Not only do you need enough sleep. It is also important for your dog to take sufficient rest. Because only then can he regenerate and gather new strength. In this post you will learn, among other things, how much sleep your dog needs. We will also explain why he needs your support and what makes a good place to sleep.
This is how high a dog’s need for sleep is
Terms like “being dog tired” are no accident. Because while people get along with about seven to eight hours of sleep per night, the need for sleep and rest breaks is significantly higher in dogs. Depending on the age of the animal, it can be 22 hours a day. Adult dogs take around 17 to 20 hours a day. Puppies and old or sick dogs even need 20 to 22 hours of rest and sleep every day.
Deep sleep is only part of the dog’s need for rest
You may think that if you sleep 20 or more hours a day, there is little time left for anything else. However, you have to keep in mind that this information includes all rest periods for your dog. These are part of your dog’s sleep needs:
- Doze off
- Take a rest
- deep sleep
Often times it just looks like your dog is sleeping. He is lying there quietly and his eyes are also closed. In truth, however, he is just dozing off. What is happening in his environment he keeps a very close eye on with his ears and nose. Whether you walk past him or even plan to leave the house. Your dog will be very aware of this and will jump up immediately if he fears that he may miss something.
Take a rest
Your dog’s eyes are not always closed when resting. Sometimes he just lies there and relaxes or cuddles with you on the couch. This is not a request to encourage him to play, but also an important part of his regeneration. So don’t bother him.
Of course, dogs don’t just doze off. Like us humans, they also need proper sleep. During this your body can regenerate and you can process what you experienced during the day. Whether your dog is getting a good night’s sleep also depends on whether his or her day was a strenuous one or perhaps a particularly exciting one. Of his total rest, however, proper sleep only accounts for about 20 percent of the time.
Not every dog rests on its own
You may have doubts about the numbers given with a view to your dog’s rest times. However, this is not because your four-legged friend is the exception to this rule. Rather, your dog has not learned to take the rest of its own accord that its body needs. Because even if dogs definitely feel that they are tired, we have trained them over the centuries so that they are always available to us. This makes your dog very fixated on you and afraid that he might be missing out on something important. Accordingly, sleep and rest are often neglected.
Lack of sleep can have serious consequences for dogs
Not getting enough sleep is a problem that you should take seriously. Because just like us humans, a lack of sleep will sooner or later lead to serious health problems in your four-legged friend. Research has shown that dogs who don’t get enough sleep go through different stages.
- First of all, your dog will look very exaggerated.
- Then his concentration and his motor skills start to suffer.
- As the lack of sleep progresses, he becomes increasingly nervous and irritable.
- Eventually, his susceptibility to disease increases and he often becomes aggressive.
- If you continue to do nothing about his lack of sleep, serious, often chronic, illnesses will arise.
The duration of the respective phases differs depending on the breed. However, to avoid health consequences, you shouldn’t let it get to the point where your dog goes through them all anyway.
Help your dog get enough sleep
Be aware that most dogs need assistance in meeting their needs for rest and sleep. Puppies in particular need special help here and have to learn when it is time to sleep. In the beginning, this can even mean that you have to lie down with your dog. Also, be sure to confirm your dog’s behavior when he retires to his sleeping place on its own. Avoid disturbing him with too much noise or even keeping him from sleeping by trying to do something. Also make sure that the rhythm is as constant as possible. By getting your dog used to certain times to play, eat and rest, you give them security. Ultimately, this will also have a positive effect on his sleep behavior.
That makes a good sleeping place for dogs
It is hardly possible to name an ideal sleeping place for all dogs. Because both the preferences of the four-legged friend and your own ideas play a role here. However, the sleeping place of your choice should definitely meet some criteria. We have summarized the most important ones for you below. Make sure that the sleeping area offers your dog enough rest. At the same time, however, he should be close to you. Otherwise it can quickly happen that the four-legged friend feels excluded from the rest of the family. Your dog wants to be able to see everything and at the same time lie with his back to the wall as protection. A place a little apart in the living room is therefore usually very suitable. In addition, it is important that the sleeping area is protected from the sun and drafts and is not located directly next to the heater. It should also offer enough space so that your dog can stretch. You have to pay attention to this, especially if you use a dog basket or something similar.
Twitching while sleeping is normal in dogs
Time and again, your dog may start twitching or make strange noises while sleeping. This is not unusual and completely harmless. Because we humans are not the only ones who dream something at night. Dogs also process what they have experienced during the day when they sleep. In young and older dogs in particular, the dreams are often noticeable through twitching of the limbs. In this case, we recommend that you let your dog sleep in peace. If you disturb him, he can react aggressively.
Dogs’ need for sleep – our conclusion
Depending on their age, dogs may need up to 22 hours each day to recover. The effects of persistent lack of sleep are no less detrimental to dog health than it is to humans. Therefore, make sure that your four-legged friend gets enough sleep. If necessary, you can support him in this, for example by establishing fixed habits and providing him with a place to sleep where he feels comfortable.