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Why do dogs sleep so much ?

It's a dogs life!

Now I know why this is said. Play, eat, walkies and sleep. It may seem like your dog is sleeping too much, but their lifestyle, amount of exercise and what breed they are may affect the amount of sleep they need. Even the age of the dog impacts the amount of sleep they require.


Age and Size

Puppies sleep excessively. They run around using every bit of energy and then suddenly crash and sleep almost mid-step sometimes. It is very much like dealing with a human child who has bursts of exuberant energy and plays hard until they drop from exhaustion. Conversely, older dogs sleep more than younger ones. As dogs age, they slow down. The size of your dog can be a factor as well. Larger dogs tend to sleep more than smaller dogs.


Medical Reasons

If you are concerned about the amount of time your dog is sleeping or his sleep time seems to have increased for no apparent reason, have your vet check him out. There are medical concerns that can be linked to excessive sleeping. Just like us, if dogs feel unwell, they will take to their beds or their go-to place to sleep.


Activity Level


Working dogs spend a lot more time being active every day. The physical demands and mental challenges of a working dog (such as a sheep herder or farm dog) require that they stay awake and alert. Work gives a dog something to focus on and something to do. An active dog is not going to be sleeping all the time.

Many other dogs live a more sedentary lifestyle. They may sleep a lot out of sheer boredom. If you are concerned, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and interaction with you and others. Take them for walks, play with them and leave dog toys where they are easily accessible to them. Hide some dog treats around the house for them to sniff out. Give them activities that stimulate their minds and bodies. We humans get bored when there is nothing fun to do and so do dogs. If your dog gets stimulation and exercise during the day, they will sleep better at night.


Types of Sleep

Dogs have similar sleep patterns to humans. When a dog has reached a full deep sleep, you can see how their body releases and relaxes. Once they enter REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, they appear to be dreaming when you see movement or hear whimpering or other sounds while they sleep. Dogs sleep more than humans do but their sleep is more interrupted than ours. They wake up easily and are often on alert.

If you are worried about how much your dog sleeps or you see some extreme change, keep all the possibilities in mind. If you are still concerned, its always good to see your vet. Otherwise, let sleeping dogs lie! Sometimes a snooze just feels good.

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Ironbridge Gorge, Telford, Shropshire, UK