Have you ever wondered ‘why do dogs sleep so much?’ or ‘is my dog bored?’. If so, you’re not alone. Many dog parents worry that their furry friends are spending too much time sleeping. While some dogs might enjoy this endless relaxing time, others might seem bored. So, it’s common to worry about your dog’s sleeping schedule, but how do you know whether it’s a serious problem or not?
Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
According to the AKC, most dogs tend to sleep for about half the day. They spend another 30% of the day awake but relaxing, and then only 20% being active. For some dog parents, this might sound concerning, but for many dogs, this is a normal schedule. Especially for older dogs, sleeping is an important part of their daily routine. Puppies also tend to sleep more often, especially when they’re younger. However, too much sleep could easily cause your dog to become too lazy.
The exact reason dogs sleep so much is unclear, but one explanation is that their sleep schedules are much different than human sleep schedules. People usually stay up all day and sleep all night, which generally makes us feel well-rested. However, dogs tend to sleep for shorter amounts of time throughout the day, which could lead to them sleeping more often. Plus, dogs don’t have to go to work or run errands, so they are rarely in a hurry to get up unless they see a squirrel outside.
Additionally, dogs only spend about 10% of their time in REM due to their irregular sleep schedules. They wake up often due to sudden sounds and smells, which makes sleep patterns difficult for them. Because of this, dogs need more regular sleep than humans because of their lost REM.
Therefore, even if your dog sleeps 12 to 14 hours each day, it’s not a cause for alarm. In fact, some dogs might require even more than that. No one knows your dog better than you, so it’s important for you to observe your dog’s daily routine so you can recognize when something out of the ordinary occurs.
If your dog takes long naps, the one thing you need to be aware of is their bathroom breaks. When dogs wake up from a long slumber, they often need to relieve themselves right away just like humans do. Therefore, it’s important to take them outside not long after they wake up.
When to Be Concerned
Even if your dog sleeping for most of the day seems normal, there’s a chance that it could be linked to a problem. Oftentimes, dogs sleep because there’s nothing better do to. Therefore, sleeping too much could simply be a sign of boredom. Dogs can get bored just like humans do, so sometimes sleeping is just their favorite way to pass the time. However, there is a chance that sleeping too much could be the result of something more serious.
The easiest way to tell if your dog is sleeping too much is to see if any of their sleeping habits have changed recently. This includes sleeping even when they have other things to do, such as play with toys or go for walks. They might also fall asleep more suddenly than usual, sometimes even in unusual places.
Sleeping too much is even more serious if you notice it affecting your dog’s health. If their sleep schedule is preventing them from eating and drinking or if waking up and moving around seems more difficult for them, then there’s likely a bigger problem than just sleeping too much. It could be a side effect of a more severe health concern.
Another reason for extra naps is anxiety or stress. You might notice your dog pacing, drooling, staring at walls, or acting more aggressive. If any of these behaviors are combined with additional napping, then your dog is likely stressed. You might also notice them waking up and immediately acting afraid or worried. If this happens, you should try to find the cause of their anxiety and eliminate it.
If you’re noticing an unusual sleeping schedule for your dog, but you don’t know how to fix it, you should contact your vet. Sleeping a lot might seem like a minor problem, but if the sleeping is combined with other irregular behaviors, then it should not be taken lightly. It’s better to catch a health problem early on before those symptoms worsen.
How to Keep Your Dog Entertained
On the other hand, sleeping too much is not always a big deal. If your dog has always been extra lazy and their sleep schedule is fairly consistent, then there’s no need to worry. However, this could still mean that your dog is bored. Dogs don’t have important responsibilities like humans do, so they might think sleeping is their only choice. Therefore, if you’re worried about your dogs feelings, you should try to make their days more exciting.
It can be difficult to give your dog the time and attention they desire since your own life is so busy. Whenever you get the chance, you should play with your dog, work on training, and take them for walks. However, that still leaves them plenty of time to be bored while you’re off doing your own thing.
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog entertained is to give them plenty of exciting toys. Not just squeaky toys and balls for them to play fetch with, but also toys that they can use on their own time. For example, puzzle toys are a great way to keep your pup happy and entertained. These are toys that you can put peanut butter inside or hide treats in to give your dog something to play with. It also benefits your dog’s mental stimulation, which will overall make them healthier.
Also, make sure your dog always has a nice window to look out of. Windows are like a TV for a dog, so make sure they always have an opportunity to see the outside world. If your dog is small, you might need a step or chair to help them see out taller windows, but at least it will give them something to look at throughout the day.
‘Why do dogs sleep so much?’ is one of the most common questions that dog parents ask. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be a problem. Just make sure you pay close attention to your dog’s habits to make sure their sleep schedule is normal. When in doubt, find ways to keep them entertained or ask your vet for advice. Caring for a dog is never easy, but it’s important for us to give our dogs the love and attention they deserve.