Got a new fur family member? You may be wondering why it sleeps all day and night. There is no reason to worry as it is very normal. Dogs love to sleep and they usually spend about 50% of their time sleeping — that’s 12 to 18 hours every day!. Unlike humans, dogs have no other things to do but to eat, play, sleep, and repeat!
So why do dogs sleep so much? Read on if you’d like to know more!
4 Main Factors That Affect Dog’s Sleep
There are several factors that can affect your dog’s sleep and these include the following:
Puppies tend to sleep more than older dogs. Just like babies, they need time to grow — sleeping for as long as 20 hours! On the other hand, senior dogs sleep more too. Because of their age, they easily get tired; therefore, they need more time resting and sleeping.
Dogs that are sick sleep more. If you observe that your dog suddenly changes its behavior and becomes more sleepy and lethargic, then you may want to get it checked by your trusted veterinarian immediately. Another health issue for oversleeping in dogs is obesity. Dogs that are overweight tend to sleep more as they tire out pretty easily.
Large dog breeds sleep more compared to their small counterparts — sleeping for up to 18 hours a day.These breeds include English Mastiffs, Siberian Husky, Newfoundlands, and St. Bernards.
Regular daily activities
Working dogs, including bomb sniffing dogs, guard dogs, and herd dogs, have lesser sleeping time compared to those who don’t have jobs. House dogs that stay at home all day sleep longer because they have nothing else to do — sleeping out of boredom!
Sleeping Behaviors & Positions
Do you notice your dog turning in circles before lying down? Dogs do this habit innately as a way to protect themselves. They’ve got this behavior from their ancestors who used to live in the wild. They circle around to find the safest and most comfortable sleeping position.
Here are five dog’s most common sleeping positions:
This is the most common sleeping position for dogs — curling up like a ball with their noses almost touching their tails. This sleep position helps to regulate their body temperature.
You should feel happy when you see your dogs sleeping on their side. Why? Because it means that they feel safe and comfortable in their surroundings. Dogs who usually sleep on their sides are calm and relaxed.
Superman position is when your dog sleeps with his front legs placed in front of his head and his hind legs stretched outward. This is the usual sleeping position of dogs who are hyperactive as it is the easiest position for them to wake up and get back to play.
Back Down, Paws Up
Dogs who feel hot will usually sleep in this position to bring down their body temperature. Exposing their belly is the best way for them to beat the heat. This is another sleeping position that can make fur parents happy because it means that your dog trusts you so much.
Does your dog love snuggling up with your or with your other house pets? Sleeping back-to-back means that your dog wants protection — showing that you are part of the pack. It can also mean that your dog is completely comfortable with you. Thus, it shows that he loves and trusts you.
3 Warning Signs That You Need To Call the Doctor
Because it’s normal for dogs to sleep for long hours, you might be wondering how much sleep is too much for them. There are warning signs that you should be aware of. If you see any of these signs, it’s best to call your veterinarian immediately.
Your dog’s sleep pattern has changed.
As a fur parent, you probably know the normal sleeping pattern of your dog. Any changes in this pattern can be a sign that something is wrong. Excessive sleeping in dogs can be linked to health problems that include diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and more.
Your dog sleeps more and feels lethargic.
A sick dog will sleep more if he doesn’t feel well. Lethargy in dogs means that something is not right. It can be caused by virus and infections such as kennel cough, parvovirus, distemper, liver problems, and more.
Your dog has difficulty breathing while sleeping.
It’s a cause for concern if you notice that your dog has breathing problems when sleeping. Just like humans, dogs can also experience sleep apnea that causes them to temporarily stop breathing during sleep. It is particular for overweight dogs and to those who have allergies.