Why does my dog sleep so much?

Why does my dog sleep so much?

It is particular for dogs to sleep all night and take up most of their day sleeping.


However, this depends on their age, size, and activity levels.


When they change their sleeping patterns to excessive, it is an issue, and it might be time to consult a vet as they may be displaying clinical signs of underlying problems.


Below are some guidelines to help a dog owner establish whether the dog is acting normal or has sleep issues.

Is it normal for a dog to sleep all day?

Dogs, like humans, need a good night's sleep for healthy brains and stable emotions.


Solid naps for puppies are important, especially for puppies, as their nervous systems, bones, and muscles are under development.


Senior dogs, like puppies, need a few more hours of sleep than adult dogs.


However, most dogs tend to sleep whenever something to do doesn't present itself.


When your healthy dog, except for puppies and senior dogs, sleeps for 12-18 hours per day, it is normal, and no eyebrows should be raised, but excess sleeping is worrying.


When humans sleep during the night, we enter a reviving phase known as deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM), where our tissues are restored by the body and immunity systems are strengthened.


However, dogs have dispersed sleeping patterns of short naps during the day and extended sleep at night, waking up to check their environment for dangers or changes.


They enter the reviving phase quicker than humans, and since they wake up in between naps, they have less REM and deep sleep time making them sleep more to feel restored.


Dogs who don't get enough sleep become sleep deprived, and an owner may notice common signs of lacking sleep, although they are often not very evident.

Can dogs sleep too much?

It is a cause for concern when a healthy adult dog sleeps for more than 18 hours daily.


Age, size, captivity level, and health are all aspects to be considered when gauging how much sleep a dog should have.


Research suggests that middle-aged and older dogs sleep more during the day because of frequent naps than young adult dogs.


Also, they sleep more at night and wake up a few times during the night.


Dogs fed regularly usually take a few longer naps during the day as their counterparts fed twice a day go to sleep and wake up earlier.


Healthy and normal adult dogs sleep between 12-14 hours, combining day-time naps and overnight sleep. Dogs about 12 months old have an ideal 10 hours of average sleep.


However, puppies and senior dogs tend to sleep more than adult dogs.


Senior dogs sleep for an average of 14-18 hours as they get more worn out during activities making them less active.


On the other hand, puppies sleep an average of 15-20 hours, although they are free to rest as much as they want as long as they grow and show no signs of sickness.


If an active dog begins lacking sleep, forcing them to be wide awake most of the time, or if they start dozing off, talk to your vet immediately to confirm any underlying causes of sleep pattern changes in your dog.

How do I know my dog is sleeping too much?

Excessive napping or being restless during the night are not normal behaviours in healthy dogs.


They may wind up disinterested in life, sluggish or whiney, and if they develop severe sleep disorders, they may become aggressive and disoriented when getting on with basic tasks.


Here are some ways to know your pet is sleeping too much:

  • The dog's sleeping patterns change.
  • Limping or lameness.
  • Sleeping even when something that usually grabs their attention is going on
  • The dog falls asleep suddenly, even in the middle of play (narcolepsy).
  • Increased aggression or fearfulness.
  • Unwillingness to walk, run, or jump.
  • Lack of appetite; therefore, eats and drinks less
  • Staring at corners or walls.
  • Dry coats and low energy
  • Pacing, drooling, and other signs of anxiety
  • Difficulty rousing the dog in the morning
  • Waking up suddenly or in a state of fright or stress.


These signs may be gradual or sudden. Talk to your vet to help rule out possible medical problems depending on the severity.

When do I worry about my dog sleeping too much?

Generally, healthy adult dogs can sleep up to 15 hours a day without problems, but different dogs have different sleeping patterns.


If a dog is more lethargic when awake and sleeps more, a dog owner should be worried and contact a vet as there may be something going on with the dog.


Below are several factors that may cause your dog to sleep so much:


  1. Environment

Hot summers can get a dog exhausted and yearning for extra sleep, particularly for short-nosed breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs.


Keeping the dog cool in these hot times is essential as immense heat may cause problems other than excessive sleep.


Recent changes like bringing a new pet with lots of energy home may wear down older dogs, and leaving them alone longer than they are used to may change their sleeping habits.


There are various ways to keep the dog's stimulation up, like daily routines of together-time, including treasure hunts or pet picnics.


  1. Activity level

Active puppies need 18-20 hours of sleep daily, while active adult dogs need 12-14 hours.


Dogs mainly recharge by taking frequent naps, so spreading out their physical activities throughout the day goes a long way.


Engaging the dogs in activities that are amenable to them is best, like walks for older dogs rather than running and visits to the park for young, social dogs as substitutes for solitary exercise.


Lack of exercise may lead to agitation and anxiety, creating sleeping problems for dogs.


