How Long Do Dogs Sleep on Average?

By: ann-dabney

Adult dogs sleep 12–14 hours a day, while puppies often sleep more than that. By: ann-dabney

Right now, my chihuahua, Angel, is lying at my feet snoozing away. Later, she’ll wake up, eat, go outside for a bit and play — and then it will be nap time again. What a life, right?

Unlike people, who are usually awake all day, then sleep 7 or 8 hours at night, dogs don’t have a regular sleep regimen. They catch several short naps during the day.

How much of the day do dogs spend sleeping?

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  • Around 50 percent of a dog’s day is sleep
  • Approximately 30 percent of the day is rest (mostly awake but inactive)
  • Dogs are active only about 20 percent of each day

—Source: The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know

How long do dogs sleep?

  • Adult dogs sleep 12 to 14 hours per day
  • Puppies get even more sleep — 18 hours per day or more

—Source: Canine Behavior: Insights and Answers

If your pet sleeps more or less than the average, it’s not necessarily cause for alarm. Every pet is different.

“It depends on so many different factors such as environment, breed, sex and age of the pet,” says Dr. Pierre S. Bichsel, DVM, quoted in a 2005 article.

Naps During the Day

Time spent napping depends on the dog’s age and personality. Different breeds also seem to have different sleep requirements. Large breeds, such as mastiffs and Saint Bernards, generally spend a lot of time sleeping — up to 18 hours a day.

True, dogs do sleep more than humans, but they don’t sleep as soundly as we do. When they sleep and how much they sleep depends on the level of activity in their lives.

Check out this quick video of a dog “sleep talking”:

When You Should Be Concerned

You should be concerned if your dog’s sleeping habits suddenly change.

These changes may be caused by:

  • A low-quality diet — it can slow a dog down because the food does not provide him with the nutrients he needs for energy. Some pet foods contain ingredients that are hard to digest, forcing your pet to spend more energy digesting the food and less energy playing fetch with you.
  • Aging — senior dogs sleep more, getting up and moving around more at night and sleeping a longer time during the day.
  • Poor health — a heart condition or an underactive thyroid gland are examples. If you have concerns, let your veterinarian examine your pet.

As for puppies, well, they are babies — they are going to sleep a lot. But if you are worried that your pup is sleeping too much, get him checked by a vet, too, to rule out any health problems.

Don’t Miss: How Long Do Cats Sleep?

From Around the Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikole.fairview Nikole Fairview

    Aww! This article was just so cute. I love it when my dogs talk in their sleep. It’s just adorable. I wonder what they’re dreaming about, running through a field, lol, chasing someone down the street, playing? I loved hearing about your little pup Angel. I have a little dog too and they’re just so cute when they’re lazy. I figured that they had to sleep longer than us for their own health, but I know some days, she just goes a little extra. Like on days when we can have more cuddle time because I’m off work, those are the best sometimes because she just stretches and sleeps and wakes up for water and food and stuff when I do, but that’s it.

  • Mythii

    Hey I just two dobe puppies of 3 months old. When they came home, They were playing and sleep was not that much. But during the night they sleep without much disturbance. Today I see they have been sleeping practically for 8 to 9 hours without releiving themselves. Is it normal and anything weird

    • Matthew

      My dog sleeps up to 12 hours without waking for a potty break. But I make sure to take full long walks with her so she can relieve herself as well as get rid of the rest in that bladder for marking. Alot of people take their dog out see it use the bathroom quickly and assume all is well then get upset when the pet has an accident later. They actually pinch it off early most of the time and save more for marking. My dog pees 3 to 5 times per walk we typically walk at least a mile so she gets good exercise each day. What your seeing is perfectly normal since they are using so much energy playing they are getting longer better rest.

  • Jamie

    When I first got my puppy I always came home for lunch to let her out but weened her off to a walk before work, after work, and before bed. When I say walk it could mean walk, run, or park time off the leash. She is perfectly happy with this routine and I think it is pretty common. If you do run into issues with your dog being destructive while you are gone or having accidents that could mean he either has anxiety of being left alone or is not getting enough exercise. In that case more time spent with him (like during lunch) is not a bad idea. If he is having accidents you may need to work with him to get him on a slightly different schedule, or you might be stuck with the lunch time routine.

    If he behaves all day long in your absence do not feel guilty about being away for 8 hours. They will miss you, but always be happy to have you come home for play time.

  • DD

    Ridiculous? I don’t think so. I would call that responsible. Many people want a dog. The kids Promise to clean up, walk, feed, give fresh water. After they get over the new puppy, they leave in back yard alone, let dog bowl go green, let it walk around in its own waste, and rarely walk it. Its irresponsible, & cruel. Dogs are pack animals, they cry, they smile, they get lonely, they feel pain, they get happy, they get sad, they grieve. I hope your friends don’t have a canine until their able to be in a situation, to at least walk it, and spend time with it, after work. I’ve videotaped a canine, left alone. Crying, howling…after 15 minutes I could watch no.more. it gave me insight into how she feels. When I leave, I always leave the radio on. Its nice to see someone care enough to even ask this ?. This canine was already tossed away, by most likely the scenario above. I heard of a canine left in a cage, it chewed its own paw down…..neglect is abuse.

  • http://www.massagelafayette.com Danielle clowngirl

    Your co-workers will be long gone after you change jibes or they do, most likely, but your dog will still be there. Go with your gut, but he’d probably be sleeping and get used to just am and p.m. walks