How Long Do Dogs Sleep? Plus Tips For a Better Night Sleep

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “let a sleeping dog lie.” But how many hours per day should your dog actually be sleeping? We’re here to answer that question and give you some tips to help your dog have the best possible sleep. So, how long do dogs sleep?

2 lab puppies sleeping

How Long Do Dogs Sleep?: Hours Per Day

There is just something calming about watching a dog sleep. They always look so cozy and at peace. Seeing a sleeping dog might even inspire you to go grab some shuteye.

To make sure that your dog is healthy and on track with her sleep needs, you should see to it that she is getting the correct amount of sleep. Too much sleep or too little sleep could be a sign that your dog is having problems and it may be time for a visit to the vet.

How long do adult dogs sleep?

12 -14 Hours Per Day

How long do puppies sleep?

18 - 20 hours of sleep

So how long do dogs sleep? On average, an adult dog should sleep 12-14 hours per day, according to Sleep.org. A puppy will most likely sleep about 18-20 hours in a 24-hour period. While bigger dogs are known for being “nappers”, any dog can adjust her sleep patterns depending on how much action is going on around her that she wants to be awake for.

For example, on a typical day your dog may sleep an average of 12 hours, because she is home alone and bored. But then Saturday rolls around and you two are out playing for hours on end. Dogs are very flexible with their sleep schedules, much more so than their human companions.

How long  do dogs sleep

Why Is My Dog Sleeping So Much?

It can be concerning when you notice your dog sleeping more than usual. Some medications can cause dogs to become sleepier. However, it could be a medical condition such as diabetes or thyroid problems.

If you notice that your dog is suddenly sleeping more than she usually does, it’s time for a trip to the vet. Your dog’s vet can do an exam and figure out what might be going on, and possible treatment plans. Because your dog being tired could be a sign of any number of medical conditions, it is best to have a vet check her out.

Why Is My Dog Sleeping So Little?

While we expect puppies to have a bit of trouble sleeping in their new homes, it can confuse dog owners when their adult dogs suddenly develop sleep problems. A few factors could be contributing to your dog’s sudden sleep issues.

One issue could be is if your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, and has too much pent up energy to sleep, says Silver Lining Herbs. This can be especially common if you are away during the day, because it is likely that your dog sleeps for a lot of the time that you are gone. Make sure that before bedtime, your dog has a chance to get excess energy out.

If something has triggered your dog to feel anxious, that could also account for your dog’s restlessness. Something small like slipping on the stairs in the dark could cause your dog to fear nighttime, thus stopping her from sleeping.

Talk to your vet about an herbal supplement or prescription medication to ease your dog’s anxiety. Another less commonly used trick is putting a nightlight in the area where your dog sleeps. This could help your pet to feel at ease.

When your dog’s issues don’t seem to be caused by pent up energy or anxiety, consider taking her to the vet. She may be experiencing some type of pain that is interfering with her sleep. Your vet can do an exam and determine if there is an underlying issue.

Tips For Helping Your Dog Sleep Better

To help your dog get a better night’s sleep, try some of these tricks:

  • Have a comfortable space for your pup like a dog bed or a crate with blankets
  • Take your dog outside right before bedtime, to give her a chance to walk around and relieve herself
  • A short evening walk may tire your dog out and get her ready for a good night’s sleep
  • Put the radio on low to help soothe her from any anxiousness that may be caused by too much quiet
  • Snuggle with your pooch and give her some love before bed, this will allow her to relax and feel secure

Helping A New Puppy Sleep

The day you bring home your new puppy is a very exciting one. The night… Less so. The first few nights that your new puppy is in your home are likely to be a little challenging, as the pup adjusts to her new living conditions.

When the puppy was in the litter and with her mom, she was used to have other dogs around to soothe her. To help your puppy to feel secure, have her sleep on a dog bed in a crate. Give her something to chew on in case she experiences any teething pain.

As you tuck your puppy in, try breathing out into her ear a couple of times. This is something that the mother dog does to soothe her pups, and your dog will find this comforting. She may even do it back!

Another idea is putting the sound of a heartbeat outside of your puppy’s crate. Smartphones or heartbeat pillows can mimic the sound naturally. This sound will make your puppy feel like she is sleeping beside her mom and littermates, and help her to sleep more soundly.

Letting Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed

The age-old debate… Whether or not to let your dog sleep in your bed. It is a personal decision, and is highly dependent on if the owner can get a good night’s sleep with their canine companion sharing the mattress.

Veterinarian Marty Becker says it’s ok to allow your dog to sleep in your bed, but make sure that your dog is comfortable sleeping in her own space for times when you want her to do that. As much as you want your dog to sleep well, it’s important for you to sleep well too!

About the author

Melanie Fox

Hi there, I'm Melanie Fox, editor at Beloved Bark. We look to provide people with the knowledge and tools to make smarter, more educated choices for their dogs. We have made it our mission to inform our followers with expert advice and recommendations, that will make a difference in your dog's life.

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