When everything is quiet in the house, what are your dogs doing right at that moment? Probably sleeping.
We humans have the luxury of computers, phones, and TVs to keep our brains occupied for the entire day, but a dog’s source of entertainment is pretty limited. Your dog will nap throughout the day until something pulls at their curiosity.
How many hours do dogs sleep a day?
- Average Dog - 12 hours a day
- Puppies 14 – 18 hours
- Senior dogs 14 – 18 hours
- Large Breeds 16 – 18 hours a day
Keep in mind every dog is different, and just because your dog over slept doesn’t indicate anything is wrong.
Dogs are generally active for short bursts of the day. A typical day in your dog’s world will include waking up with their owner, mealtime, bathroom breaks, playtime, and walk time. So outside of their regular activities you can bet your dog will pass the time with naps.
How to tell if something is wrong?
If your dog is sleeping all day, but also seems overly lethargic and doesn’t seem interested in things that usually make him excited (like walks, playtime, or food) then that’s a big red flag.
Have you ever felt lousy and just didn’t want to get out of bed? Sometimes your dog feels the same way, and it could be related to stress.
Have you moved recently, experienced family changes, changes in routine, or are you feeling more stressed than usual? Your dog may be reacting to a major change in their environment, and they can be especially sensitive to the stress that you may be feeling.
Pain or Disease
There may be something physically bothering your dog that isn’t immediately apparent. Dogs react to pain differently than we do, and it’s often associated with being lethargic and sleeping the days away.
Start with an at home checkup
- Look for symptoms of infection in the ears and eyes - such as discharge, itchiness, or inflammation.
- Check for damaged or rotten teeth, or bad breath
- Inspect paws and in between the pads for debris
- Evaluate their muscles and joints, gently move your dog’s legs in a full range of motion.
- Watch for any signs of limping or favoring one leg
- Inspect their fur for excessive flakiness
- Run your hands through their fur, feeling for any unusual lumps or bumps
- Is your dog excessively itchy
Other things to make note of
- Are they drinking enough water?
- Has their overall energy level dipped severely in a short time?
- Are they no longer excited for walks or playtime?
If you find any of these abnormalities then a vet will help diagnose and treat your dog.
Senior dogs will typically sleep longer, which is perfectly normal. However, as your dog sails past the 10 year old mark, be aware of symptoms that could signal something more serious.
Arthritis or Joint Pain
This often goes along with aging, but it’s common for dogs to experience joint pain as they get older. Your dog then may seek relief by resting in a comfortable spot, rather than chase a ball.
Symptoms of Dog Arthritis:
- Difficulty moving, showing obvious stiffness
- Difficulty running or using stairs
- Especially stiff after resting
- Cold and damp condition worsen symtpoms
- Your dog has lost interest in exercise
Thankfully, there are many treatments for arthritis, and many simple things you can do at home to ease their pain.
Increase stimulation for a happier life
It might just be that your dog is bored. Some dogs take boredom out with destructive behavior (barking, digging, chewing, etc...) while others will simply opt to sleep away the day.
Mental stimulation is just as important as physical, so keep your dog’s mind busy with some rewarding puzzles, training, or playtime.
You can’t always pay attention to them, so my personal favorite way of keeping my dog occupied is filling up a Kong Wobbler with treats, my dog chases it around for hours and is exhausted afterwards.