Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Why do Dogs Sleep so Much?

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Why do Dogs Sleep so Much?


You may have wondered why your dogs are constantly sleeping and taking several naps during the day. Some people also think that it might be a sign of unhappiness, boredom, or even depression; while excessive sleeping can certainly be a symptom of one or more of these, it’s not necessarily always the case.

It is important to remember that dogs are still animals, and this means that they have not lost any of their natural instincts. Sleep is an important part of their daily routine, and it is completely natural for your pooch to sleep more than 12 hours in a single 24-hour cycle.

Dogs in History

In order to understand exactly why dogs sleep so much and so often, we need to look at the behaviour of their closely related family members in the wild. Domesticated dogs, although much friendlier, have retained many of the characteristics of their wild counterparts.

In the wild, canines would sleep the majority of the time and only really be awake to hunt. The rest of their time is spent relaxing and conserving energy.

Typically, a dog that sleeps between 12 to 14 hours per day is nothing to be concerned about. They spend less time in deep sleep, which is why they still seem alert and can wake up quickly. This means that dogs, therefore, require more sleep in the form of daytime naps to compensate for their loss of deep sleep in REM stages.

When to Worry

Oftentimes higher levels of stress and anxiety can manifest itself in the form of more sleep. If your dog prefers to sleep instead of playing or going for a walk, then it could be a sign of unhappiness. A change in your dog’s sleeping pattern can also be related to ageing and in some rare cases, it can be a sign of disease. This is because dogs will feel a lack of energy, which will naturally drive them to sleep more.

It’s important to monitor your dog’s sleeping patterns and be aware of any significant changes to it. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, then we always recommend that you chat to your vet for advice.

Dogs naturally sleep much more than humans do, so it is completely normal for your dog to spend most of their day napping (as long as they don’t prefer it over playtime). Adequate stimulation and exercise (both physical and mental) are integral to a dog’s well-being, as is enough rest.