Dog Tips

Why is My Dog Sleeping So Much?

Looks like your dog is seriously considering auditioning for the next part of ‘Sleeping Beauty!’ But before you call the casting team and make an appointment, let us understand the relationship between dogs and sleep a little more. 

Dogs, once wolves, roamed the wild, hunting and gathering, always on alert for the next meal or potential danger. Fast forward to today, and your dog’s biggest challenge is deciding where will the next nap be – the couch or the floor. You may find it super cute and even get thousands of ‘Aww’ on Instagram for uploading a video of your dog snorting. But you need to find out the underlying reason why your dog is sleeping so much. And you’ve searched for it and landed on this article, so that’s half the work done.

Let us take it from here. 

Is it Normal for Puppies to Sleep a lot?

Just like human babies, puppies also need more sleep than adults for their growth and development. The average for young pups is about 16 hours a day. But with infant puppies, it can even go up to 20 hours a day! (1)

Having said that, if your puppy is sleeping more than it normally does, it may be a sign of discomfort or illness within. Factors like changes in the daily schedule, a stressful visit to the vet, change in the diet, going late to bed, etc. disrupt the sleep cycle. (1)

Look for symptoms such as a change in behavior when up, lethargy, refraining from daily activities, etc. If you spot any of these, you must seek vet help to find out the underlying reason. 

Is My Dog Sick or Tired?

This depends on the age of the dog. Older dogs usually get easily tired after a training session or even a game of fetch at times. This may cause them to sleep more than usual. However, sudden lethargy in your dog may be a symptom of an underlying illness. 

It may, however, be difficult to determine the illness based on lethargy alone. It can be caused by a number of reasons including – (2)

  • Infection

  • Injury

  • Low blood sugar (common in young pups)

  • Arthritis or other joint problems

  • Heart or liver conditions

  • Tumors

If you spot other symptoms like limping or excessive drooling along with lethargy, then there is a high chance that the cause of lethargy is not exhaustion but illness. And especially, if your dog is acting lethargic without any excess physical training or exhaustion, there must be some underlying condition that you must look for. Vet help is recommended here. 

How Do I Know if My Dog is Depressed?

If your dog is acting sad and showing low sociability, you need to look for a major change that must have occurred in their life. It can include – (2)

  • Moving to a new home

  • A new member added to the family

  • A new pet in the house

  • Losing an owner

  • Separation from a special person for a long time, etc.

These can cause anxiety and depression in dogs. You may need the help of a dog behavior specialist here. 

How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?

Adult dogs, in general, need about 8-13 hours of sleep. The average sleep time for them is about 11 hours. However, your dog’s sleep time may depend on the amount of activity done in the day, age, health, location, and lifestyle. (3)

Adult dogs tend to sleep more at night as compared to puppies. Puppies tend to get up during the night for pee breaks. Adult and senior dogs usually sleep throughout the night. Having said that, daytime naps are important for adult and senior dogs. They may take short and frequent naps in the day. (3)

Do not try to compare your sleep needs with your canine buddy. You may be good after a 7-8 hour sleep at night followed by a nice cup of coffee. Dogs need more sleep than us in general. And they don’t rely on coffee to be up, so…(we can only imagine such a blissful life – Eat-Sleep-Fetch-Repeat)

More About Spot Pet Insurance

As mentioned above, excessive sleeping can be a sign of a severe underlying medical condition. From a minor injury to anxiety to depression, the reasons can be many. 

Dogs can experience sleep disorders as well. The most common are narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and REM sleep behavior disorder. 

The good thing here is, that while you take the help of vets and behavior specialists to cure your canine buddy, we can take care of the finances of doing so. With pet health insurance, you can save up to 90% of the treatment costs. With Spot Pet Insurance, you can get much more. 

Spot accident and illness plans can be used with any licensed vet in Canada or the U.S. Whether you are home, or traveling to the U.S., veterinary services your pet receives for the diagnosis, treatment, or management of covered conditions can be eligible for reimbursement. Spot’s accident and illness plans can help cover a variety of conditions including broken bones, lacerations, aggression, kidney disease, diabetes, and more. With the addition of Wellness Riders for an extra cost, you can also receive reimbursements for wellness exams, certain vaccinations, dental cleanings, and more. 

Learn more about dog insurance or get a free quote!

Sources
  1. Racine, E., DVM. (2024, February 23). Why is my puppy sleeping a lot? Vet reveals whether it’s something you need to worry about. PetsRadar. https://www.petsradar.com/advice/why-is-my-puppy-sleeping-a-lot

  2. 2. Why is my dog tired and lethargic? | Tired Dog | Lethargic Dog. (n.d.). https://www.canine-cushings.co.uk/blog/why-is-my-dog-tired-and-lethargic

  3. 3. Summer, J., & Summer, J. (2023, December 21). How many hours a day do dogs sleep? Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/animals-and-sleep/how-much-do-dogs-sleep

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