What you need to know about how dogs sleep

There are few things more smile-inducing and “awww”-inspiring than seeing a cute pup sprawled out and snoozing away. But dogs don’t just sleep because it’s adorable. Just like in people, sleep for dogs is a critical aspect of their health.

How much do dogs need to sleep?

From 12-14 hours a day.

two dogs asleep on the bed

  • Age: puppies and older dogs both spend more time asleep than dogs that are in middle age. To support their growth, puppies may spend up to 20 hours asleep. And senior dogs naturally have a lower energy level and get exhausted more easily, requiring more sleep on a daily basis.
  • Breed and Size: though not universally true, bigger dogs will sleep for more hours per day than smaller dogs. Larger breeds of dogs tend to need more sleep and can sometimes sleep up to 18 hours a day even in middle age.
  • Activity: it may seem counterintuitive, but dogs that are very active, especially working dogs, usually need less sleep than dogs that are less active and are sedentary for most of the day.

How can you help your dog get better sleep?

Make them feel happy and safe.

Dog running with owner

  • Develop routines: as we mentioned earlier, dogs benefit from regular routines. This doesn’t mean that you have to have the same exact schedule every day, but whenever possible, try to have continuity in terms of certain activities (walks, play, eating, sleeping) each day.
  • Give them plenty of play: getting exercise and activity can promote your dog’s overall health and can also contribute to better sleep habits, too. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise is needed for all breeds, but more active dogs may need much, much more. Play and activity can also involve mental stimulation for your dog and not just physical exertion.
  • Give proper nourishment: make sure that your dog is eating a balanced diet and getting all the nutrients that they need. If you have any questions about the optimal food for your dog, check with your vet.
  • Create an inviting sleep space: just like you want a comfy mattress, your dog can get better sleep with a welcoming dog bed or other well-cushioned den.
  • Follow a regular schedule for check-ups: even if all seems well, don’t skip your normal check-ups at the vet. These check-ups can help nip problems in the bud and give you an opportunity to ask questions about how to best support your dog’s health.

Just like us, sleep is an important part of a dog’s wellbeing, health and mood. For the full article you can read more here: https://www.sleephelp.org/dogs-sleep/

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