Is Your Dog Getting Enough Sleep?

By Sarah Hinds Friedl on July 6th, 2021

If you’ve felt grouchy after a fitful night of sleep, you might wonder if dogs ever have the same problem. Are our furry friends as sensitive to sleep deprivation as we are?  

As it turns out, quality sleep is an important part of your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. And there are some common reasons why many dogs might miss out on their beauty sleep.

In this BreezeGuard article, we’ll talk about how to give your dog a better snooze schedule so that they’re more energetic, playful, and happy when they wake you up for their morning walk! 

How important is sleep for dogs?
Like humans, dogs need sleep to function normally. There are many advantages to deep rest for dogs, including improved brain function, memory and mood regulation. Sleeping is also important for physical recovery from exercise and injury and can keep the immune system strong.

On the flip side, a lack of sleep in dogs can cause mood changes, disorientation and distress. If your dog is suffering from sleep deprivation, you might get the sense that they’re in a fog and not as actively engaged in play and exercise. If your pup seems to be forgetting their training or generally “out of it,” they might just need some extra z’s.

We should note that these symptoms could also be the sign of other medical conditions. So, it’s important to talk to a vet for a formal diagnosis.  

How many hours should your dog be sleeping per day?
There are a few factors, such as age and lifestyle, that will determine how much a dog should sleep. But here are a few helpful guidelines:

  • Puppies sleep anywhere from 14 to 20 hours per day until they’re about a year old
  • Healthy, adult dogs sleep an average of 10 to 14 hours per day, plus a few more hours of passive resting time
  • Senior dogs will transition back into a schedule with more sleep, typically between 15 and 18 hours

As you can see, our dogs need a lot more sleep than we do! And, making sure that sleep is undisturbed and restful is another important consideration.
Reasons why your dog might not be getting the best sleep

Sure, your dog may snooze in the car on the way back from a hike or at your feet as you watch television. But, without the right sleeping conditions, they might not be getting that high quality deep sleep that they need.

Here are a few common reasons that many dogs miss out on good sleep:

  • They’re sensitive to sounds. Some dogs will be able to sleep deeply right next to a blaring television set. Others will experience fitful sleep. Sudden loud noises like fireworks or sirens are also sure to wake a pup from their snooze.
  • Their bed is close to the front door or a busy part of the home. Most dogs were once tasked with protecting the home from intruders. And whether it’s people walking by on the sidewalk or a wild animal sniffing around in the yard, your dog is well adapted to hear it all. 
  • They suffer from allergies or other irritations. If your dog tends to wake up multiple times per night for a scratching session, they may be suffering from allergy- or pest-induced itchiness. 
  • They’re a so-called brachy breed. Brachycephalic dog breeds, or flat-faced dogs like Boxers and Frenchies, may have a harder time sleeping due to breathing difficulties.
  • Their humans have an irregular sleeping schedule. Dogs benefit from a predictable schedule and may have trouble adapting to changes in their routine. Some dogs can suffer from sleep deprivation if their beloved humans are home late or are struggling with sleeping problems of their own.
  • There’s a new puppy (or a baby!) in the house. This one’s pretty obvious! Whether two-legged or four-, a little one at home is sure to pose some sleeping challenges for your dog. 

Just like humans, every dog is unique. Some will be more sensitive to these factors than others. If you feel that your dog is having trouble sleeping for a reason not listed here, consider taking note of when your dog is rustled out of sleep versus when they’re able to reach the REM cycle. Over time, you’ll likely notice a pattern and be able to make adjustments!

Is there anything you can do to improve your dog’s sleep?
Of course! Here are some changes that can improve doggy sleep: 

  • Give them a nice, quiet place to rest. Dogs sleep best when curled up in a dark part of the house far away from the front door or street-facing windows. Some owners opt for a crate or special room just for sleeping.
  • Upgrade their dog bed. Let’s be honest, some of the dog beds on the market today are fit for humans! So, take some time to find a dog bed that your pup will love to curl up on.
  • Resist the urge to disturb them. We get it. Dogs are so cute when they’re sleeping that all you want to do is squish their perfect faces. But, just like you might not appreciate them licking your face at 5am, resist the urge to disturb your dog while they sleep!
  • Stick with a routine. This isn’t always possible, but it can greatly improve your dog’s sleep schedule. Make sure to factor in potty breaks so that your dog doesn’t have to contend with a full bladder at night.
  • Exercise. Every dog can benefit from a personalized exercise regimen that will leave them happily pooped at the end of the day. If you take them to the dog park or out for a hike, make sure that your car is fitted with BreezeGuard Screens to keep Fido safe in the back seat!

Time to tuck your pup in for bed!
Whether your dog is a deep sleeper or a restless Rufus, you can improve the quality of their sleep with a few easy changes.

For more ideas on keeping your dog active and happy, take a look at the BreezeGuard Blog!

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