Dogs And Their Sleeping Habits

Thursday, July 06, 2017 08:50:10 AM America/Los_Angeles


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Are you worried that your dog has odd sleeping patterns? Watching your dog take a nap can be an entertaining and an enjoyable experience. Before sleeping, dogs tend to twitch their legs as if they are running. They snore, and sometimes they growl. Dogs are different from human beings. They have different sleeping habits compared to people. Understanding the sleep patterns of these pets can help to keep your dog happy and healthy throughout its lifetime. If you have ever asked yourself why dogs tend to sleep so much, then read on to learn about a dog’s sleeping behaviors.

How many hours do dogs sleep?

Domesticated dogs like to sleep for long hours. It is critical for you to make time to walk your dog every day to enable it to remain sturdy and in good condition. Typically, dogs spend at least twelve hours on average sleeping and lazing around. Scientists and experts are not sure why this sporadic behavior is prevalent amongst carnivores. But unlike human beings who mostly adapt to a predictive sleeping pattern, dogs adopt shorter sleeping intervals spread out all day. On average, dogs spend about 10 percent of their sleep snoozing in rapid eye movement shifts.

On average, an adult dog sleeps for about 12 to 14 hours in a day. Puppies, on the other hand, require at least 18 hours of sleep because while awake, they like to jump around while exploring their new environment, chasing each other, and mostly chasing their tails which seems such a fascination to the young pups. Older dogs do nothing but sleep. Nothing excites an old dog anymore. Therefore, sleep becomes the easiest and most preferred activity. Old hounds rake in more than 15 hours of sleep each day.

Dogs spend about 30 percent of their time lazing around while awake and the remaining 20 percent in activity. Dogs are flexible in their sleeping habits. When a situation suddenly alerts a dog, it immediately springs into action as if it wasn’t sleeping at all. In most cases, dogs tend to sleep when bored, but in situations where the dog has so many tasks to accomplish, it tends to sleep less. In fact, professionally trained hounds sleep less than their domesticated counterparts. Home dogs have little to do but eat and laze around all day waiting for the family to return from their outdoor activities.

Although a lot of variabilities may show up in your dog’s sleeping habits, you should not ignore any dramatic change in the sleeping pattern of your dog. If your dog is usually active and it suddenly starts sleeping all time or the reverse, do not hesitate to consult your veterinary officer to check whether your dog is experiencing any health problems. Your pet may be suffering without your knowledge. The problem may be as simple as changing its diet or as complex as a complication it has developed in the heart, or it may be a thyroid problem.

Beagle sleeping

Source: Sigma_S, Shutterstock

Exercise is critical for Managing Your Dog’s sleep

Dogs that do not engage in any form of exercise, including mentally exciting activities, tend to spend more hours sleeping than their active counterparts. It is crucial that you engage your day in some light physical activities during the day to help it avoid too much sleep. Dogs that spend most of their day dozing off will not be ready to turn in for long nights with the rest of the family. Inactivity may also result in insomnia which is common in small breeds or in dogs adapted to the urban lifestyle where they spend most their time indoors sleeping.

Make it a daily routine to exercise with your dog for at least 30 minutes on a regular basis. Working breeds may need more than a 30-minutes physical activity. Take time after work to walk your dog around the compound. Exercising can significantly help manage your dog’s quality of sleep. You may also engage, in a one-on-one play with your pet which is essential for developing healthy sleeping patterns.

Our dogs like to sleep hard. Ensure that you schedule some time for your pet’s physical exercise to make it stay healthy. If your dog sleeps for prolonged periods, do not worry. This is perfectly a normal behavior seen in dogs. But always create time to engage it in simple fun activities for proper mental and physical stimulation.

Do dogs dream?

Whether animals dream or not, the dream has been a topic of scientific debate for a very long time. One of the explanations that have been widely accepted is that dreams are vehicles for processing all of the raw facts that the brain takes in throughout the day. The noises and the movements made by dogs during a nap seem to indicate that dogs dream. Scientists have long studied the brain waves of dogs during the sleep cycle and compare them to the brain waves of human beings, and the results of the experiments tend to be largely similar. The results of the research further strengthen the theory that dogs do dream. When a dog sleeps, it experiences two stages of sleep namely the rapid eye movement sleep and the slow wave sleep. The slow wave action is usually the first stage of sleep which involves dozing off. During this juncture, the mental processes are slowed down although the body is still engaged.

The rapid eye movement stage takes the state of the brain from a single doze off to deep sleep. The visible signs of the stage involve eye-darting movements, noise and body twitches. Scientific experiments indicate that fast brain wave pattern recorded during dogs 'rapid eye movement sleep cycles prove that the physical activity is a manifestation of dreaming. All dogs experience both stages of the sleep cycle.

Do certain breeds of dogs sleep more than others?

The amount of time your dog spends sleeping may also depend on its breed. Large breeds such as New Foundlands, Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, and St. Bernards tend to sleep more than the smaller breeds. In fact, how much your dog spends sleeping largely depends on what the dog was bred to do. Working breeds tend to spend most of their times awake and active because in most cases their jobs require the attention of the dogs. There is a need for the dog to remain active and dedicated to completing the tasks assigned to it. On the other hand, dogs that were not bred for a particular purpose and lead a less career-oriented lifestyle may end up sleeping for long hours throughout the day.