Behavior, Blog

My Dog Is Sleeping a Lot – Is It Normal?

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Author: Jacob Kay

Well hello, there readers! Hope you all are sleeping well, as well as your dogs. But, I’m sure you are curious about your dog’s sleep. You may have seen them sleep for longer periods quite often and wondered, My Dog Is Sleeping a Lot, Is my dog getting lazy? Should I do something?

If you had any of these questions in your mind, today you will find out the answers to each of them. In this article, I will share some insights on dogs’ sleeping behaviour and also share intriguing information which will help you quench your curiosity.

My Dog Is Sleeping a Lot

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My Dog Is Sleeping a Lot

If your dog is sleeping a lot[1], then they are either tired or bored. These are two common causes for their long periods of sleep. In addition, there are many factors and reasons responsible for a dog’s long sleep.


  • Age
  • Breed
  • Energy level
  • Environment


  • Health issues
  • Lack of exercise
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Behaviour changes

Let’s extend the details for these factors and reasons.

Factors Affecting Dog Sleep

In general, age, breed, energy level, and environment are the prominent factors which have a significant impact on a dog’s sleep. Let’s understand how.

  • Age

A dog’s age has a huge impact on their sleeping hours. For instance, a puppy or a senior dog sleep for roughly 18 to 20 hours a day. The reason why puppies sleep more is that it helps in their overall growth and development.

On the contrary, senior dogs sleep more to reserve some energy and cope with their declining energy levels. So, if you have a young growing pup or an old age dog, you must not worry about sleeping hours.

  • Breed

Many dog breeds are known for sleeping more in comparison to others, especially larger ones. Greyhounds, Chows, Saint Bernards, Bluffmastiffs, Basset hounds, and Newfoundlands are the large breed dogs who are prone to more sleep.

The reason for more sleep is their slow metabolism rate. This also suggests they burn fewer calories and require less stimulation. The dog breeds with less sleep include Jack Russell Terriers, Beagles, Australian Shepherds, and Border Collies.

  • Energy levels

Some dogs have high energy levels and are more active. The majority of them are working dogs and they engage in intense physical activities. Thus, their energy levels drop a lot and more sleep is required to regain their original strength. So, dogs who do not engage in intense activities will not require much sleep.

  • Environment

The surrounding environment has a significant impact on dogs’ sleep. So, if the environment is soothing and pleasant your dog may sleep more because of the comforts. Thus, if it’s noisy, or messy they might sleep less.

Now, that you are aware of some of the main causes of the long duration of sleep for your furry friend, it’s important for you to know how much does a dog sleep?

You may notice your dog prefers to sleep in between your legs. To know the reason behind this behavior check our guide on, "why does my dog sleep in between my legs?".

How Much Does a Dog Sleep?

How Much Does a Dog Sleep
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On average, a dog sleeps for 12 to 14 hours a day. These hours vary as per different factors such as – age, breed, energy levels, and environment as mentioned earlier. So, if your furry friend is sleeping roughly 14 hours it’s normal.

However, if you observe a shift in their sleeping behaviour, i.e. they are sleeping more than usual there are many reasons for that.

Why do some dogs sleep more? Reasons

You saw some of the prominent factors affecting dogs’ sleep. In this section, you will receive information on different reasons which make some dogs sleep more than usual.

#1. Health issues

Your furry friend’s health status has a huge impact on how they sleep. If they are healthy, you will see them sleep normally and if not, they will take more time for rest and hence, sleep more. Following are some of the common issues which make dogs sleep more:

  • Diabetes – you will see your furry friend drink excessive water and urinate constantly while suffering from diabetes. Insulin is produced less within your furry friend’s body and lowers their sugar levels. The dog feels weak and will sleep more than usual.
  • Bacterial infection – while having a bacterial infection, your furry friend either has a high fever, inflammation issues, swelling or discharge. The infection affects their internal organs, ears, skin, mouth or urinary tract. Regardless, they feel weak and the sickness makes them sleep for long hours trying to recover from the infection.
  • Thyroid issues – when your dog’s body produces less thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) or excessive amounts (hyperthyroidism), it can make them anxious or restless. This happens because of the change in metabolism and energy levels, too many fluctuations make dogs sick and they will feel sleepy.
  • Poisoning food poisoning, chemical poisoning, drug poisoning, or plant poisoning, if your furry friend is having such issues, they are likely to show signs of vomiting, seizures, or diarrhoea. Their nervous system is impacted, organs such as the heart, liver or kidney are also compromised, and blood and oxygen levels are reduced. So, you can comprehend why they would sleep more.
  • Anaemia in this condition, your dog’s gums will get pale, they will suffer from weakness, they will breathe fast and lose their appetite. Red blood cell count will reduce and low oxygen levels will make your dog weak and they will sleep more.

