Dogs have something of a reputation for sleeping a lot. But how much do they actually sleep? How does their lifestyle affect their sleep? How much is too much, or too little? All pups deserve their sleep, they work hard for it – or perhaps not – and that’s okay too! Many dog owners are sometimes concerned with the amount of sleep that their pup or fully-grown dog gets – on average, an adult dog will sleep for 12-14 hours per day.
If you’re concerned about your dog over-sleeping, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. They know when they’re tired, just like you, and their bodies know how much sleep they need – just like you. Trust your dog’s body. Also, be aware that sleeping is a sign of aging in a dog and as your dog gets older, they may sleep more than they used to – this, like in humans – is a natural sign of an aging animal.
A Guide to Puppy & Dog Sleeping Habits
What makes my dog tired?
Tiredness in puppies is easy, puppies are usually much more active than older dogs. They have that spring in their step and never seem to tire, much like human babies/toddlers. As they grow, puppies get plenty of rest, but as puppies, they are hyperactive as can be expected for a four-legged toddler.
Exercise is the first thing that will tire your dog out – The Vets point out that there is such a thing as too much exercise, however, and you should be cautious of that. Over-exercising your dog can cause inflammation in the joints and given that dogs carry roughly 60% of their weight on their front legs, over-using those joints without adequate rest will cause them to wear out much faster than normal. In general, your dog should get between half an hour and two hours of exercise each day. Usually, this means two shorter or one long walk each day.
Another thing that can make your dog unusually tired is an illness. These illnesses can be any number of things, but weakness and lethargy in dogs can generally be attributed to cancer, trauma, an infection (such as parvovirus), heart disease, diabetes, and many more. If you notice that your dog is more tired than usual and sleeping more than usual – but appears to be in no pain – and are concerned that they might have some form of hidden illness, make sure you take a trip to the vets ASAP.
Of course, just like humans, a dog’s age, they get more and more tired and less and less able to do all the things that they used to do. Aging is probably the most common cause of a greater degree of tiredness – sometimes aging dogs are also accompanied by a plethora of health issues because of their age. Aging is a natural process and so, there’s very little you can do about it for your dog.
How do I keep my dog healthy?
There is a multitude of answers to this question, but generally speaking, a few factors go into a healthy dog.
You should ensure that your dog has adequate food, filled with as much nutrition as possible. Do not buy the cheapest brand of dog food you can find without doing your research first. It could be actually doing more harm than good to your four-legged friend. Try to find a middle-of-the-road option for your pet – ask your vet if you’re unsure.
Exercise is critical in a dog’s life. Stick to the recommendations above, half an hour to two hours of exercise each day – one long walk, or two shorter ones. Play fetch, go for a run with your dog. However you like to do it, just make sure that your pup is well-exercised.
Make sure that your dog is well-groomed. Learn how to do it yourself by taking a dog-grooming course, or hire a professional dog groomer to make sure that your dog is free of matted fur, their nails are clipped, and that their teeth are brushed and generally are in good aesthetic health.
Of course, the most important aspect of a dog’s life is that it is well-loved and cared for. Love your companion as much as you can for as long as it lives, your dog is giving you unconditional love, do your best to return that.
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