We all know that some dogs tend to sleep a lot. But not many people know how many hours are too many and when they should be worried about their dog’s health.
Read on to find out.
How Many Hours a Day Do Dogs Sleep?
It is perfectly normal for dogs to sleep between 14 to 22 hours a day depending on their age, health, size, and breed. With puppies and senior dogs sleeping considerably more. If you notice your dog sleeping less or more than usual, we highly recommend discussing it with your veterinarian.
Dog Sleep Statistics
Check out the stats below to learn more about how dogs sleep at different ages, sleep positions, and much more.
Dogs have 20 sleep cycles in one night.
(Taylor & Francis Online, 2018)
A dog’s sleep cycle lasts for 21 minutes, after which they are awake for 5 minutes before they fall asleep again. So, although dog sleep patterns are the same as human ones, these sleeping cycles can sometimes make it hard for people to sleep in the same room as their pet.
Puppies sleep between 18 and 22 hours during a 24-hour period.
(NCBI, 2020 All Things Dogs, 2020)
On average, the puppy sleep schedule includes 3.5-hour naps during the day and a 7–hour sleep at night. It should be noted that these numbers are true for 16-week-old puppies. The research was conducted on about 2,332 puppies of that age.
A puppy sleep schedule by age might give you a much clearer picture of normal amounts of sleep for younger puppies.
|Weeks Old||Hours of Sleep|
However, be aware that puppies don’t have steady sleep schedules initially, and some owners report puppy sleep regression.
Old dogs sleep between 14 and 20 hours a day.
(PetMD, 2018, PetMD, 2021)
They sleep a lot more than younger dogs because they need more time to recover from their daily activities. But, if you notice some changes in their sleep pattern, don’t hesitate to consult your vet.
Also, if you do have an older dog, consider getting them a comfortable bed to make their sleeping more pleasurable.
Larger dogs sleep up to 18 hours per day.
(AKC; 2019, PetMD, 2021)
This might not be true for working dog breeds and service dogs, since they are bred and trained to react quickly and sleep less. But in general, big dogs need more energy to move their bodies, and thus, more sleep to recover.
There are five common dog sleeping positions.
The most common sleeping position is a side sleeper — lying on the side, with legs extended.
Other common positions are:
- Lion pose — head on the front legs, usually preferred when just resting.
- Donut — curled up, makes dogs feel safer and helps them regulate temperature.
- Superman — stretched out legs, lying on their stomach, usually preferred by smaller dogs.
- The Cuddle Bug — cuddling with their owners while sleeping, usually a sign of comfort, a learned habit from puppyhood.
Cuddle Bug might be the best one of them for owner-dog relations since a study has proven that sleeping with your pet also increases connection and good emotions.
Sudden changes in sleep patterns might indicate a sleep disorder.
(Canine Country, 2020)
If your dog seems distraught, disoriented, or sluggish, it could be a sign that they aren’t sleeping well. Moreover, not getting enough rest can also weaken your dog’s immunity, putting it at risk of infection.
This is why it’s important to recognize signs of sleep disorders. For example, if your dog suddenly sleeps too much, or collapses after an activity, this might be a sign of narcolepsy. It’s not curable, but it can be kept in control with medications.
To sum up, how much sleep your dog needs depends not only on its age but also on its size, breed, and overall health. So, if your dog isn’t showing any signs of a sleep disorder, there is nothing for you to worry about.