How much sleep does your dog need and why?

Just like humans, dogs need sleep to recharge. Whether you have an energetic puppy or a laidback senior dog: it’s important your pet gets enough rest. But how many hours of sleep does your dog actually need? We asked dog behaviourist Margaux from Blue Jack Dog Training. Here’s everything you need to know about the science, the importance and the benefits of a well-rested pet!

A good night’s and a good day’s sleep

Have you ever seen your dog crawl into their bed during the day and wondered if that’s normal? No worries. “Unlike us, dogs rest during the day and the night”, Margaux tells us. That’s because they sleep when their body tells them to sleep: they don’t wait until it’s time for bed after a long day.

Dogs do get most of their restorative sleep at night, just like you. They simply supplement it with lots of short daytime naps.

How many hours of sleep does your dog need?

The amount of sleep your dog needs, depends on several factors:

  • Their age

  • Their breed

  • Their environment

  • Their level of activity

For instance, a working dog (like a police or a guard dog) tends to be active for more hours each day than your typical domestic pet. As such, their sleeping pattern will differ.
 The most important factor to consider when assessing how much sleep your dog needs, is age. Let’s look at how much sleep a dog typically needs in every stage of their life.


The amount of sleep a puppy needs


Proud new owner of a puppy? Congratulations! “A puppy sleeps up to 18 or even 20 hours a day”, says Margaux. “They require more sleep than adult dogs. After all, they use a lot more energy when they’re awake. Training, playing, chasing you around and most of all: constantly discovering new smells, sights and sounds.” Safe to say, all that exploring makes you tired.


In order to properly process all of those new stimuli, lots of naps are necessary. It’s a whole new world out there, and they have a lot to learn about it. “That’s why your dog might easily need more sleep until they’re about 2 years old.”


The amount of sleep an adult dog needs


Once your dog is fully grown, they won’t need quite as much sleep. In order to feel energized for a new day, they should sleep for around 12 to 14 hours in a 24-hour-period. Is your dog a big boy or girl? It’s generally accepted that the larger the breed, the more sleep they need. Why? Since their bodies are larger, it takes more energy to get them from A to B. 


The amount of sleep a senior dog needs


Is your dog getting a bit grey at the nose? Then it’s normal for them to still be lounging in their beds when you’re already at your third cup of coffee. As they get older, moving around will start to demand more energy from them. So be sure to let them snooze a bit more!


Has your dog developed orthopaedic issues in their old age? Then it becomes even more important to provide them with a dog bed that fully supports their joints, muscles and spine. Take a look at our high-quality memory foam beds and give your senior dog the best sleep possible.


Are you concerned about your dog’s sleeping habits?


If you’re worried that your dog is either sleeping too much or too little, the first thing to do is to consult your vet. Margaux: “It’s possible your dog’s not sleeping well due to a lack of mental or physical activity. In other words: they could be bored. They could also be dealing with stress or health issues.” Either way: your vet will know what to do!


The benefits of a well-rested dog


Now that you know how much sleep your dog typically needs, it’s time to tell you why their ZZZs are so important. Next time you see your dog chasing rabbits in their sleep, remember these 4 big benefits of a well-rested pet! 


1 | It lets them to recharge for the day

Whether you take them on a challenging walk or play tug of war until one of you wins: your dog uses up a lot of energy each day. In order to run around and play the next day, they need to rest up.


2 | It allows their brain to make sense of the day 

Every day, your dog is out exploring the world. “Their brain is getting so many impulses from training sessions, new smells and exciting play”, says Margaux. “In their sleep, they process and organize everything they experience. It helps them develop their memory and their learning capacity.”


3 | It boosts their mood

Remember how you feel after a very short night? Exactly: tired and awful. Your dog feels the same way. Without enough sleep, they can get moody and unmotivated. “It also becomes more difficult for them to learn and understand new things”, adds Margaux. That’s why a well-rested dog is generally a happy dog.


4 | It strengthens their immune system

Quality sleep boosts the immune system of your dog. A study by Dr. Nicholas Dodman found that dogs that get at least 10 hours of sleep are less prone to getting infections. 


Quality sleep in quality beds: Give your dog a memory foam bed

Want to offer your dog the best possible sleep? Get them a high-quality memory foam bed. Memory foam is a supportive foam that takes on the shape of your dog. This way, it offers full support to joints, muscles and the spine. It also regulates their temperature, allowing for deep sleep. And of course, it’s super soft and comfortable.

Ready to upgrade your dog’s sleep experience? Give them a Fantail. Every product we make, puts your pet’s needs and comfort first. That’s why our own experienced designers work closely with pet behaviourists. The result: a functional, beautiful dog bed that’s locally produced with sustainable materials.  

Browse through our Snug Baskets, Snooze Baskets and Stargaze Mattresses and give your dog the best sleep of their life!  

How much sleep does your dog need and why?

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