Nap Time All The Time: The Ins and Outs of Healthy Sleeping Habits for Your Dog
Veronica DeLisle | August 22 2018
Cats are known for their daily routine that includes waking up, eating food, napping on and off all day, eating more food, then sleeping even more. Did you know that dogs actually sleep a lot during the day as well? Dogs typically spend 12-14 hours a day asleep, and puppies sleep for 18 hours! Around 50% of a dog’s day is sleep, so here are some tips to keep their snoozing healthy.
Why Sleep All Day?
Dogs tend to sleep so much to us because they don’t sleep as soundly as humans do. While humans spend about 25% of their sleep in REM, dogs only spend about 10% in REM while they’re sleeping. This calls for extra naps throughout the day to keep their energy up for playtime! Different breeds also have different sleeping habits: larger breeds like mastiffs and Saint Bernards have been known to sleep as much as puppies! While 50% of a dog’s day is spent sleeping, 30% is spent resting and the last 20% is when they are active. Contrary to what it may feel like, your dog is actually sleeping more than they’re begging you to go outside!
Healthy Sleeping Habits
Perhaps your pup is waking you up at 3am every night to go potty, or maybe they sleep on your bed with you and keep getting jostled by your feet. Sometimes dogs aren’t getting the quality sleep that they need. In order to ensure that your pup is sleeping enough, try some of these tips!
Take your pup outside to do their business right before bedtime every night. They’ll be able to empty their bladders and make it through without nudging you early in the morning to take them outside. It’s important to be consistent and make a routine out of this so that your dog will not believe that waking up at 3am to pee is normal.
Although some dog owners might think that exercise right before bed is a good idea to tire your pup out, it may actually be harmful to their sleeping habits. Playtime means drinking lots of water to cool down, leading to late night potty emergencies. However, exercise is necessary for your dog to sleep well! They need 30 minutes a day (preferably not right before bedtime) in order to fulfill their 12-14 hours of sleep per day.
You could also consider buying your pooch a dog bed. Although it’s nice to have a companion to sleep with, it doesn’t always work the way we want it to. Giving your dog a space of their own to rest and relax in is great for their mental health. A dog bed is also great for your dog’s physique as they are not sleeping on a hard floor. Dog beds are also great for colder nights as they keep your pup comfortable and warm.
If you notice your dog’s sleeping habits changing it may be due to a few different factors. It could be a low quality diet that is causing them to sleep uncomfortably, their age may be getting up there, or there may be some kind of ailment that is impacting their sleep. Contact your veterinarian if your dog is not getting the healthy sleep that they need.
Your dog needs a healthy amount of sleep to be around as long as possible. Staying informed on what this means and how to ensure it is the best way to keep your pup by your side for a long time!