How much sleep do dogs need?

dog sleep

If you have a dog, especially an older dog, you may notice that they sleep a lot—after sleeping all night, they will happily spend their days napping in sunbeams and dozing on the couch. What a life, huh?

So how many hours a day sleep is “normal”?

Dogs require a significant amount of sleep, even more than we do, although the total amount of sleep a dog need can vary depending on a range of factors (including age).

But in general, experts agree that most adult dogs seem to need between eight and 13.5 hours of sleep every day, with an average of just under 11 hours. Compared to puppies, middle-aged and senior dogs tend to wake up less often throughout the night and sleep later in the morning. They also nap more frequently during the day.

Unlike humans, who generally stay up all day and then sleep for one long stretch at night, dogs spread out their sleep time. In fact, they might only spend five hours a day being active, with half the day devoted to sleeping, and the remaining time resting, when their ears might be on low alert for any activity worth getting upright for.

Sleep is essential for dogs, just as it is for humans. Dogs who sleep well are better adjusted and more emotionally stable. On the flip side, dogs who suffer from inadequate or unrestful sleep tend to be more aggressive, anxious, and stressed.

You may notice your dog’s eyes twitch, their paws flick, or even a growl or two, during sleep. Rather like our rapid eye movement (REM), this is their dreaming time. Sometimes your dog may express extreme agitation, which could be a nightmare. Experts say don’t wake them up: they may be scared, or lash out in fear. You could try and calm a troubled sleeper by gently stroking their back and using a reassuring voice to soothe them.

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