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How Much Sleep Is Enough Sleep?

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

Did you know the average adult dog needs around 12 to 14 hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle, whilst puppies (who use up a lot of energy exploring, learning and growing) need as much as 18 to 20 hours of sleep per 24 hour cycle! Often, older dogs also tend to need more rest, as do certain breeds or individuals.

Just like us, sleep is vital for dogs. Lack of sleep has a huge effect on mood and on our dogs ability to learn. Not enough sleep or not enough QUALITY sleep can cause or contribute to irritability, over arousal, frustration, reactivity and aggression. Sleep also gives the dogs body time to heal, a sleep deprived dog will have a weakened immune system and be more prone to sickness and can put them at risk of serious conditions.

While there can be huge variations in individual dogs’ sleeping habits, any dramatic change in their usual routine is worth noting. If your usually active dog is suddenly sleeping all the time (or vice versa) then it’s a good idea to touch base with your vet to make sure that your dog isn't experiencing any health problems. The answer could be something as simple as tweaking his diet, or as complex as treating a heart condition or thyroid problem.

Karen Fairclough


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