How Much Time Do Dogs Sleep Per Day: How to distinguish healthy sleep from illness or growth retardation: we tell you how much dogs sleep per day, if everything is in order, and what affects the quality and quantity of sleep over the course of the animal’s life.
Why Does The Dog Sleep So Long?
Adult dogs sleep 14-16 hours a day. However, the depth of immersion in sleep and its quality are not at all the same as in humans. According to scientific evidence, dogs sleep frequently, but in fits and starts.
At the same time, the duration of deep sleep required to reboot the body and renew cells is only 10% of the total time spent on sleep. For comparison: a person spends up to 25% on deep sleep.
How Much Time Do Dogs Sleep Per Day
According to scientists, this is due to natural instincts that keep the body in good shape in the event of a sudden attack by other predators and increase the chance of survival in the wild.
Sleep Phases of a Dog
To relax and fall asleep, the dog goes through 3 phases: drowsy, shallow (slow), and deep (fast). If you track them by changing the behavior of the animal and calculate how many hours the dogs sleep, it turns out that out of 24 hours a day, 50% is spent on sleep, 30% on naps, and 20% on physical activity *. The complete sleep cycle of dogs is as follows:
Phase 1. Drowsy. The dog takes a comfortable position in which it can relax its muscles and remain asleep, but at the same time remain mobile and quickly jump to its feet when a stimulus appears. At the moment of immersion in a doze, the eyes continually close, but the ears remain tense and turn in the direction of the sources of noise.
The pet responds to the nickname, famous commands, and the smell of food. At the same time, it remains on the verge between sleep and wakefulness.
The nap phase is necessary so that the dog sleeps and relieves stress from the nervous system, but does not fall deeply into sleep and easily jumps up from a place at the slightest danger.
Phase 2. Surface (slow). The dog breathes deeply and completely relaxes the body. At the time of the transition from slumber to superficial sleep, the metabolism and activity of the nervous system slow down: the heart beats less frequently, blood pressure is lowered. At the same time, the dog continues to respond to stimuli. For example, loud noises or bright lights.
The shallow sleep phase lasts the longest. No matter how much the dog sleeps, it still returns to it with each new cycle or before waking up.
Phase 3. Deep (fast). The dog breathes intermittently and noisily, while it can snore, whine or touch its paws. The eyeballs twitch, the eyes are slightly open. There is no reaction to the nickname, external noises and even touch.
The REM sleep phase lasts no more than 10-15 minutes. But it is at this time that the complete relaxation of the nervous system and muscles occurs. The brain processes the information received during the day. Presumably, the dog is dreaming.
* The calculation is correct for adult dogs from 1 to 7 years old with good health and humane conditions.
What Do Sleeping Positions in Dogs Talk About?
The depth and duration of sleep affect the position of the animal’s body. If you read the poses correctly, you can easily determine how long the dog sleeps in a particular phase and whether everything is okay with him.
Here is a list of the sleeping positions dogs take the most:
The Dog Sleeps On Its Stomach
If the animal lies on its stomach with its forepaws extended forward, it means that the sleep is shallow, and the dog is ready to jump off the spot and run. Usually, this position is typical for young puppies up to 4-5 months old.
But it can also be found in adults. Especially during periods of prolonged stress or when the pet slept in the same house for a long time, and suddenly found itself in unfamiliar territory.
If the animal rounds its back and presses its nose against its tail, hiding its throat and paws, it may feel cold or uncomfortable. Usually, dogs curl up in a ball when lying in a draft. But sometimes this is due to individual habit and convenience because the embryo’s posture is the most physiological and safe – the pet slept in it while still in the womb and as a newborn puppy.
Dog Sleeping On Its Side
If the animal lies on its side with outstretched paws perpendicular to the body, it means that you inspire confidence in it, and it is not scary to plunge into a deep sleep in your presence.
The Dog Sleeps On Its Back
If the animal is lying on its back with its paws spread out to the sides, there can be several posture values. If the dog has always slept like this, the animal feels safe and can completely relax.
If she began to turn on her back with the onset of summer, she is probably just hot. In adult dogs and young puppies, the chest area is responsible for thermoregulation, and when they open it during sleep, they cool.
What Affects How Long Your Dog Sleeps
To calculate how many hours your dog should sleep, consider age, breed, lifestyle, and external factors.
Breed. The larger the individual, the more it sleeps. This is due to the high energy costs of maintaining motor and mental activity. In addition, a large dog eats more. Therefore, it needs additional time to assimilate nutrients and convert them into energy.
Age. The need for sleep depends on the age group. Newborn puppies need to sleep for days. This is necessary in order to save energy and direct all forces to growth and weight gain.
At 3-4 months, the puppy begins to sleep for 16-18 hours. In six months and the rest of adulthood – 14-16. And upon reaching 7-10 years, again 2-3 hours more. This is due to a slowdown in metabolism and other aging processes.
The dog has never slept so much, but there are no other changes, there is no need to worry – the body rebuilds to the newly changed needs and needs more time to recover and digest food. If you experience general lethargy, poor stool, vomiting, or body temperature fluctuations, contact your veterinarian.
Physical activity level. If the dog moves a lot, gets regular physical activity, and solves complex cognitive problems, then he falls asleep quickly and sleeps soundly and continuously.
The weather outside the window. Dogs, like humans, react to changing seasons and climates. On cold, cloudy days and heat, animals sleep more. This helps to conserve energy and maintain a comfortable body temperature.
Stress level. The response to stress can be mixed. Some dogs begin to suffer from insomnia. Others can walk sleepily all day, no matter how much they sleep before.
Health status. If the dog experiences physical discomfort, the duration of deep sleep will noticeably decrease: the animal will begin to sleep in fits and starts, instantly react to external stimuli and take tense poses.
How To Put a Dog To Bed
1. Prepare a comfortable sleeping place. The dog should have its own corner in which it would sleep warm and safe.
2. Adhere to a strict regime of the day. Companion dogs have slept and will sleep in master mode. Hunting and herding breeds are guided by the feeding and walking schedule.
3. Get rid of sources of noise and bright light. If you want the dog to sleep with you and not wake up in the morning, do not make noise and darken the windows from the first days of the puppy in the new house.
4. Give regular physical activity. The more the dog moves and walks in the fresh air during the day, the more soundly and longer it sleeps at night. Especially if it is a puppy in an active growth phase.
5. Pay attention. If the animal stays in an empty house all day, make up for the lack of communication with interactive toys. For example, feeding toys. This will help the dog sleep as much as it needs to fully recover.