Have you ever looked at your dozing dog and wondered if they are sleeping too much? Maybe you feel the opposite and are concerned that your dog isn’t sleeping enough. Just like humans, there’s a range for how much sleep a dog needs. Though every dog is different, there are some general guidelines for how often and how long a dog should sleep each day.
In this post, we’ll look at why dogs may sleep more or less than others as well as how much the average dog should sleep per day. If you are ever concerned about your dog’s behaviour, don’t hesitate to call your vet to ask questions. For more sleep support for your dog see our previous article “Where Should the Dog Sleep?”.
How Much Sleep is Normal?
So, how much should a dog sleep per day? The most important thing to understand is that a dog’s sleep pattern isn’t quite the same as ours. Unlike adult humans who once awake for the day tend to stay that way, dogs spend a fair amount of their time sleeping. On average dogs will sleep 12-14 hours over the course of a full day, including nighttime sleep.
Some dogs may sleep more or less than others. For instance, service dogs or farm dogs who have a “job” will spend more time alert and working than those who have a more relaxed daily schedule. There is not a set amount of naps a dog must take but dogs certainly do enjoy their downtime just as much as they love playing.
Puppies Sleep More than Adult Dogs
If you have a puppy or a very active younger dog, you can expect that they will spend more time sleeping than a typical adult dog. Just like human babies, puppies sleep between 18-20 hours a day. They are using lots of energy growing and learning and need lots of extra sleep. Expect your puppy to take more naps than an adult.
Different Breeds Have Different Needs
Some dog breeds may need more sleep than others. Large dogs such as Great Danes, Newfoundlands, and St. Bernards are known for being sleepy dogs. Just like puppies, being as big as they are, takes a lot of energy and they simply need more sleep.
Smaller dogs can in turn need slightly less sleep, but this isn’t a hard and set rule. Some dogs may sleep more or less based on their age or personality. Watch your dog’s patterns to get an understanding of how much sleep they need and use this as your reference point.
Ask If You’re Concerned
Changes in sleep patterns may be a sign of illness in your dog. If your dog is suddenly sleeping much more or much less it may be a good idea to take them to their veterinarian. It is always best to ask and err on the side of caution when it comes to your best friend’s health.