How Much Sleep Does A Dog Need by Age? How to Help Your Dog Sleep Better? Update 05/2024

A dog’s life is a dream come true. When they wake up, they curl up on the couch or in the sunbeams to catch some shuteye. When they finally do awaken, they’re usually up for a game of fetch right away. Many dog owners question if their dog is sleeping too much or too little since animals like dogs sleep differently than humans do.

When it comes to how many hours of sleep a dog requires each day, there is no single answer. Depending on a dog’s age, health, location, and lifestyle; he or she may require more or less sleep. It’s much easier to keep tabs on your dog’s sleep habits when you have a better understanding of how canines sleep.

What Defines a Schedule?

As much as half of a dog’s waking hours are spent sleeping, while the rest of their time is spent laying around and relaxing. More sleep is needed by older dogs simply because they tire out more rapidly, and larger breeds in general tend to sleep longer hours.
How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need? - Whole Dog Journal

When and how often a dog needs to relieve himself is the primary factor in determining his or her sleep cycle. The vast majority of the time, “when we talk about whether to let dogs sleep late, we’re talking about potty concerns,” adds LaRocco-Skeehan. In the middle of the night, “the dog is waking up, going somewhere else, and peeing, and then returning to sleep.”

When a dog has nighttime bowel troubles, you may need to change their food hours as well. “It’s straightforward,” LaRocco-Skeehan explains. “Calories in, calories out.” A key part of anticipating the release of a product is being aware of when it is being received.

Dogs’ Sleep Patterns Are Different

The sleeping habits of dogs are very similar to our own, but there is one major difference. Ten minutes into a person’s sleep, they begin to transition from a slow wave (breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate drop) to a rapid eye movement (REM) stage (REM). Their bodies may react to dreams when they are in the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep.

Because of their unpredictable sleeping patterns, dogs only spend about 10% of their time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. For this reason, as well as the fact that they are prone to dozing off at any time, they are also quick to get alert. As a result, dogs require greater overall sleep to compensate for their REM loss.

A typical human sleep schedule involves remaining awake all day and sleeping through the night, so they spend up to a quarter of the night in REM.

However, the amount of sleep a dog needs varies greatly from one pup to the next. According to LaRocco-Skeehan, “You can’t throw all dogs into one bucket because of their age, health, and just who they are.” Some breeds are naturally more or less energetic than others, and this varies greatly from dog to dog.

How Many Hours a Day Do Dogs Sleep?

Dogs need a lot of sleep, perhaps more than we do. Predators are more likely to be killed while they are sleeping, hence canines tend to sleep more than herbivores. Nevertheless, a dog’s overall sleep requirements are subject to a wide range of variability. When it comes to a dog’s sleep schedule, age is the most essential factor.

  • Puppies sleep at least 11 hours every day, according to one study. Despite the fact that many pups sleep less at night than adult dogs, they sleep longer during the day and for longer periods of time altogether. Puppy sleeps in a crate or kennel for the most part.
  • Adult dogs appear to require between eight and 13.5 hours of sleep each day, with an average of little under 11 hours of sleep per day. Adults, on the other hand, often require seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Between 60 and 80 percent of the hours between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., depending on their surroundings and their owner’s schedules, adult dogs sleep longer than pups. Despite this, adult dogs still require daily naps because they can sleep for up to 37% of the day. Most dogs sleep in a dog bed by the time they are one year old.
  • Middle-aged and older dogs tend to sleep longer at night and wake up less frequently during the night. Because they take naps more frequently, they tend to sleep more during the day.

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Compared to humans, dogs get a lot more shut-eye. They sleep only when their bodies tell them to—as opposed to folks with hectic schedules who don’t always heed their bodies’ cues.

Dogs need a lot of sleep, and it’s crucial for their health.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor emeritus at Tufts University, states that “all day long, electrical activity occurs in our brain, and random, unstructured data is stored in numerous regions.” In our sleep, we do the same thing, and dogs do, too. In the absence of this therapeutic outlet for canines, “they’ll kind of go off the rails,” he says.

Additionally, Dr. Joan C. Hendricks says that sleep aids a dog’s brain growth, memory and learning capacity, as well as its immune system. A lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of infection in both animals and humans, she says.

