Why does my dog sleep so much || James Wellbeloved

Why does my dog sleep so much?

Why is my dog sleeping a lot?

While dogs love to run around, they value their rest just as much. In fact, dogs have a great capability to close their eyes and snooze at any time and any place. If your dog is sleeping a lot, this may just be a part of their natural routine. However, some dog parents may be concerned that their dog is sleeping all day. Sleeping too much can indicate an underlying problem, which is why it’s important that dog parents closely observe their dog’s behaviour in order to identify any changes.

In this article, we look at whether it’s normal for dogs to be sleeping a lot. We discuss dog’s sleeping habits across different life stages, as well as when dog parents should worry about their dog sleeping so much. By being well-informed around your dog’s sleep behaviours, you’ll know if they’re happy and healthy - and if not, you’ll be able to support them better.

Is it normal for dogs to sleep a lot?

Dogs have different sleeping habits, depending on their age, breed, size and overall health. On average, adult dogs can sleep between 12-14 hours a day, while large dog breeds and senior dogs can sleep up to 18 hours and puppies can sleep up to 20 hours a day. You can learn more about how much puppies should sleep so you’re not alarmed when your little friend is full of energy one second, and fast asleep the next.

Although humans are awake during the day and sleep for most of the night, it’s normal for dogs to sleep a lot throughout the day. By sleeping a lot, your dog’s body can grow, develop and thrive, and it allows them to conserve and replenish their energy for essential activities, such as playing, hunting and exercising. Some dog parents may wonder should I let my dog sleep in bed with me?’, and while this could be a great way to maximise quality time and strengthen your bond together, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons in order to make an informed decision.

However, if your dog is sleeping a lot all of a sudden, has altered sleep patterns or seems fatigued during the day, it may be cause for concern. If your dog is a puppy, they may benefit from sleep training. But it’s also possible that there is something else going on, which we explore further below.

Why is my dog sleeping so much all of a sudden?

If your dog is sleeping a lot all of a sudden, it may not necessarily mean that there is an underlying medical problem. Your dog could be sleeping more because their activity levels have increased, they’re feeling bored or they’re experiencing stress in their environment.

Your dog may be sleeping all day if they’ve recently engaged in heavy exercise. If you’ve been exercising your dog more than usual, for longer periods of time or with more strenuous activities, they may feel more tired as a result. It’s important that dog parents change their dog’s activity levels slowly to make it easier for them.

In some cases, dogs may not be receiving enough physical exercise or mental stimulation. This can lead to dogs sleeping a lot as they feel bored and underwhelmed with their daily routine. On the other hand, some dogs will sleep a lot as a response to stress. If there have been any changes in your dog’s environment, it may lead them to sleep more than usual. Dog parents need to make sure their dogs receive plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and manage any triggers or changes that may be causing stress or anxiety to them.

When should I worry about my dog sleeping too much?

A dog becoming lethargic

If you find yourself asking ‘why is my dog sleeping so much?’, it may be time to consult your veterinarian. Changes in your dog’s behaviour, especially their sleep, can sometimes indicate an underlying issue. We look at some warning signs of when to worry about your dog sleeping all day below.

A sudden change in sleep

If you know that your dog has always enjoyed their sleep, it may be a normal behaviour for them. However, if your dog is suddenly sleeping a lot, whereas before they were quite active, there may be something else going on. This is particularly important if you have a senior dog who has changes in their sleep patterns. As your dog gets older, there is a chance they could develop Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, otherwise known as ‘doggy dementia’. In this case, your dog may experience restlessness at night, hence why they sleep more during the day. Speak with your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your dog’s sleep behaviours.

A dog becoming lethargic

While we know that dogs enjoy sleeping a lot, it’s important to make sure it is not due to extreme tiredness. If your dog is lethargic during their waking hours, even though they are getting plenty of sleep, they may be experiencing fatigue as a symptom of an underlying health condition. Heart conditions, diabetes, thyroid problems and anaemia can all contribute to fatigue, as well as other symptoms. If you suspect a medical illness, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

A dog that is overweight

If your dog is sleeping a lot and is also overweight, this may be more concerning. Overweight dogs may struggle with exercise due to their excess body fat and therefore might become more tired more quickly. This may lead to them being less inclined to exercise and therefore put on extra weight over a period of time. Your veterinarian will be able to check your dog’s weight, advise if they need to lose weight, and discuss how to do this safely.

A dog experiencing pain

Since dogs are stoic creatures, they are incredibly skilled at hiding pain - which can also lead to dogs sleeping all day. It’s important that dog parents look out for any signs of pain and discomfort, some of which may be obvious such as if they’re limping, or other changes in their behaviour such as increased fatigue, aggression or withdrawal. If your dog is a senior, it’s possible they may have pain in their joints due to arthritis, which can also cause them to sleep more. Whatever the cause, it’s crucial to have your dog assessed by a veterinarian if they’re in pain, so they can receive appropriate treatments.

Is it normal for my dog to sleep all day?

While it is generally considered normal for dogs to sleep for a significant portion of the day, you will know whether or not it is usual behaviour for your dog. There are various factors that influence how much dogs sleep, including their age, breed, weight, activity levels and overall health.

Puppies and senior dogs tend to sleep more - the former due to their rapid growth, and the latter due to cognitive decline. Large dog breeds also sleep more than other adult dogs, whilst dog breeds known to be more active may sleep less. If your dog is overweight, they may not feel as inclined to exercise and spend more time sleeping instead. And of course, if your dog has an underlying health problem that causes fatigue, that could be part of why your dog is sleeping so much.

For the most part, if your dog is sleeping a lot, it’s best to let them get the rest they need. Their bodies are likely conserving and replenishing their energy for other activities throughout their day. However, dog parents should observe any changes in their dog’s sleep behaviours closely, in case it is a subtle sign of another issue. It’s always best to consult your veterinarian if you’re concerned to rule out other possibilities and seek advice according to your dog’s specific needs. On a lighter note, we look at whether or not dog can dream - you may be surprised at the answer!