Turn your head until you see your dog. Of course, he is still sleeping! Ah, the life of a dog… Between walks, small feasts and countless naps, we have something to envy them a little. But by the way, why do our dogs sleep so much?
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs sleep between 12 and 14 hours per 24 hour cycle. This sleep is made up of about 50% actual sleep, 30% time dozing, and 20% time lying down, but still active. In reality, the amount of sleep a dog needs depends on several factors:
The age of the dog
Quite logically, puppies and senior dogs need more sleep than others. Similar to babies, puppies spend most of their time playing or exploring the world around them. A large expenditure of energy that causes them to sleep about 18 to 20 hours per 24-hour cycle, reports the National Sleep Foundation. Older dogs tire more quickly and therefore also need more sleep than other dogs.
The dog breed
Large dog breeds generally need more sleep than their smaller counterparts. But the amount of sleep a dog needs also depends on how and why it is trained. For example, dog breeds bred to work or perform chores are more likely to stay awake longer to maintain active attention.
The health of the dog obviously comes into play. In the same way as humans, a sick or less fit dog will sleep longer.
Life changes, such as a move or the loss of a friend (canine or human) will deeply affect the dog. For moods and energy to return to normal, the dog will then favor sleep.
Dogs sleep more than us, but they also wake up more than us. When humans tend to sleep all at once, dogs will sleep them repeatedly over shorter periods of time during the day and night. When we sleep at night, we spend about 25% of that time in REM sleep. This is where we dream and where we regain energy. For dogs, 10% of sleep time is paradoxical, so they need to recover this restorative sleep during the day.
Generally speaking, dogs are not deep sleepers. They are called « flexible sleepers » because they are able to fall asleep anywhere and anytime, but also able to wake up at any time and be alert immediately. » They then end up having more sleep to make up for the paradoxical sleep lost during their different cycles.“.
When should you worry?
The main thing to watch out for is a change in your dog’s sleeping habits. If he is used to being active and suddenly he sleeps more and more or conversely if he is used to many naps and he becomes abnormally active all day, it is good to d talk to a veterinarian. Canine depression, diabetes or hypothyroidism are all pathologies linked to excessive sleep in dogs.