sleeping dog

Why do Dogs Sleep so much?

Does your dog spend a good deal of the day with his head on a pillow? Dogs tend to spend 50 percent of the day snoozing, 30 percent awake but lying around, and 20 percent being active.

Dog’s Age and Size

On average, dogs spend about 12-to-14 hours of the 24-hour cycle sleeping. Older dogs need significant amounts of sleep simply because, as they age, living becomes more difficult. Puppies, like babies, spend a lot of time exhausting energy while playing and exploring their new surroundings. Because of this, they might need as much as 18-to-20 hours of sleep but it tends to be the bigger breeds that are known for constant dozing.

Breed Activity Level

The amount of sleep dogs need also depends on what they are bred to do. For instance, it’s necessary for working dogs to stay awake because of the physical and mental demands they face each day. Dogs that lead more sedentary lifestyles, however, will spend most of the day doing whatever they want (i.e. sleeping).

Life Changes in Your Dog

As is the case for humans, if dogs experience any sudden life changes, they are likely to react. Because dogs adapt so well to their original environments, any shift in their usual experiences may affect them. For example, if they experience the death of a companion or a big move. Understandably, dogs may need extra sleep to get their mood and energy level back to normal.


However, if you find that there is a dramatic change in your dog’s sleeping habits or something seems a little off, you might want to consult your veterinarian. Excessive sleep has been linked to conditions such as canine depression, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.

What are Dogs’ Sleeping Patterns?

Dogs’ sleeping patterns are pretty similar to our own. They start out in the slow wave of sleep, during which breathing slows, blood pressure drops, and heart rate decreases. After about 10 minutes, they enter the rapid eye movement (REM) phase and their body might react to dreams. The main difference between our sleep and theirs is the amount of time spent in this stage.

Humans spend up to 25 percent of sleep in REM. Dogs, on the other hand, are only in REM for about 10 percent of their sleep time because of inconsistent sleep schedules.