#2. Lack of exercise

A regular exercise routine helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Their body is under control, cognitive functioning improves, muscles get stronger, and stored energy is released. So, if your furry friend is not receiving enough exercise, they are likely to suffer from boredom, get anxious, or feel depressed.

Such an emotional state, often makes them sleep more. Because they are trying to escape those emotions by staying asleep for long periods of time. The contrary for this aspect i.e. excessive exercise is also true.

Excessive exercise can make dogs tired and they will sleep more for restoring their energy levels. Also, if they have suffered from any injury while exercising you will see them sleep more than usual.

#3. Loss of appetite

When your furry friend is not eating properly or is losing their normal appetite, then they are probably suffering from infection or having a health issue. So, if they are not eating their meals, it affects their metabolism and the energy produced is also less.

The dog gets tired, fatigued, and depressed because of low appetite. Some dogs even lose interest in food items and don’t eat well. So, to overcome these struggles they often rest more, especially the senior dogs.

#4. Weakness

Weakness in our furry friends occurs mainly because of health issues. Also, if their diet is not nutritious, they will suffer from weakness due to a lack of nutrients. Conditions such as diabetes, heart issue, liver problems, or arthritis can lead to weakness in dogs.

So, when they suffer from such health issues, their sleeping routine gets compromised. They may not sleep at all because of the pain and distress, or stay asleep for longer periods of time. Senior dogs sleep much longer because of cognitive dysfunction.

#5. Behaviour changes

If a dog is completely healthy and has a perfect routine set in place, it’s still possible that they are sleeping more than usual. This can happen because of the behaviour changes. Often these changes indicate sleeping disorders in dogs.

Sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy are some of the common sleeping disorders. The dogs suffering from these disorders often sleep for long hours during the daytime. In addition, they also have sleepless nights or fully asleep ones.

Further, behaviour changes also suggest cognitive dysfunction. A dog will show symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, anxiety, disorientation, or signs of depression. These symptoms unsettle dogs’ sleeping cycle and make them sleep more.

#6. Diet

A dog must receive their meal on time. Also, it must contain the necessary nutrients in them to ensure they don’t get weak or feel lethargic. If you provide them with their meal randomly they will face digestive issues.

The condition can elevate and they might end up suffering from different health issues like obesity, diabetes, and so on. The tiredness and dull feeling while having such health issues can make them sleepy.

So, when you see your furry friend sleeping more than usual, these are some of the reasons why they would sleep more. Further, you can look for the following signs suggesting excessive sleep in dogs:

  • Sleeping in an unusual posture
  • The sudden shift in the sleeping routine and time
  • Exhibiting signs of illness, pain, obesity, loss of appetite, or behaviour changes
  • Sleeping more than normal in comparison with other dogs of the same breed
  • Can barely stay awake

How To Make a Dog Sleep Normal Hours?

dog sleeping
Image by: freepic.diller / freepik

For making dog sleep at normal hours, you’ll have to engage them in various activities during the daytime. This helps in improving their mood, health, and sleep. So, here are some of the ways you can make your furry friend sleep normal hours:

  • Puzzles and toys

Puzzles and toys are useful for engaging dogs in different activities which can challenge their mental skills. When you engage them in such activities, they will stay busy and feel good as well. You can use treats as rewards for following your cues or stuff their toys or puzzles in their food treat itself.

The purpose is to ensure they burn off some energy while playing with their toys or puzzles. If they receive adequate stimulation, you will see them have a normal sleep afterwards.

  • Take them for walking

A walking routine is potentially one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy and help them have their normal sleep. Taking them on walks helps in keeping their heart healthy, their joints remain strong, not to forget the muscle strength is increased as well. You can walk them for half an hour daily and you’ll see that their sleep remains normal.