Many specialists believe that your dog’s bad attitude may be caused by a lack of sleep.

Because large-breed dogs, pups, and senior dogs all require more sleep, this is only natural. When it comes to moving around, larger dogs just have to work harder, and they take longer to recover from that exertion.

Young puppies are always on the go, exploring and wasting their energy. Afterwards, they take a long nap until their body is ready for another round of play.

Older dogs, like humans, require more rest to recuperate from their regular activity.
How to Help Your Puppy Sleep Through the Night | Preventive Vet

What If My Dog Sleeps All Day?

When a dog’s sleep patterns shift, veterinarians are most concerned. As soon as you observe that your dog normally sleeps for 2-3 hours in the morning before getting up and going about their business for the rest of the day, it’s time to call the vet.

It is possible that your dog’s regular sleep patterns have been disrupted by conditions such as diabetes and kidney illness. Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), heart problems, and arthritis are among the most common causes of excessive snoozing in senior dogs.

A dog’s reaction to being awakened is something else we tend to notice. A dangling leash or a tasty treat will rouse most dogs from their snooze, and they’ll get up and get ready to go in no time.

Veterinarians are concerned if dogs find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning or if they are unable to engage in the activities they regularly love. Make an appointment at the vet if you find that your dog is sleeping more than usual or is difficult to wake up.

Your veterinarian can examine the log and perform tests to determine if there are any underlying issues that are causing your dog to sleep more or be more reluctant to get up.

How Much Sleep Does A Dog Need by Age?

The amount of sleep a dog needs varies with his or her age. An illustration of how a dog’s sleeping requirements change with age can be seen in the chart below.

  • Who: Puppies

Age range: from birth to twelve months

Every day, you should sleep between 18 and 20 hours.

Puppies sleep more and nap more frequently than adult dogs. Puppies sleep between 18 and 20 hours per day on average. As individuals get older, their sleep patterns and length become less regular and less long. More time is spent resting during this time period. As a result, they cannot grow properly without adequate sleep. Consequently, one should not be concerned about their dog’s sleep habits. At this age, the only things they’ll do are play, eat, and sleep.

  • Who: Adult Dogs

Age range: from one to five years

Time Spent Sleeping: 8-14 hours each day

Compared to puppies, adult and older dogs tend to sleep less. They’ll sleep anything from eight to thirteen and a half hours a night, or about ten hours a day. Adult and minor dogs, as well as puppies, are frequently awakened and charged before we are. After a long day, they’ll be dozing off by the time we’ve finished our job for the day. However, power naps have already restored their batteries.

  • Who: Senior Dogs

Age 5 and up

Every day, you should be able to sleep for 16 to 20 hours.

When a dog reaches the age of five, they are considered to be elderly. Everything moves faster for dogs since their years are different from ours. Your dog’s sleep patterns may change as he gets older. Senior dogs sleep 16 to 20 hours a day on average. It’s a natural part of aging that causes us to spend more time resting than sleeping. When a dog reaches old age, he or she prefers to curl up in a warm location and take a nap.

What are Breed Wise Sleeping Patterns?

  • Type: Tiny or Small Dogs

Breed: Shih-Tzus, Cavaliers, Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Pugs, etc.

14 to 16 hours of sleep per day

  • Type: Medium-sized Dogs

There are a variety of breeds of dogs, such as golden retrievers, labrador retrievers, German shepherds, etc.

10 – 14 hours of sleep per day

  • Type: Large-sized Dogs

Great Danes, Bull Mastiffs, Pitbulls, Alaskan Malamutes, St Bernards, and other breeds are examples of this.

14 to 18 hours of sleep a day

Note: Some dog breeds sleep more than others, such as Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, French Bulldogs, Pekingese, Chow Chows, Greyhounds, and Lhasa Apso. There are a number of dog breeds that are extremely active, including the Airedale Terrier, Pomeranian, Lagotto Romagnolo, Australian Terrier, and Retriever.

Remember that each dog has its own unique personality, and breed is merely a general guideline. Instead of focusing on the breed’s typical behavior, focus on what is normal for your dog.
Dogs' Sleeping Positions And Habits Tell You A Lot About Their Personality And Health - DogTime

What Can Affect Your Dog’s Sleep?

