Ever wonder how your pooch can sleep all night and then, throughout the day? Yes, dogs spend most of the day and all of the nights sleeping cozily, a sleeping pattern that human beings can naturally find odd. We are used to the idea of sleeping while it is dark outside while dogs can sleep all day long, in spite of the kind of lighting outside. Why do dogs sleep this much anyway? Let’s find out.
Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
Over-sleeping is a common tendency among canines which is why this is a pretty common question in the pet-owner’s community – “Why does my dog sleep so much?” It is true that dogs normally spend 50% of their days sleeping and another 30% of those “resting”. They are primarily active for only 20% of the days which is not a lot.
Most canines sleep whenever there is nothing better to do. Because they do not have access to smartphones, games, or other means of recreation when bored, they find it best to sleep away the long, tedious hours of the day. However, there are a lot of factors that impact how much a dog sleeps.
- Puppies and older dogs spend a higher amount of time asleep.
- Overweight or otherwise sick dogs also spend more time sleeping than healthy dogs. It is said that dogs can recover from ailments to a great extent just by sleeping.
- There are some breeds of dogs that are more predisposed to oversleeping. These include the lazy Mountain Bernese Dog or a working line Border Collie.
However, it may be a sign of a problem if your dog is snoozing all the time and spends a very meager amount of time awake or active. Changes in sleeping patterns may be indicative of a number of diseases or age-related problems. Oftentimes, dogs tend to oversleep when they are suffering from some kind of separation anxiety.
In most situations, sleeping for over 12 hours a day is normal for a dog but excessive sleeping can also be a sign of potential health concerns and you should address this with your vet as soon as possible.
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When To Get Help?
Generally, a dog sleeping for over 12 hours a day is no cause for concern but too much of anything can be a sign of a problem. Let us see some of the tell-tale signs that your pooch could be sleeping too much.
You may notice a sudden change in your dog’s regular sleeping pattern. Or it may become increasingly difficult to wake them up even when there is something exciting to do, something that easily caught their attention previously.
You may also find that this excessive sleeping is interfering with their eating or other daily activities. It may become too difficult to wake your dog up in the morning or they may suddenly fall asleep, even in the middle of playing, also known as narcolepsy.
The sudden increase in sleep manifests in other symptoms as well, like limping or lameness. You may notice a marked unwillingness to run, jump, or play about or a change in their urination, defecation, or sweating tendencies.
Excessive sleeping may be accompanied by other issues like increased aggression or fearfulness or may manifest in behavioral changes like staring at walls or corners, drooling, pacing, or other signs of anxiety.
Most of these issues barely matter for a gracefully aging dog who may be on the lazier side but it never hurts to check with the vet. Your veterinarian may have a lot of questions or run some tests because diagnosing ailments from sleeping patterns can be tricky.
Dogs that are too sleepy all day may be suffering from:
- Back pain
- Anxiety, and
- Other kinds of ailments.
Don’t let that discourage you because, if caught early, all of these are treatable ailments.
How To Make Your Dog’s Day More Exciting?
Dogs do not have endless access to the internet, magazines, games, or reading like us. Imagine long, tedious hours of doing nothing. Even us human beings would fall asleep. If you think that your dog is sleeping too much of their life away, consider how you may introduce changes to their lifestyle so as to reduce the time they spend sleeping.
One of the most effective ways to keep your pooches awake and active during the day is by using puzzle toys. You can use simple and fun toys, like rolling treats placed inside a carton or towel, or go for more complex ones like high-tech puzzle toys like the CleverPet. These go a long way in keeping your dog busy.
You can use a doggy cam to check if they are playing with these toys or simply ignoring them and change the difficulty levels accordingly. You may also try to jazz up your dog’s day with prolonged walks or midday visits to the dog park. You may also introduce a morning and evening exercise routine to your dog’s schedule to keep them active.
In conclusion, dogs naturally sleep for over 12 hours a day. However, if you find a noticeable change in your dog’s sleeping patterns or if you find them sleeping way too much, don’t forget to ring up the vet and follow their instructions carefully.
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