Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much: Is that Normal?

Dogs sleep for longer than humans, with an average of 12-14 hours per day. Sleeping helps them rest and maintain energy levels throughout the day. Dogs also use their sleep to consolidate memories, process new information, and more. Knowing why your pup sleeps so much can help you provide the best environment for a good night’s rest.

This article will provide an overview of the normal sleeping patterns of dogs, as well as tips to help ensure proper sleep habits for your furry companion. At the end of the day, just like humans, each dog is unique in their sleeping habits and needs. With a little knowledge and understanding, you can help make sure your pup gets all the rest and relaxation they need. Happy snoozing!


Sleep Cycles in Dogs

A dog’s sleep cycle is an important element of its well-being, similar to humans. While dogs can sleep anywhere from 12 to 14 hours per day, the frequency and amount of sleep that a pup needs can vary depending on their age and individual circumstances.

Generally, puppies require more frequent snoozing because they are growing and developing at a faster rate. As they get older, dogs will typically shift to longer bouts of around 12 hours per night with several periods of rest or light snoozing throughout the day.

Unlike humans, canines tend to experience rapid eye movement (REM) throughout their sleeping period which helps support learning and memory development. By creating comfortable, stress-free environments and providing adequate exercise for your pet, you can help ensure healthy sleeping habits for your furry friend.

Sleep Cycles in Dogs


Dog Breeds and Sleep Patterns

Dogs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but there are also various breeds that require different amounts of sleep. While some pups may be content with just an hour or two of snoozing per day, large breed dogs tend to need the most amount of sleep, due to their size and energy levels.

Dog Breed Average Hours of Sleep Per Day Sleep Patterns
Basset Hound 12-14
Deep sleep, with occasional periods of activity
Bulldog 12-14
Deep sleep, snoring, and occasional periods of wakefulness
Greyhound 14-16
Deep sleep, with occasional periods of activity
Labrador Retriever 12-14
Deep sleep, with periods of light sleep and wakefulness
Pomeranian 14-16
Short bursts of deep sleep, with periods of wakefulness
Shih Tzu 12-14
Deep sleep, with occasional periods of light sleep
herd 11–12 Day and Night
Golden Retriever 12–14 Day and Night
Beagle 12–14 Mostly at night
Chihuahua 12-20
Mostly during the day, with some nighttime activity in 4 to 6-hour blocks.

It’s important to remember that individual dogs may vary from these averages. Additionally, a dog’s sleep patterns can be influenced by various factors such as age, activity level, health, and environment.


Reasons for Excessive Sleeping in Dogs

Excessive sleeping in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, from boredom to an underlying medical issue. If your pup is consistently sleeping more than the recommended amounts for their breed, it’s best to assess the situation and rule out any potential health concerns. Some causes of excessive sleeping in dogs include:



Age is an important factor to consider when evaluating the causes of excessive sleeping in dogs. As a dog gets older, it’s natural for their activity level, energy, and athleticism to decrease – alongside this comes the requirement for more restful practices like napping.

While some senior dogs become complete couch potatoes as age takes its toll, it could also be a medical condition or a physical disorder like cognitive decline, metabolic disorders, cancer, or endocrine diseases causing your pup to sleep more than usual. In any case, it is important to discuss with your veterinarian the sleeping habits of your pup, regardless of their age.




The breed can play a role in how much sleep your dog gets, as larger breeds tend to require more due to the increased energy expenditure from carrying around their heavier weight. Similarly, smaller dogs may need less sleep since they are not using as much energy.

Additionally, specific breeds like terriers may have higher levels of energy or be more prone to stress, which can lead to restless behavior that affects overall sleep patterns. It is important for owners to recognize signs of an unhealthy sleeping pattern with their pets and ensure they remain on top of tracking regular habits that correspond with healthy behavior.




Dogs need sleep just like us humans, but excessive sleeping could be caused by stress or anxiety. This is something that owners should pay attention to, as environmental factors such as those mentioned can lead to health issues if ignored.

It’s important for dog owners to recognize signs of anxiety or stress or behavioral changes in their furry companions in order to identify any potential underlying problems. Common symptoms include licking, chewing, excessive yawning, and panting as well as changes in how long they typically sleep.



Lack of Exercise

Exercise is essential for any healthy lifestyle, but it is also important for dogs. Without adequate daily physical activity, a dog will likely experience excessive sleeping as a result. Insufficient physical activity can lead to obesity and other long-term health issues in dogs, so it’s important that your dog get the right amount of exercise every day.

Regular physical activity helps keep your pet energized and can reduce stress levels, making them happier overall. Exercise can also help support a stronger bond between you and your pup by allowing you to spend meaningful time together; something every dog needs!

Lack of Exercise



Just like humans, dogs can become bored pretty easily. Boredom is one of the main reasons why our canine pals sleep so much – it’s just their way of passing the time! However, when sleeping due to boredom becomes excessive, it’s time to take a step back and assess the situation.

Why exactly is your pup sleeping so much? Could they be lacking some mental stimulation or physical activities during their day? Taking the time to find out what specific enrichment activities your pup enjoys is essential in order to prevent boredom-related excessive sleeping.