Stress, worry, and changes in routine can all alter a dog’s sleep patterns, in addition to the dog’s age. For some dogs, daily exercise is necessary to ensure a restful night’s sleep. Additionally, they may be restless owing to health conditions such as frequent urinating, itching from fleas, and recent injuries.

Keep in mind that dogs are social sleepers, which means that their sleep schedules are influenced by their parent’s schedules. When you are resting or sleeping, your pet will usually come and lay down next to you. Crepuscular, or twilight or dusk-active, dogs are most active at these times.

What If My Dog Is Restless at Night and Won’t Sleep?

Older dogs may have a harder time falling asleep than pups or younger adult canines because of their advancing years.

“Sundowning” is a phenomenon seen by some senior dogs, according to Dr. Hendricks (particularly those with a diagnosis of canine cognitive impairment, a condition related to Alzheimer’s disease). As night falls, they may become disoriented and restless. They have a habit of pacing and may have a hard time sleeping.

In many circumstances, medicine can be used to treat this. A low-volume TV or radio can help certain animals get a good night’s sleep, as well as night lighting put near their preferred sleeping areas.

Older dogs who have to pee more regularly are also a prevalent concern. Even though this can be medically related, it could also be just a shift in your dog’s behavior that is perfectly typical for them.

If your dog finds that he has to go out at night for the first time, be sure to consult your veterinarian. Prepare for many nighttime trips for your dog, whether it’s by placing a pee pad, allowing them out during the night, or installing a dog door.

The majority of the time, a dog’s nighttime restlessness can be traced back to specific causes. Contacting your veterinarian is the best long-term solution if you can identify and eliminate the trigger.

Signs Your Dog Isn’t Sleeping Enough

Dogs are capable of adapting to any scenario. Despite the stress of their living conditions, shelter dogs found that they slept better at night and woke up less frequently when they were exposed to the constant noise and activity of a shelter setting. By sleeping longer at night, these shelter pups were able to keep up with most adult dogs’ daily sleep average of 11 hours.

However, there may be a price to pay for adjusting to a hectic work environment. Study results show that dogs who sleep more during the day are calmer and appear happier, so if your dog does not sleep well, you may want to investigate the possibility of a better sleeping arrangement for your pet.

Few studies have been done on how sleep deprivation affects dogs. A lack of sleep in humans can cause a variety of physical and mental problems, including irritability and a lack of energy. xReliable Supply Biotechnology Information Center at the National Library of Medicine The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) promotes science and health by giving access to biomedical and genetic data:

  • Enhanced responses to stressful situations
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Unreliable recollection

A dog’s ability to learn appears to be greatly influenced by the amount of time it spends sleeping. After learning a new command, dogs that had a good night’s sleep fared better than those who didn’t a week later in a subsequent test.

Can Dogs Have Sleep Disorders?

Dogs, much like humans, can suffer from sleep apnea and insomnia. Narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and REM sleep behavior disorder are the three most frequent sleep disorders.

Narcolepsy in Dogs

Cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness are two common signs of canine narcolepsy. When you experience cataplexy, your muscles suddenly weaken and you lose control of your body. When a dog is eating or playing, he or she is more likely to have a cataplexic episode.
How Many Hours a Day Do Dogs Sleep? | Reader's Digest

There are some breeds that are more susceptible to narcolepsy than others, like Doberman pinschers and Labrador retrievers, but narcolepsy can arise in dogs without a familial history of the illness. Dogs with narcolepsy are not at risk of death or worsening over time, but there is no cure. The treatment of narcolepsy in dogs is not always necessary, although dogs with more severe symptoms may benefit from anti-cataplectic drugs.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Dogs

Several mammals, including humans and dogs, have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Apneas, or short pauses in breathing, are caused when relaxed tissues and muscles block the airway. Excessive daytime tiredness and loud snoring or choking noises while sleeping are two of the most common symptoms in both humans and canines.

