Your dog is your best friend, your pet, and most times part of your family, so it is important that you understand his sleeping patterns and needs.
Adult dogs sleep an average of 12 hours per day – that is half of their lifetime. This simply tells us that a dog’s sleeping habits are as important as the time it spends awake, eating and playing etc.
The amount of time spent sleeping differs depending on the breed of dog as well as the dog’s age and personality. Larger dog breeds such as Saint Bernard can sleep for up to eighteen hours per day.
However, you may not have noticed that your doggy is sleeping so much and this is because even though dogs sleep more than us they wake up more frequently. In fact, dogs often just nap and we do not realise that they are actually adding precious minutes to their sleep count.
The amount of time that dogs sleep and their sleeping patterns depend on their environment. A dog living as someone’s pet with a warm comfy bed is likely to sleep more than a working dog such as a guard dog or a dog working on a farm. When you are at work or out during the day your dog most probably spends that time sleeping in a sunny spot. When you come home your dog may be active and play with you, but soon after he will be exhausted and take a nap on the mat or in front of the fireplace. Dogs, unlike us humans, can easily adjust their sleep patterns to be wide awake when something interesting is going on and fit the sleep some other time.
Today’s modern indoor dogs may sleep a lot of time out of boredom if left alone. Stimulation in the form of toys or a companion will help keep him up and active. It is also important to take your dogs for walks and have set playtimes to keep them active.
Now that you know how important sleep is for dogs, and how much time they spend sleeping you can look at where it is that they sleep. It is important that your dog has a warm and dry place to sleep away from drafts, be it inside or outside. Dogs will naturally want to sleep in their master’s bedroom because it smells like you – think about putting a basket or dog bed in your room where your dog can sleep comfortably. Dogs will also have a secondary sleeping place where family members spend a lot of time – this is why you may find your dog sleeping in front of the TV or under the kitchen table often. In places like this, you can put down a big dog cushion or blanket for your pup. On other occasions he/she may like to escape and sleep in a quiet place – remember that in the wild dogs sleep in dens – so they may like a sheltered place to hide away from time to time. Here, a kennel or dog bed in an out-of-the-way area is advised.