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Have you ever wondered how much sleep your dog should get?  Perhaps you’ve had older dogs that tend to sleep a lot or maybe you have a younger dog that seems to be up at night.

I wanted to look into this as I’m a young dog and can wake my parents up in the middle of the night (I sometimes need to pee at night because I drink a lot during the day and I’m active).  I fall back to sleep quickly, but I know my parents sometimes don’t.  I guess that can be troubling for them.

Have you ever noticed how dogs can be asleep one moment and then wake up quickly if there is something going on?  If the doorbell rings, we wake up fast or if we hear something we can stop napping and go investigate.  Then once we’ve checked things out, we are right back to sleep pretty quickly. 

As a general rule we require roughly 12-14 hours of sleep a night.  I know my parents wonder when I sleep since I’m up at different hours.  My Mom sometimes will wake me up during a nap to make sure I’m actually tired at night and it does tend to keep me from being up and down during the night.  Dogs that have a formal job such as service dogs or police dogs tend to sleep less because they are working all day J

Older dogs tend to sleep more as with age they generally require more sleep.  Much like puppies that are growing sleep more, just like human babies would sleep more than grown-ups.

Some dogs may be uncomfortable with sleep for a variety of reasons and there are strategies you can use to potentially help them sleep better (always check with your vet of course too).

  1. Activity or a short walk is good for most dogs as long as they don’t have a condition like advanced arthritis that could make things uncomfortable (if they do have arthritis CBD or products containing cannabidiol have been reported to be helpful with helping their gait or lameness and are also believed to work with inflammation and pain).
  2. Developing a set pattern time of going to bed and waking up, much like humans may have a scheduled time for sleep can help. If the dog parent is up late one evening and goes to bed early on another evening it can create a disjointed schedule that may complicate sleeping patterns.
  3. Having a set bed or place to sleep also can help.
  4. Lastly, much like CBD or cannabidiol is thought to help with arthritis it is also believed in some circles to help with sleep and relaxation. Every dog is different, so if your dog is not sleeping well this is something you can explore yourself or in conjunction with your vet.

While dogs may sleep roughly 50% of the time, we are awake roughly 30% of the time and actually active 20% of the time, even though it may seem like we are active a lot more.  What makes our sleep tricky to determine is our ability to nap often when humans are up and about.  We can grab our sleep in several small pieces and don’t necessarily need a long solid eight hours at one time.

Two interesting and concise articles I enjoyed reading on sleep were:


This article contained some cute and easy to understand graphics and charts I thought you might like.


Here is to happy and restful sleep for both you and your dog.  I tend to try and count sheep as I drift off to sleep, but rarely get past 10 before I’m out cold and having doggie dreams.  How many sheep have you ever counted?

Yours in Health,

Stuart Little

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