Bulldogs, with their small muzzles, are more likely than other breeds to suffer from sleep apnea. Surgery or medication are the most common treatment options, but your veterinarian may also prescribe dietary or exercise modifications if the problem persists.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder in Dogs

REM sleep behavior disorder is characterized by uncontrollable movements of the eyes and head during the REM stage of sleep. In addition to wailing or barking and violent limb movements, dogs who suffer from this condition may also bite or gnaw as they sleep. Medications appear to be useful in more than three-fourths of dogs who show symptoms before the age of one year.

How to Help Your Dog Sleep Better?

To live a peaceful and happy life, most dogs get the amount of sleep they require. While it’s not always possible, there are certain things you can do to assist your dog get a good night’s sleep.

  • Set a Routine: If your dog is having a hard time relaxing, they may benefit from a regular schedule. To determine if it helps your dog sleep better, try maintaining a consistent schedule throughout the day.
  • In order to have a good night’s rest for both you and your dog, it’s best to keep them apart. Even if owners aren’t aware of the problems, sharing a bed might make it difficult for your dog to sleep.
  • Improve the quality of their sleep by making their mattress as cozy as possible: Young puppies are commonly housed in an enclosed space, such as a cage or kennel, in order to promote rest. Even if your dog grows out of their box, it’s crucial to make sure they have somewhere to sleep that provides both comfort and support. A more supportive bed may be required for dogs who are more senior or have joint issues.
  • Assure a Quiet, Dark Sleeping Environment: It’s simpler for your dog to sleep at night if the room is dim or dark, because mammals have circadian rhythms that are influenced by light. To help them fall asleep, they should not be disturbed by too much noise.
  • The association between sleep and exercise has not been thoroughly studied in dogs, but regular exercise in humans has been shown to improve sleep quality. Many dog owners report the same thing about their energetic working breeds.
  • Permit Time for Relaxation During the Day: Your dog may have trouble sleeping during the day if they are in an unusual or busy location, or if they encounter unfamiliar people. Ensuring that they have periods of quiet and familiar area will help them get enough sleep.

When to Visit the Vet

Some canine sleep problems can be remedied with simple methods, but others may indicate a more serious problem. Veterinary advice is that if your dog is sleeping far more or far less than the prescribed number of hours, you should take him to the vet.

In addition, if your dog’s sleeping patterns suddenly change or stray significantly from their usual pattern, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advise; it is merely for informational purposes.


When it comes to napping, you may still have some unanswered questions about how long dogs sleep. Listed below are the most often asked questions and concerns concerning dog sleep:

How Much Do Dogs Sleep in 24 Hours?

Dogs sleep for an average of 12 to 14 hours every day. In general, puppies and older dogs sleep 18 to 20 hours every day. Adult dogs, on the other hand, only require eight to 12 hours of sleep every day.

Why Do Dogs Sleep All the Time?

Because of their peculiar routines, dogs may appear to be asleep at all times. Dogs, unlike humans, sleep throughout the day in addition to the night. Despite the fact that their naps appear to be consistent, they only result in 12 to 14 hours of total sleep per day.

How Much Do Dogs Sleep in a Night?

Dr. Roberts estimates that about 75% of a dog’s sleep occurs at night, with the remaining 25% occurring during the day. Average dog sleeps nine hours at night and three hours during the day on an average day. As a result, humans and their dogs are free to share a bed at night.

When Do Puppies Stop Sleeping So Much?

After reaching adulthood, which occurs between the ages of six and twelve months, puppies stop sleeping as often. Adult dogs only sleep between eight and 14 hours a day, and puppies sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day.

How Much Sleep Your Dog Needs | Sleep Foundation

Do Dogs Dream?

It’s true that dogs have dreams, just like people do. Rats, according to MIT research, have been shown to dream while in the REM sleep state, which suggests that other animals may also dream. It’s possible that your dog is dreaming if you see them dozing deeply and moving their eyes rapidly under their eyelids.

Dogs’ sleeping requirements are distinct from those of humans. You can tell if your dog is getting enough shut-eye by looking at how many hours she sleeps. By following the recommendations of professionals, you may assist your dog obtain a good night’s sleep.

No of how your dog sleeps, a warm dog bed can help them relax and get a good night’s rest. In the event that you wind up sharing the bed with your dog, make sure to purchase a mattress protector.

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