vital downtime for the puppy’s body to divert energy into growth.

Some More Interesting Doggy Sleep Facts

  • A dog’s size influences the length of sleep. A St. Bernard will sleep longer than a Pomeranian.
  • Dogs can bark (quietly) in their sleep. That muted woofing signals that the dog has entered the dreaming phase of sleep. This occurs in cycles, approximately every twenty minutes.
  • Other signs of REM sleep include whimpering, yipping, fast breathing, moving legs as if running, howling, twitching.
  • Just like humans, dogs sleep in their favorite sleeping positions, and these positions can tell you something about your dog. (If you want to watch your dog sleeping while you’re at work, consider buying a pet camera.)

How Much Sleep is Too Much Sleep?

Because most dogs are creatures of habit, you should know what’s normal for your dog and be able to notice a change in sleeping patterns. For example, it might be normal for your dog to snooze for a couple of hours and then gets up to patrol around before curling up for another two-hour dognap. So, if your dog doesn’t stir for eight hours, then you should start to think that something may be wrong. A change in your dog’s sleep habits, especially if this coincides with a change in drinking, eating, and energy levels, may mean something is up. Take your dog to your vet to be checked out. And, if you reside in or near Columbia, SC, CVETs is your go-to vet for any emergency situation.