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How Many Hours A Day Do Dogs Sleep?

Terrier Asleep on a fluffy white blanket

Everyone has watched their dog sleep and wondered why does my dog sleep so much. While sleeping a lot is very normal for dogs when is it considered excessive. This article covers how long your dog sleeps and what factors contribute to the long hours asleep.

Sleep is important here is why

Sleep is very important in the overall health of pets. Sleep is a pet’s natural way to recharge their bodies and get ready for the next day. If your pet can't sleep, they may be more prone to illness and disease. Sleep helps them regulate everything from brain function to digestive function as well.

What factors contribute to the duration of sleep?

Boston Terrier asleep on a bed with a pink zigzag bandanna on

There are many different factors that go into how long your dog sleeps. Age, breed, size, and health all come into play when trying to see how much sleep your dog needs.


Just like with people younger and older animals will sleep more than middle-aged animals. Most a puppies days are spent either sleeping or in constant play. It can be normal for puppies to sleep up to 20 hours a day. This is because they burn a lot of calories during playtime and with still developing bodies the energy is also used to help them grow. So there is a lot of replenishing that needs to take place in order for the puppy to function at optimal levels.

Older dogs will take long naps followed by periods of slowly moving around the house, then another nap. Older dogs will slow down with age but there may be a medical reason why your older dog suddenly sleeps more. If you notice your dog is now suddenly sleeping more, see your local veterinarian for a complete examination.

It is always recommended to have at least yearly check-ups done for your pets, but suddenly when behavioral changes occur like sleeping much more than usual they should be addressed immediately. Sometimes if something is wrong the veterinarian may be able to prescribe medicine to get your pup feeling energized and more active.


Many breeds love to sleep all day and often very large breed dogs such as Mastiffs and St. Bernard’s tend to sleep a lot more than other breeds of dogs. This is likely due to their massive size. Mastiffs and St. Bernard's can weigh in excess of 200+ pounds. To put it quite bluntly it takes a lot of fuel to move that size of the body. So proper diet and plenty of sleep are needed to maintain energy levels.


Larger dogs seem to sleep more than little dogs. Smaller dogs may sleep less but they are also less active and spend a lot of their away time just relaxing around the house. Even for a small dog that is very active they still do not burn near the calories or need the amount of energy it takes to move a Mastiff around. So they tend to not have to sleep as much.


If your pet is sick rest is very crucial to their recovery. Your dog needs to be able to sleep a lot when they are recovering from an illness. During sleep, your dog's immune system can use precious energy to fight off illness or disease rather than divert energy to moving around or playing. Which also is a way to recognize that your pet may not be feeling good.

How dogs sleep differs from humans

Dogs sleep cycles are very similar to our own. They even go through a REM cycle and dream.

Rem sleep

Dogs enter a REM sleep cycle just like people. This is where your dog will be the deepest asleep and dreaming. Dogs only stay in this period for about 10 percent of their sleep time but it is important to let them sleep undisturbed so they can feel replenished.

How many hours a day do dogs sleep?

Most dogs will sleep 12 to 15 hours a day. Puppies will spend almost 20 hours a day sleeping. Again this can vary from size and breed but also from the particular individual as well. Some pups are just lazier than others.

What if your dog is not getting this amount?

Some dogs do not need this much sleep and are more active throughout the day. Let your dog dictate on when they are tired and need a nap and when they want to continue to play. Some dogs may play all day one day and the catch up on sleep the next day. Do not worry if your dog is not sleeping as much as other dogs everyone’s bodies are different but they will know when they need to rest.

Why your dog may be restless at night.

Dogs just like people will dream. If your dog is moving during their sleep, they may be dreaming of playing with their furry friend. Some dogs will cry or bark in their sleep and they may be dreaming of barking at people in their sleep. These sounds are not a concern and it is important not to disturb them. Breaking this sleep cycle can lead to restlessness and lethargy the next time they wake.

How to improve your dog’s sleep

There are many things that you can do to help your pet sleep more. A soft comfy bed will make your dog want to spend more time sleeping. Also, if your dog seems very anxious, you may try supplements like giving them CBD oil. This will help decrease the stress will help your pet sleep more.

Orthopedic dog bed for comfort

Orthopedic dog beds are very comfortable. This is one way to help ensure that your pet has a great night’s sleep. You do not want to sleep on the cold, hard floor and neither do your dogs. Giving them a soft dog bed will help them to rest peacefully through the night. If your pup suffers from arthritis then a more stiff mattress or bed might help take the pressure off joints and alleviate some of the symptoms leading to a better nights sleep.

CBD can help anxiety

Cannabidiol or CBD oil is great to give pets for their anxiety. Studies show that CBD oil can help calm dogs down. This is a great supplement to give to nervous dogs or dogs with anxiety and hasn’t been found to cause unwanted side-effects as some supplements may.

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How to choose the best orthopedic dog bed for your furry friend

Choosing an orthopedic dog bed for your pet should not be hard. If your pet has accidents when they sleep, make sure to get a bed with a removable cover. An orthopedic dog bed should be soft but firm. This makes it easier for your pet to stand up from the laying down position.

Your pet may be sleeping just the right number of hours each night. Some pets are sleeping too much and may need to seek veterinary care to make sure that there is not an underlying problem. Some pets may just need a nice comfy bed and some CBD oil to help with anxiety. No matter what your pet is doing, the right amount of sleep is key to a healthy and happy dog.

Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM


Since she was a little girl, Dr. Ochoa knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals, she is now a great source of knowledge for others. Dr. Ochoa lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies: Ruby the Schnoodle and Bam-Bam the bunny.

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