Think about your dog. What’s he or she doing at this exact moment? If I had to take a guess, your dog is snuggling up on the couch or is laying out on its bed taking a snooze right where you left them.
Sleep is an everyday staple of a dog’s daily routine, no matter the size, age or breed. And according to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep can sometimes take up over half of your dog’s day. But how do you know how much sleep is too much? Or not enough?
I’m here to help guide you through this common question among dog owners and provide you general guidelines for how much sleep your dog should be getting each day.
One important thing to understand before we dive into the different variables that affect how much sleep your dog needs is that dogs do not sleep exactly like we do – they are much more adaptable when it comes to their sleep schedule and only reach the REM stage for about 10 percent of their sleep cycle compared to 25 percent in humans.
(The REM stage is vital in any sleep cycle – dog or human – because it stimulates the areas in the brain that are associated with learning.)
Because of this, dogs need more hours of sleep a day to properly rest and recharge their bodies. For the other half of the day they’re not getting some shuteye, they’re either lying around awake or should be getting a healthy amount of physical activity.
There are many contributing factors that impact how many hours of sleep your dog should be getting per day, such as age, breed, size, health, activity levels and more. While each element is important (I’ll touch on all of those in this article), the age of your dog should be the starting point when determining how much sleep is necessary.
Let’s begin by understanding the range in sleep from puppies to full-grown adults to seniors.
How much sleep do puppies need?
You just brought your puppy home for the first time. One of the first things you may be wanting it to do (other than going to the bathroom outside and not on your carpet) is to find a spot where they can feel safe and comfortable. Where they can wind down and get a good night’s sleep after keeping you busy all day.