This article is contributed by guest writer, Alec Littlejohn (Lead Editor at Pawscessories.com).
7 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Sleeping So Much
Dogs are known for being energetic and playful, but sometimes they just want to curl up and sleep. Dogs can sleep anywhere from 12-14 hours per day, and there are a few reasons why they might be sleeping more than usual. In this article, we’ll discuss 7 of the most common reasons why your dog might be sleeping more than you think is necessary.
Before jumping into the reasons, if you’re concerned about your dog’s sleeping habits, it’s always best to have a veterinarian take a look at them.
1) Age Matters
Age matters with both how young your dog is as well as how old they are. Young puppies are going through major growth spurts and require much more sleep to help their body repair and recover. They can sleep upwards of 18 hours per day going from bursts of high energy to passing out taking a nap. This is completely normal for puppies. As long as they’re excitable when they’re awake, there’s typically nothing to worry about.
Older dogs, on the other hand, might be sleeping more because they’re experiencing age-related issues like arthritis or other health problems. Dogs moving into their senior years may start sleeping as much as 18 hours as well. If your dog is sleeping more and seems to be in pain, it’s time for a vet visit.
Another common reason why your dog might be sleeping more than usual is because they’re bored. If your dog isn’t getting enough mental stimulation, they will likely sleep more to pass the time. You can help by providing your dog with toys, puzzles, and teaching them new tricks or behaviors to help keep them occupied.
You should also make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise. Without adequate exercise to keep their body in good condition, they’re more likely to gain unhealthy weight and have weaker muscles. Both of which contribute to increased sleeping.
If your dog is out of shape and you start exercising them more, you’ll likely notice them sleeping more in the beginning to help their muscles recover. But once they get in better shape, their sleep should return to normal amounts.
If your pup is bored and doesn’t have much to do, sleeping for large portions of their day to pass the time is a solution many dogs take.
3) Not Feeling Well
If your dog is sleeping more than normal and doesn’t seem to have any energy, it might be because they’re not feeling well. Unfortunately, dogs can’t tell you when they’re not feeling 100%, so it’s important to pay attention to other signs that something might be wrong.
A loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea are all signs that your dog might be sick and in need of a trip to the vet. If your dog is sleeping a lot and seems uninterested in their usual activities, it’s best to have them checked out by a professional.
4) Their Food Doesn’t Agree With Them
Sometimes the food you’re feeding your dog doesn’t agree with them and can lead to longer sleeping hours. This is because their digestive system is working overtime to try and process the food which can make them tired. It can also be that their body isn’t properly absorbing their food’s nutrients which makes them energy deprived.
If your dog is eating a lot but not gaining or maintaining their weight, it might be an indication that their body isn’t able to process their food properly. This can be due to things such as allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients. If you think your dog’s food might be the issue, it’s best to speak with your veterinarian about what other food might be better for them.
A change in diet can help many dogs who are sleeping a lot due to an intolerance or allergy to their previous food.
5) Potential Depression
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from depression. And one of the common symptoms of depression is sleeping more than usual. There are many potential causes of depression in dogs including the loss of a family member (human or animal), changes in their routine or living situation, and even health problems.
The best thing to do if you think your dog might be depressed is to get them back on a routine. Structure in their day-to-day life can really help lift them out of their funk. Things like walks, playtime, meals or doing other things they love such as car rides or trips to the dog park. Even just cuddle sessions at roughly the same time each day.
When a dog is feeling down emotionally, giving them more structure in their life can help stop them from focusing on what’s upsetting them.
6) Not Eating Enough Food
Unknowingly, sometimes people don’t give their dog enough food each day. This would definitely have an impact on your dog’s energy levels as food is their source of energy! If they aren’t getting what their body needs to function properly throughout the day, they’ll be more likely to sleep longer hours.
If this seems at all possible it’s worth double checking the recommended amount on their food to see if you’re portioning correctly. It’s also not a bad idea to speak with a vet to know exactly how many calories a dog at your dog’s weight should be getting each day.
7) They’re Getting The Sleep They Need
The final reason is that your dog is simply getting the sleep they need. Depending on their age, breed, weight and activity level, dogs can sleep between 12-18 hours each day. Sometimes people think because they themselves only need 8 hours of sleep that when they notice their dog is sleeping more, there must be something wrong. But that’s not the case.
Dog’s simply require more sleeping hours each day to feel well rested. This is because they have a lot more irregularities in their sleep and don’t get as much quality sleep when they’re resting.
If your dog is healthy and happy, then there’s no need to worry about their sleeping habits. Dogs are individuals just like people and some will naturally sleep more than others.
If your dog is sleeping more than usual, it’s important to take notice of any other changes in their behavior or health. This will help you determine if there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Many times when a dog is sleeping a lot it’s because they need it or they’re simply passing the time. However, as they get older there’s an increased chance that it’s something that needs to be looked at.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s sleeping habits, the best thing to do is speak with your veterinarian. They’ll be able to help you determine if there’s an underlying health issue or not.