If you are at work and your dog is all alone at home, it’s easy to tell what she is doing now: she must be taking a nap! Scientists and dog experts are still puzzling over the reason why dogs love to sleep, but that is how they like to spend their day.
Here is what we know: unlike you, who spends more than eight hours asleep, most of it in REM, dogs have shorter sleep cycles. Less than 10 percent is spent in REM because dogs are very perceptive to very low noises. A gecko crawling up the wall is enough to wake her up. Therefore, she needs more time snoozing so that she can be well rested.
On average, your pet is likely to spend between 12 and 14 hours sleeping. If you own a puppy, you may have noticed she sleeps longer, between 18 and 20 hours at a time.
Senior dogs tend to sleep longer too, particularly because they have to get up frequently to relieve themselves. Ideally, all dogs sleep a lot, but big breeds like St. Bernards sleep way longer and that has earned them the name mat dogs.
How much sleep does your pet need?
The length of time your pet spends sleeping depends on a number of things.
Your adult dog spends anywhere between 12 and 14 hours dozing. As she grows older, she will want to sleep even longer because her life will become much more exhausting. Just like us humans the older we get the less energy we have. Senior pets get tired easily, so they need to spend most of their time rejuvenating their energy.
Puppies and younger pets spend more time running around and chasing squirrels because they are energetic. Though puppies need a lot of sleep too and can sleep between 15-20 hours a day.
The amount of sleep dogs need differs from one breed to another. Dogs that spend their day working sleep a lot less than those that stay at home. Working dogs need to stay awake all day because they have duties to accomplish. They don’t have the time to slip off into a quiet room and grab some sleep. When an opportunity arises, she will sleep much longer to recover her energy.
Sleeping is health for your pet because it helps her stay healthy and alert. If you find that your pet sleeps a lot, it’s probably normal, so it should not worry you. However, if she seems to experience an unusual sleep cycle, then you need to be concerned. Poor sleeping habits could be an indication of a health issue, so have your pet checked up by a vet to rule out any underlying health problems.
As your pet grows, she will encounter many life changes. Like us, pets react to such changes in different ways, and that can cause them to be stressed. Nevertheless, dogs respond well to a familiar environment. So, if you change anything in your pet’s surroundings, her quality of life will be affected. Usually, that includes change in her sleep cycle. Your pet may start experiencing a shorter or longer sleep cycle.
What about exercise?
Dogs love to play, a lot, especially when they are all healthy and happy. If your dog loves the outdoors, then she uses a lot of energy during the day. Your pet will need to sleep a little longer so that she can recover the energy she has lost. If you let your pet work or play too much, she will want to sleep really long hours.
How to keep her active
If your pet sleeps a lot during the day, chances are she will not sleep at all during the night, and that will interfere with your own sleep pattern. Therefore, you need to look for a way to keep her active the entire day.
You can keep her engaged during the day by organizing a series of activities that will occupy her time. For instance, you could have her do some pet therapy at hospital and nursing homes, or buy her a puzzle toy or those squeaky toys that make a sound each time she takes a bite.
Walking your dog as you go out on errands is also a good way to keep her active so that she can sleep soundly at night. Besides, it’s good exercise for both of you!
As you can see, you and your pet have something in common when it comes to sleeping patterns. Of course, your pet needs a little more sleep than you do so that she can remain healthy and active.
Apparently, she also dreams and that is something that fascinates many people. If you are a new pet parent, be sure to watch and learn your pet’s sleep cycle. That way, it is easy to tell when she is in distress. Also, if she does not seem to sleep well at night, find ways to keep her active during the day.
ALSO READ: Is It Normal For Chihuahuas To Snore?
Should You Let Your Chihuahua Sleep With You
Bio- Brian Morgan is an editor for DogBedZone a site that recommends the best dog beds for your pooch to get the best sleep. He has two dogs a Pomeranian and a Husky who keep him busy everyday.