Dogs seem to spend a lot of their time asleep. In fact, dogs spend about 50 percent of their time sleeping, and another 30 percent lying around but not asleep. Only 20 percent of their time is spent awake and active.
How Much Should My Dog Sleep?
The actual amount of time they sleep will depend on their age and size, their breed and their health.
Puppies need large amounts of sleep – they may spend as much as 18 to 20 hours asleep every day. They burn large amounts of energy when they are awake playing and learning to cope with heir surroundings, so they need lots of sleep to recover.
Older dogs too will need increasing amounts of sleep as they age. As they get older, dogs just tire more easily and need extra sleep to recover.
On average, larger breeds seem to need more sleep than smaller breeds.
Some working breeds of dog will spend more time awake doing what they have been bred to do.
Your dog’s health will have a big effect on the amount he wants to sleep. If his sleep patterns change dramatically, it could be a sign that there is a medical condition that needs to be checked. Excessive sleep is associated with diabetes and hypothyroidism.
What You Can Learn From Your Dog’s Sleeping Position
Dogs sleep in a variety of positions and the position they choose can tell you quite a bit about what is going on in their lives.
Dogs will often sleep in a curled-up position with their nose almost touching their tails. They use this position a lot in the colder months. Wild dogs also adopt this position a lot. It is an easy position to get up from quickly. It conserves warmth and protects the vital organs.
Lying Flat Out
This is also a position that is easy for a dog to get up from. Puppies often use this sleeping position. They are ready for action at a moment’s notice.
On His Back With Paws In The Air.
This position shows that a dog is pretty relaxed in his surroundings. He is exposing the most vulnerable part of his body. It is also a good position for a dog to cool off.
Interesting Facts About Dog Sleep
Why do Dogs Circle Before they Lie Down?
The habit of circling before sleep is inherited from your dog’s wolf ancestors. They would circle to flatten grass or snow to make a sleeping position more comfortable.
Soft Barks Or Twitching
The most important part of a dog’s sleep is his REM sleep. This is the most restful and restorative part of his sleep and it is during this time that he may twitch or make soft barking sounds. No one is really sure why this happens, but it is likely he is acting out what he is dreaming. It is more common in older dogs and puppies.
Dogs do have nightmares. If your dog is whimpering or showing signs of agitation during sleep it is possible that he is right in the middle of one. Try to calm him by softly calling his name.