Depending on the dog's energy level and age, the number of exercises needed may vary. Knowing the type of dog you own and meeting their required exercising goals is vital.


  1. Age of the dog

Senior dogs and puppies have more sleeping time needs than healthy adult dogs.


Puppies spend most of their time playing, being curious about their environment, and growing; therefore, they will need more sleep.


Senior dogs get tired more easily and need extra sleep, although they should be watched closely for symptoms like waking up in the middle of the night and confusion may be signs of health problems.


  1. Breed of dog

Large dog breeds need more sleep than smaller breeds. Also, the amount of sleep will depend on what the dog was bred to do.


Common breeds known for excessive sleeping include:

  • Newfoundlands
  • Chow
  • Mastiffs
  • Pyrenees
  • Basset Hound
  • Greyhounds
  • Bulldogs
  • Bernards
  • Shih Tzus


Working dogs will be more awake for jobs that require their attention, as those with less job-oriented lifestyles will have more time to sleep.


Smaller dog breeds take longer to be older and need less sleep. Additionally, some breeds have low energy levels, and this may lead to more sleep on their end.


  1. Medical illnesses

Dogs with underlying illnesses may sleep more than expected. Here are some diseases:



When there is a deficiency in thyroxine secretion, chemical processes within the cells in a dog's body are reduced, slowing metabolism.


Weight gain and lethargy are primary symptoms and are prone in older dogs.


Diagnosis is through blood tests with successful medication treatments.



This is a medical condition of abnormally low levels of red blood cells (vessels that transport oxygen to all body tissues).


Affected dogs will be sleepy and unable to cope with exercises.


Blood-sucking parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms lead to reduced red blood cells in dogs.



This results when a dog's body is not able to produce enough needed amounts of insulin, exposing the dog to the risk of hyperglycemia.


This may lead to hormonal conditions that make the dog less active and sleep more.


  1. Lack of good nutrition

If a dog isn't given a well-balanced diet, it may lack nutrients that help with its bodily energy.


This may lead to more sleeping hours on the dog's side, as staying awake may be more of a task.


It is important to talk to your vet or vet nutritionist for diet options and plans that will help rejuvenate your dog's energy and overall health.


  1. Pain, Illness, Or Injury

As an instinct, dogs hide their pain from their owners, making it difficult to pin it out until visible symptoms have escalated.


Excessive sleeping is one of the signs to look out for, accompanied by withdrawal, limping, or tiring quickly during activities they previously enjoyed.


To find the cause of pain, contact a vet for clinical examinations.


The vet can look for what is causing the dog's distress and rule out medical issues.


Osteoarthritis is a typical cause of pain and insomnia, but luckily it can be managed through prescribed pain relief medications, physiotherapy, and massage treatments.


  1. Stress, Anxiety, and Boredom

Psychological problems like boredom, stress, and anxiety cause endless sleeping for dogs.


The dogs become lethargic and nap more often than usual because of the following:


Below are various causes of anxiety in dogs:

  • New environment
  • Fear and neglect
  • Forced socialisation
  • Separation from companion(s)
  • Changes to the family, like new pets or people
  • Lack of exercise
  • Loud sounds like thunderstorms, fireworks, or construction
  • Past trauma


Routine activities to enhance and stimulate the dog's physical and mental condition helps relieve these problems.


Additionally, overly anxious dogs may be administered pheromone products or Benadryl with the advice of a vet to help them calm down and settle.

How can I make sure my dog is getting enough sleep?

There are various ways one may spice up a dog's routine to help them get back on track for their sleeping habits and not have an excess of it.

  • Have midday walks with your dog and practise some agility exercises like playing fetch
  • Offer food puzzles for the dog's mental stimulation when trying to get out the treats.
  • Keep up with training as learning new tricks improve the dog's cognitive functioning.
  • Introduce your dog to other playmates to beat loneliness and boredom, as this also gives the time to socialise
  • Puzzle toys are a perfect way to keep the dog awake and active during the day.
  • Put your puppy on a sleep schedule to gauge their sleeping time and potty breaks.


How Safe Guard's Ingredients can Improve Energy

A recommended supplement by veterinarians for dogs' diet is the Safe Guard probiotic.


It enhances the dog's nutrient absorption, improves immunity, and relieves intestinal issues.


In addition, it has healthy bacterias that fasten the dog's digestion, reduce stress, and improve gut balance.


All these factors help dogs have the energy they need to face daily activities and relieve them from too much sleep, which is unhealthy.

Final Thought

If a dog sleeps during the day and night, it is getting enough exercise, is content with its surroundings, and has a well-balanced, healthy diet.


When you notice sudden changes, like the dog sleeping an unusual amount, in the dog's routine, visit a vet before making assumptions.


There are varying hormonal imbalances and medical conditions that may be making your dog uncomfortable.


Your vet's proper diagnosis and treatments will ensure your dog returns to abundant health!