The Reasons Dogs Sleep All Day, What Research Says

Written by Kirstin Opal
Updated: May 6, 2022
© Tatiana Gass/Shutterstock.com
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It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time dog owner or you’ve had canines your entire life, learning about how much dogs can sleep is surprising. How are you supposed to know how much sleep is too much? 

If you find that your four-legged friend is counting sheep a lot, that’s completely normal! On average, an adult dog gets between 12 and 14 hours of sleep per day! I don’t know about you, but I wish I could sleep that long! 

We’re going to dive into the topic and get down to the nitty-gritty. We’ll discuss sleeping patterns, what’s normal for their sleeping habits, when you should be worried, and the dog breeds that sleep the most! 

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Dog Sleep Patterns 

So, why do dogs sleep so much? Dog sleeping patterns are quite similar to ours, but they differ in one important way. They take around 10 minutes to shift from the slow-wave, throughout which breathing slows down, blood pressure lowers, and heart rate decreases.  

Their eyes roll beneath closed lids during the REM period, and their bodies may respond to dreams. Because of their erratic sleep cycles, dogs only spend around 10% of their napping time in REM. Humans, on the other hand, spend up to 25% of their sleep time in REM, mirroring our more regular routine of remaining awake throughout the day and sleeping all night. 

Dogs wake up fast and spring to awareness because they doze off anytime they choose, typically out of boredom. As an outcome, canines need more overall sleep to make up for their lack of REM sleep.

However, the amount of sleep a dog requires is quite unique. A lot is determined by their age and health. Various breeds have greater or less active characteristics, and it all depends on the particular dog.

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Puppy Sleep Habits 

Puppy growth requires a good night’s sleep. That fluffy cutie has a long way to go in terms of development. Sleep gives the body a chance to redirect energy toward development. Rest enables the puppy’s brain to look back on the day, just like it does for adult dogs. 

This aids the puppy in storing and remembering all of his or her important obedience instructions! Puppies, unlike adult dogs, have the doggie version of an on and off switch when it comes to sleeping. In the blink of an eye, their brain may go from full of energy and ready to play to heavy sleep mode. It’s just another reason to be jealous of puppies! 

Adult Dog Sleeping Habits 

Adult dogs, on the other hand, have a more progressive wake-sleep cycle. Even when sleeping, the dog goes through intervals of waking and sleeping. They may wake up to double-check that everything is as it should be, then return to deep napping and go back to heavy sleep. 

Did you realize that the size of a dog affects how much they snooze? Big dogs do, in fact, sleep more than tiny dogs breeds. It should come as no surprise that puppies and senior pooches sleep more than the average adult dog.

When Should You Worry? 

Whenever pet parents detect changes in a dog’s sleeping habits, you may want to consider calling the vet. If your dog generally sleeps for a few hours in the morning and suddenly you notice they’re sleeping through the morning and into the afternoon, that’s a sign something could be wrong.  

Diabetes and kidney illness are two conditions that might be causing your dog’s sleeping habits to shift. Hypothyroidism, heart problems, and arthritis are all common causes for elderly dogs to sleep more than usual.

Something else to pay attention to is how a dog reacts when he or she is woken. Usually, canines will wake up rather soon, and if sufficiently motivated, will stretch, rise from their snooze, and be eager to go. 

Veterinarians are concerned if dogs are difficult to awaken or if they are unable to be motivated to perform the things they generally like. Keep a sleep journal and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you observe your dog sleeping far more than usual or is difficult to wake up.

How to Prevent Boredom in Dogs

Because most dogs do not have schedules like ours, they are frequently bored and lonely throughout the day. When you combine a lengthy, solitary day with the periods that their person is sleeping, your dog will be napping for a long period every day! Consider what else your dog can do with his time if it feels like he’s snoozing his life away. 

Puzzle toys are the best method to keep your dog up and engaged during the day. Various puzzle toys, ranging from the simple to the complex, keep your dog occupied during the day. Using a dog camera to check in on your dog will let you see if she’s engaging with the puzzle toys.

Midday dog walks and longer bouts of activity in the mornings and afternoons can help add variety to your dog’s day. If you find your dog resting even when there is something more important to accomplish, it’s time to find help.

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Dog Breeds That Love to Sleep

Dog breeds that are regarded to be more tranquil than others may be the right fit for you if you’re looking for a dog that sleeps a lot. Whether you enjoy cuddling during the frigid winter months or napping outside in the summer shade. 

We’ve already addressed how a dog’s breed might affect its sleeping patterns. A Chihuahua, for example, will sleep less than a Rottweiler. While there are always exceptions, these are five peaceful dog breeds that enjoy counting sheep.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a beautiful, old French/Belgian breed that was once utilized as a sluggish, diligent animal tracker. They have small legs, a long body, large floppy ears, and an easy-to-care-for short coat. Bassets also have a keen sense of smell, which may make teaching them difficult because strong smells can easily distract them. 

With his cartoonish appearance, this friendly, medium-sized, overweight dog is lovable, and he may be quite loyal and dedicated to relatives and friends. Basset Hounds enjoy naps, but be aware that they have a loud, howling voice and are often noisy, even while sleeping, and snore often.

Pekingese

The first mention of this toy breed dates back to China’s Tang Dynasty in the 8th century. The Pekingese is a short-nosed, heavy-fronted pooch with short, bent legs, a tail slung over his back, and a thick coat of thick, long straight hair. 

This dog’s stately demeanor has not changed, and he may demand to be treated like a king. He’s a wonderful fit for a single individual or an elderly pet parent since he requires less activity and prefers to form strong bonds with one or two individuals and nap the day away.

Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is a centuries-old breed that we believe to have evolved from Mastiff and Bulldog crossbreeding. These dogs were taught to attack criminals without mauling them. The contemporary Bullmastiff has the appearance of a steroid-addicted Boxer and can weigh well over 100 pounds. 

This breed makes a fearless, courageous, and gentle pet ready to serve his family and be their guardian for those who have the space to retain him and are mindful of his tendency to snore and drool. You’ll be cuddling pals in no time.

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Pug 

In many aspects, the Pug resembles the Pekingese, but he has a shorter, denser coat and a curly tail. Everyone he meets is charmed by his emotive, short-muzzled face. This energetic, attractive, and dignified dog enjoys life to the fullest. 

He enjoys being around children, gets along well with other dogs, and adjusts well to living in smaller areas, such as a condo. He’s always eager for a nap, but you should bring your earplugs since the Pug doesn’t shy away from snoring. known to snore.

Scottish Deerhound

Although the typical Scottish Deerhound is a lovely friend, loyal and dedicated, he isn’t especially social and can be distrustful of strangers. He’s also hostile with other dogs, especially the smaller ones. 

A residence with small children is typically not tolerated well. This breed requires gentle and careful training, as well as enough running space for regular exercise and, of course, a quiet spot to unwind.

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The Featured Image

why do dogs sleep so much
Sleeping Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy.
© Tatiana Gass/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much sleep does a dog need? 

Adult dogs appear to require anywhere from eight to 13.5 hours of sleep each day, with an average of slightly under 11 hours.

Do dogs enjoy sleeping on their owners' beds? 

It’s when they feel the safest and most at ease. It’s no surprise that even after they’ve grown up, they attempt to recreate that sense of warmth and closeness with you! It’s also a show of affection and intimacy if your dog wants to sleep next to you. It suggests they enjoy working with you and consider you to be one of the pack.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.