World Sleep Day takes place on 13th March this year and the theme for the day is ‘Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet’. This celebration of sleep is organised by the World Sleep Society with the objective of reducing the burden of sleep problems. Whilst we all know that for us to be healthy and perform well we need a good night’s sleep but what about the benefits of sleep for our dogs?
According to National Sleep Foundation, the average dog sleeps for about 12 to 14 hours every day with that rising to 18-20 hours for puppies. Dogs are considered flexible sleepers as they accumulate the sleep that they need in smaller chunks throughout the day, taking their naps when they are bored and staying awake at times of activity. This kind of sleep pattern would cause people to feel tired and drowsy but it is not an issue for dogs. This is because their sleep cycle takes place much more rapidly and so the overall sleep cycle is much shorter.
Dog’s sleeping habits can vary depending on their age and breed. It is important to understand your dog’s personal sleeping habits to ensure they get enough sleep and don’t get grouchy. Your dog’s sleeping environment is key. It is vital that they have somewhere they can sleep, where they feel safe and warm. Some of the things you should consider when choosing the best sleep time environment are :
- Location – dogs need to have somewhere safe to sleep. The best place is quiet and out of the way of action in a busy house. Children should be made aware that they should leave the dog alone to rest. ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ should be remembered – 60% of dog bites happen to children when they first wake a dog in a deep REM sleep.
- The temperature in a room will influence how your dog sleeps. Whether your dog sleeps inside or outside,they should feel comfortable at all times. Consider heat lamps, if they sleep in outdoor kennels in the winter.
- Keep your dog’s bed away from drafts and where it will be kept dry. Raised beds are a good idea for outdoor kennels.
- Chose a bed that is suitable for your dog. There are so many different types, it can be quite a minefield trying to find the best dog bed. Read our page How to Choose the Best Dog Bed All dogs are different and you need to consider their individual needs when buying a dog bed. For example, older labradors are prone to hip dysplaxia and arthritis and so a low orthopedic bed may be better than a raised bed.
We celebrate World Sleep Day this March while considering not only our own sleep habits but also the importance of the sleep habits our dogs.