  • Playtime

While following the routine of your furry friend, make sure you spend some time playing with them. It’s important for their mental health and also helps in improving the bond. In fact, you can also mix different training exercises in this period and get different exercises done. They will receive enough physical exercise and mental stimulation which keeps them healthy and helps to attain proper sleep during the night.

  • Regular training

Training your dog regularly will help you maintain your furry friend’s health and sleep. You can carry out their obedience training and also teach them new skills. Training helps them provide both physical and mental stimulation. If the training sessions are regulated properly you will see them have a proper sleep.

  • Use natural remedies

Instead of using any sleeping pills or other medication, you can leverage natural remedies to induce normal sleeping hours for your furry friends. Try using remedies such as lavender, chamomile, CBD oil, and valerian. These remedies help in calming their nerves, relax the muscles and facilitating good sleep.

  • Take precautions

While walking with your dog, make them exercise or train, and make sure your furry friend doesn’t get injured. Because if they do, they might require some medications for treating their injury and that can unsettle their sleeping routine. You may want to consider getting the best orthopedic dog bed to provide extra comfort and support if your dog has any orthopedic issues

Following these tips will help your dog get normal sleep, Still, if your furry friend is not getting proper sleep, you can consult your vet and get their insights. If necessary they might provide or prescribe some dog sleep tablets for controlling the abnormal sleep issue.


How many hours do a dog sleep?

In general, a dog usually sleeps for about 12 to 14 hours per day. This number changes as per their need, age, breed, health condition, and overall lifestyle. Also, in comparison to adult dogs, puppies and senior dogs tend to sleep more. They roughly sleep for 18 to 20 hours per day. Whereas adult dogs only sleep for 8 to 14 hours. Lastly, they sleep most of the night and only take short naps during the day.

Can I give my dog sleeping pills?

You must not. Sleeping pills or even dog sleep tablets are usually too strong and considered unsafe for our furry friends. These pills or tablets can cause issues such as drowsiness, low blood pressure, respiratory depression or confusion in dogs. If given without a vet’s advice, it may cause some serious health issues.

Why does my dog sleep so much?

Your dog is probably sleeping more because it’s simply tired. However, there are many other reasons which may contribute to such behaviour. For instance, age, breed, energy levels, and health plays a crucial role in deciding how much a dog sleeps. In addition, your dog is probably suffering from some medical condition, or feeling stressed. Any of these factors may cause more sleep in dogs.

How long does a dog sleep at night?

Normally, dogs sleep up to 14 hours a day. This includes both daytime naps and nighttime. But, generally, they sleep more during night time. The rough timeframe for night sleep is about 9 to 10 hours on average. However, these hours may differ as per dog eating habits, environment, breed, and age. For instance, medium-sized dogs like Terriers, sleep about 14 hours per day. So, if we assume they sleep at night for about 80%, then they sleep roughly 8 to 10 hours at night. Large dog breeds such as Mastiffs, sleep more i.e. 18 hours per day. Using the same ratio of 80%, we can say that they sleep for about 14 to 15 hours at night.

My Dog Is Sleeping a Lot – Final Comments

If your dog is sleeping a lot, then mostly they are tired and sleeping more than usual. If that’s the case, there is nothing to be worried about. Because of factors such as age, breed, energy levels, and health condition. Age is one of the most significant factors. Senior dogs and pups are likely to sleep more.

So, if you have a puppy or a senior dog, who is sleeping for roughly 15-20 hours, then it’s normal. However, if you have an adult dog, who is sleeping for the same hours, then they are probably having some issue which is making them sleep for a longer duration.

Hence, look for behavioural changes, lethargy, weight imbalance, loss of appetite, or other signs which may cause excessive sleeping issues in dogs. In addition, medical issues such as obesity, diabetes, infections, hypothyroidism, pain, or anxiety also make dogs sleep more. Regardless, you can try using some methods to make them sleep well or visit your vet for better results.

If your dog is sleeping more than normal, ensuring they have a cozy dog bed can help. Check out our guide on how to make a dog bed your furry friend will enjoy napping on.


  1. Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP. (2023, September 27). How many hours does a dog sleep in a day?
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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