Does Your Older Dog Sleep A Lot?

Lindsey ZimmermanDog Health, Senior Dogs

As humans age, we often sleep less deeply and wake up more during the night, causing many of us to take naps during the day (if we can get away with it). According to the Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep nightly.

Many of our dogs sleep more than we do. Adult dogs generally sleep 12 – 14 hours/day, whereas puppies and older dogs require more, ranging from 15 – 18 hours/day. Unlike humans who generally receive eight hours of consecutive sleep, dogs sleep on and off throughout the day. In fact, 30% of a dog’s day is resting, while 20% is consumed with activity.

Does your dog sleep more than this? Are you worried? Don’t be unless your dog’s habits suddenly change. Dogs sleep different amounts depending on their breed, age, sex, and environment.

Here are some facts about dog’s sleeping patterns you may not know:

  • Large dogs (like Mastiffs and St. Bernards) need more sleep than small dogs.
  • Dogs sleep less deeply than we do and often seem like they are sleeping when they are resting their eyes.
  • Here are a list of the 15 dog breeds that love to sleep the most:
    • Bull dogs
    • Shih Tzu
    • Mastiff
    • Bassett Hound
    • French bulldog
    • Pekingese
    • Greyhound
    • Lhasa Apso
    • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    • Saint Bernard
    • Chow Chow
    • Great Dane
    • Cocker Spaniel
    • Pug
    • Great Pyrenees
  • Companion dogs sleep more. If dogs have a job to do – like herding cattle, search and rescue, or acting as a service dog – they sleep less. If you’re away from the home for long hours, your family dog may sleep more simply because he is bored.

If you feel your dog is sleeping too much, it’s important to get him up and going! Go for a long walk, buy him stimulating toys, play scavenging games or arrange a play date.

If your dog is like most of us, one of his favorite places to be is on the end of your bed, right next to you on the pillow, or even under your blankets. Sometimes dogs seem like Houdini as they worm their way throughout your bed, and even manage to take your spot when you’re not looking. If you don’t like your dog sleeping with you, consider crate training or arrange a separate dark, warm sleeping spot.