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How Long Should Sleeping Dogs Lie?

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TGIF! Party Marty is back on his beat, bringing to his faithful readers a healthy dose of insight into living with pets. Today’s topic?  Why do dogs sleep so much? I know…I know…you might think cats like me sleep a lot. Well, we do, but it is only because we need our rest from keeping track of the dogs around here.  Keeping that mangy mutt Jessie in line is a full-time job for me!

At any rate, as you observe your canine friend, does he seem to sleep a lot? Not enough? Way more than you think he should? What is normal?

Well, according to, dogs do spend an appreciable amount of their lives sleeping, but only because that is how they are genetically designed. In fact, you should be worried if your dog is NOT sleeping as much as he should. If you notice a change in his sleeping patterns, it could be a sign of a health issue or stress.

On average, most dogs, depending on the breed, might sleep up to 18 hours a day! Wow! Larger breeds will actually sleep more. For the most part, your dog will probably sleep about 12 hours a day. And dogs do not sleep like humans. Instead, they take catnaps throughout the day, allowing them to quickly recharge so they can get up and be at the ready for whatever awaits them.

As dogs age, they are able to sleep through the night, but usually just because their owners do. Wild dogs, on the other hand, tend to be quite active at night, as that is when they do their hunting. Domestic dogs adjust to their human schedules, especially if they have a comfy place in which to sleep.

And for the record, while it can take humans 90 minutes to reach the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, dogs can reach that cycle in 15 minutes!

However, do realize that while lots of napping is common, your dog should not be asleep all of the time. If you think your canine buddy is sleeping too much, he might be suffering from a medical condition or even depression. Further, certain medications can cause sleepiness. Older dogs will sleep more, as will newborn puppies.

As for cats like myself, well, I think you know the answer to that. I sleep because I can and it is something at which I excel!

And on that note, I have to get back to work, also known as napping! (And if dogs take catnaps, I suppose that means I take dog naps!)




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