Every year The World Sleep Society celebrates World Sleep Day to highlight issues relating to sleep. This year it falls on Friday 19th March. The theme of this World Sleep Day is ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy Future’ and we wanted to highlight the importance of sleep for our dogs, as well as ourselves.
From 18 hours of sleep per day as a puppy to around 12-14 hours for Adult dogs, dogs sleep ALOT! Even canines in the wild are known to spend their days snoozing, only waking to play and hunt for food. Although like humans it is vitally important for dogs to get enough sleep to thrive, dogs have different needs as they do not need regular bed times and wake times to achieve this. Dogs are known as flexible sleepers which means they accumulate sleep through smaller naps throughout the day and night. This works because they have a shorter sleep cycle than us.
Every dog’s sleeping patterns are different and influenced by their age, breed and environment. It is important to understand your dog’s personal sleeping habits to ensure they can get enough sleep. Finding the right sleep environment is crucial ensuringthat your dog has somewhere they feel safe and warm.
Things to consider when looking for the best sleep time environment are :
- Location – dogs need to have somewhere safe to sleep. Ideally, somewhere quiet and away from action in a busy house. The dog should be left alone to rest. ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ should be remembered! The majority of dog bites happen when a dog is woken in a deep REM sleep!
- Temperature will also influence how your dog sleeps. Invest in heat lamps, if they sleep in outdoor kennels especially in the winter.
- Think about the risk of drafts and keep your dog’s bed where it will be kept dry. Raised beds are a good idea for outdoor kennels.
- Find the best bed for your dog. Every dog has their own individual need, for example, my older labrador has a low orthopedic bed, as he is slowing down and we worry about hip dysplaxia and arithitis, whereas our small 4 year old cockapoo loves a soft and fluffy round bed or to jump up on the sofa where she can curl up comfortably! Read our page How to Choose the Best Dog Bed to help you find the best dog bed for your dog.
If your dog’s sleeping patterns seems to change, for example, a busy dog suddenly becomes tired all the time, then it is always worth consulting a vet. The reason may be that they are just off their food or getting older but changes in sleep can also be due to health problems such as heart conditions or thyroid problems, so it is worth checking out.