Is there anything cuter than a sleeping puppy? You look over from the table and there they are, man’s best friend sleeping amid the chaos of your household. They may even be dreaming about you.
It’s a swoon-worthy sight, but new pet owners may not know if their dog is sleeping too much, or too little. USA TODAY asked a veterinarian about everything you need to know when it comes to sleep for our furry friends.
How many hours a day do dogs sleep?
Most dogs sleep about half the day, says veterinarian Nicole Savageau. That’s about 12-14 hours. This is heavily dependent on their age, however. Younger and older dogs tend to sleep longer than middle-aged ones.
Dog twitching in its sleep?:Your pup might be dreaming about you
How much do puppies sleep?
When puppies are newborns, they’ll typically spend their days doing nothing but sleeping and eating. As they grow, they’ll spend a little more time playing before crashing into a nap.
By six months, you can expect your puppy to play a little longer. It’s normal to still see them quickly switch from high to low energy, says Savageau.
“They can be in the middle of playing and they’ll just fall asleep because they need to replenish that energy,” Savageau says. “Their joints are growing, their bones are growing, their body’s producing new cells every day to keep them growing and it happens very fast.”
Does my dog sleep too much?
Puppies aren’t the only ones spending most of their day snoozing – adult, senior dogs need extra sleep as well.
“They just don’t have the same amount of energy as younger dogs,” says Savageau, noting that many older dogs sleep more than the normal 12-14 hours.
Can a peacefully sleeping pup ever be a problem? Yes, if their sleeping behavior is significantly changed, says Savageau. Abrupt sleep pattern changes can indicate an underlying disease, such as hypothyroidism, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or even arthritis if it’s more painful to move around.
If your dog is sleeping less than normal, this can also be a problem.
“For senior dogs, they can get something called canine cognitive dysfunction, which is basically like doggy dementia,” Savageau says. Signs of canine cognitive dysfunction are typically more present at night than during the day, and dogs may act confused, pace around or have trouble settling.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s sleeping behavior, don’t hesitate to contact your vet. Even if there is an underlying condition, Savageau mentions there are medications, such as anti-anxiety pills and melatonin, which can ease sleeping troubles.
How long do dogs live?:Life expectancy based on breed and size
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