When in pain or discomfort, dogs often sleep more than usual as a way of relieving themselves from the source of the problem. It’s important to note that when your pup sleeps more than usual due to an injury or illness, it may be difficult to determine if there is a serious underlying condition without consulting a veterinarian.

If you suspect your pup is in pain, it’s important to seek veterinary advice immediately. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, your pet can be on its way to a speedy recovery with restored energy levels and healthy sleeping habits.



Illness or Infections

Illness or infections can also be another cause of excessive sleeping in dogs. If your pup seems to be sleeping more than usual, it’s important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Some common illnesses that may lead to increased sleeping include diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and more.

Illness or Infections


Health Issues that Can affect a Dog’s Sleep

There are various health issues that can affect a dog’s sleep, leading to changes in their sleeping habits. Some common health issues that can affect a dog’s sleep include:

Health Issues that Can affect a Dog's Sleep

Health Issues that Can affect a Dog’s Sleep

  • Pain: Dogs that are in pain may have difficulty sleeping or may not be able to sleep as deeply as usual. This can be caused by conditions such as arthritis, injuries, or dental problems.
  • Anxiety: Dogs that suffer from anxiety may have difficulty settling down to sleep, or may wake up frequently during the night. Separation anxiety, noise phobia, or other anxiety-related issues can all impact a dog’s ability to sleep soundly.
  • Respiratory problems: Breathing difficulties can make it difficult for dogs to breathe comfortably while lying down, which can disrupt their sleep. Conditions such as allergies, asthma, or respiratory infections can all impact a dog’s breathing and sleep.
  • Age-related issues: As dogs age, they may experience various age-related health issues that can impact their sleep. For example, older dogs may have trouble getting comfortable, may need to go outside more frequently, or may suffer from cognitive decline that affects their sleep patterns.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, or kidney disease, can cause dogs to feel unwell, which can disrupt their sleep.
  • Parasites: Parasites such as fleas, ticks, or mites can cause itching and discomfort, which can interfere with a dog’s sleep.

If a dog’s sleeping habits suddenly change, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues that may be causing the problem.


How Much Sleeping is Normal for Dogs?

Dogs require about 12–14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, although puppies need up to 20 hours. Normal sleeping habits will vary depending on the breed and age; for example, smaller breeds tend to have more energy and therefore sleep less than larger breeds.

Puppies also tend to sleep more than adult dogs and senior dogs will often take numerous naps throughout the day. Many dogs adjust their sleep patterns to match their owners’ behavior—sleeping during the day when their owners are out of the house and staying up with them at night if they are home.

It’s important to establish regular sleeping times so your dog can get adequate rest, as well as allow them regular breaks throughout the day for exercise and bathroom visits.

How Much Sleeping is Normal for Dogs


Signs of Sleep Deprivation in Dogs

Sleep deprivation in dogs can lead to physical and mental health issues, so it’s important to identify any signs of sleep deprivation in your pup. Some common signs of sleep deprivation include:

  • Irritability
  • Excessive yawning or panting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slow reactions or reflexes
  • Loss of coordination

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian so they can determine the best course of action.

Signs of Sleep Deprivation in Dogs


Tips to Help Ensure Proper Sleep Habits

Proper sleep is essential to a dog’s health and well-being. Here are some tips to help ensure that your dog gets the restful sleep they need:

Tips to Help Ensure Proper Sleep Habits

Tips to Help Ensure Proper Sleep Habits

1. Provide a comfortable sleeping area: Make sure your dog has a comfortable, clean, and cozy bed in a quiet area of your home. This will help them feel secure and relaxed while sleeping.

2. Stick to a routine: Try to establish a consistent bedtime and wake-up time for your dog. This will help them develop a regular sleep schedule and can improve the quality of their sleep.

3. Provide regular exercise: Regular exercise during the day can help your dog burn off excess energy and promote better sleep at night. Just be sure to avoid exercising your dog right before bedtime, as this can lead to restlessness.

4. Avoid feeding your dog right before bedtime: Feeding your dog a large meal right before bedtime can cause discomfort and lead to restlessness. Instead, try feeding your dog their last meal of the day a few hours before bedtime.

5. Keep your dog calm before bedtime: Try to keep your dog calm and relaxed before bedtime. Avoid exciting activities or playtime right before bedtime, and instead focus on quiet, calming activities like gentle petting or a relaxing massage.

6. Keep your dog free from parasites: Make sure your dog is up to date on their parasite prevention medication to keep them free from fleas, ticks, and other parasites that can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your dog gets the proper rest they need to stay healthy and happy. If you have concerns about your dog’s sleeping habits, talk to your veterinarian for additional guidance.


In Conclusion

It is important to understand the causes and signs of excessive sleeping in dogs. As pet owners, we have a responsibility to ensure that our canine companions get the quality sleep they need for optimal health and well-being.

By providing adequate exercise, establishing a routine, and monitoring their sleep habits, we can help keep our furry friends healthy and happy. If you have any concerns about your dog’s sleeping habits, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for further guidance.

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