When your dog sleeps a lot, you begin to wonder and ask yourself: are they sleeping a lot because they are tired, or are they sleeping a lot because they are sick?
This can be unnerving but you, as a dog owner, want to be as informed as possible about dogs and sleep habits on top of the signs that you should take your dog to a trusted veterinarian.
About Senior Dogs
How much sleep is too much sleep? When you observe your dogs day sleeping seep into hours upon hours of sleep, should be be alarmed?
When it comes to senior dogs, you can breathe a little bit more. These dogs require more sleep than the average adult dog. The amount of sleep your dog gets can be influenced by their breed and age, and on average, adult dogs should have 12 to 14 hours of sleep each day. For senior dogs, you'll see more hours added to their sleep schedule.
This bit of news about your pup may come as a shock to you. Did you know that puppies typically sleep about 18 to 20 hours a day? This might look like excess sleep but when your puppy has so much energy in their activity level, their little bodies get tuckered out and you quickly have a tired pup. One game of fetch can send them into an early nap. This is why you see so many videos of these little guys enjoying bedtime in their waterbowl or other uncomfortable sleeping positions.
About Your New Dog
Don't be alarmed just yet! Whether your dog is a large dog, young puppy, or old dog, the first step before suspecting health issues with your pup is to monitor your dog's sleep habits and overall schedule. When you welcome a new dog into your home, they may have a sleep schedule that differs from your own. Over time, your dog may adapt their schedule to be close to if sync with your human sleep cycle.
Are they tired or are they sick?
Now we're at the big question! When your dog is sleeping a lot and showing signs of lethargy, that may be indicating a larger problem. There are numerous possibilities on the table like hypothyroidism, insulin deficiencies, and more.
But when should you take your dog to the vet and seek professional medical assistance from a veterinarian? Here are the signs you should keep an eye out for:
- Excess sleep is getting in the way of their eating schedule.
- It's increasingly difficult to wake your dog and get them moving in the morning.
- Your dog jolts awake suddenly and reacts with alarm. Fight or flight mode. (Note: If your dog is a brachycephalic breed, your dog may have sleep apnea which causes them to jolt awake repeatedly.)
- Your dog has diarrhea and/or is defecating irregularly.
- Your dog is exhibiting increased signs of anxiety or aggression.
- Your dog exhibits behaviors of narcolepsy.
If you observe anything out of the normal (and sudden change) with your dog's behavior and sleep patterns, take your dog to the vet and speak with their veterinarian.
Is it boredom?
Your dog could just be bored! When your dog isn't stimulated mentally and physically, they may slip into funks and sleep more. There's only one way to find out: make some changes in their routine. Here are a few things you can try out:
- Get some puzzle toys to keep your fur baby busy during the day so that they sleep at night.
- Gear up and take them to the dog park, play a game of fetch, and observe their behaviors.
When in doubt, seek professional advice.
It's always a good idea to check in on your dog's health through regular checkups as a preventative measure of large health issues. The best way to treat is when the issue is tackled before it develops further over time. If you have concerns about your dog getting too much sleep or not getting enough sleep, contact your local vet office and schedule an appointment to meet with your trusted veterinarian.
This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog in this section.