You are not the only one who needs enough sleep. It is also important for your dog to get enough rest. Only then can he regenerate and gather new strength.
In this article, you will learn how much sleep your dog needs. We will also explain why he needs your support and what makes a good place to sleep.
The most important facts at a glance
Sleep in dogs, like in humans, is for recovery.
There are 3 different types of sleep.
With some dogs you have to train rest and sleep first.
Too little sleep leads to hyperactivity, irritability and susceptibility to disease.
The right sleeping place is quite important.
This is how much sleep dogs need
Terms like “being tired as a dog” do not come about by chance. Because while humans get by on about seven to eight hours of sleep a night, the need for sleep and rest in dogs is significantly higher. Depending on the age of the animal, it can be as much as 22 hours a day.
Adult dogs need about 17 to 20 hours a day. Puppies as well as old or sick dogs need even 20 to 22 hours of rest and sleep daily.
Deep sleep accounts for only part of the rest requirement in dogs
You may think that with 20 or more hours of sleep per day, there is little time left for anything else. However, you must remember that these figures include all of your dog’s rest.
This is part of your dog’s sleep requirements:
Often it only looks as if your dog is sleeping. He is lying quietly and his eyes are closed. In truth, however, he is just dozing. What happens in his environment, he has thereby with ears and nose very exactly in the view.
Whether you walk past him or even intend to leave the house. Your dog notices this very precisely and will jump up immediately if he fears that he might miss something.
Your dog’s eyes are not always closed when he is resting. Sometimes he just lies there and relaxes or snuggles with you on the couch.
This is not a call to encourage him to play, but also an important part of his regeneration. So don’t disturb him while he’s doing this.
Of course, dogs don’t just doze off. Like us humans, they need proper sleep – about 6 to 8 hours a day. During this, their body can regenerate and they process the experiences of the day. Whether your dog has a peaceful sleep also depends on whether his day was exhausting or perhaps particularly exciting.
Not every dog rests by itself
You may have doubts about the above numbers when looking at your dog’s resting times. However, this is not because your four-legged friend is the exception to this rule. Rather, it is because your dog has not learned to take the rest that his body needs on his own.
Because even though dogs can definitely sense that they are tired, we have trained them over the centuries to always be available to us. As a result, your dog is very focused on you and is afraid that he might miss something important. Accordingly, sleep and rest often come up short.
Lack of sleep can have serious consequences for dogs
Too little sleep is a problem that you should take seriously. Because just like with us humans, lack of sleep in your four-legged friend will sooner or later lead to serious health problems. Research has shown that dogs who don’t sleep enough go through different phases.
First, your dog will make a very over-excited impression.
Then, concentration as well as his motor skills will begin to suffer.
As the lack of sleep progresses, he becomes increasingly nervous and irritable.
Finally, his susceptibility to illness increases and he often becomes aggressive.
If you continue to do nothing about his lack of sleep, serious, often chronic, illnesses will result.
Depending on the breed, the duration of each phase differs. However, to avoid health consequences, you should not let your dog go through them all anyway.
Help your dog get enough sleep
Be aware that most dogs need support to meet their rest and sleep needs. Puppies especially need special assistance in this regard and need to learn when it’s time to sleep. In the beginning, this may even mean laying down together with your dog.
Also, be sure to acknowledge your dog’s behavior when he retreats to his sleeping spot on his own. Avoid disturbing him by making too much noise or even trying to keep him from sleeping by keeping him occupied.
In addition, ensure that the rhythm is as consistent as possible. By getting your dog used to certain times for playing, eating and resting, you give him security. This will ultimately have a positive effect on his sleeping behavior.
What 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 meet some criteria in any case. We have summarized the most important ones for you below.
Make sure that the sleeping place offers your dog enough peace and quiet. At the same time, however, it 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 overlook everything and at the same time lie with his back to the wall as protection. Therefore, a place located a little away in the living room is usually very suitable.
In addition, it is important that the sleeping place is protected from the sun and drafts and is not located directly next to the heater. In addition, it should offer enough space so that your dog can also stretch. Especially if you use a dog basket or similar, you need to pay attention to this.
Twitching while sleeping is normal for dogs
It can always happen that your dog starts twitching or making strange noises while sleeping. This is not unusual and is completely harmless. After all, 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.
Especially in young and older dogs, the dreams then often make themselves felt through twitching of the limbs. In this case, we recommend that you let your dog sleep in peace. If you disturb him, he may become frightened.
If you notice that your dog is having a nightmare – because they have them too – you can hold your hand a few centimeters away from his nose. However, do not touch the dog while doing so. Your scent will either gently wake the dog or give the dream a different influence.