How much sleep does your dog need?

The sleep is vital for humans. lack of sleep not only leads to increased fatigue, it also increases the risk of illness and shortens life expectancy. People spend a lot of time sleeping, especially in the first few years of life.

But what about your dog? Does it lie in his basket most of the time and you are unsure whether he sleeps too much?

Then find out in this guide how much sleep a dog needs.

Dogs and cats [1]are more similar in behavior and way of life than you would suspect at first glance. Both pets need plenty of sleep to recover and process the day’s impressions.

However, cats are much more independent. If you are tired, express this clearly. They withdraw to their resting place and find sleep there.

Dogs, on the other hand, are less independent. You either react to the instructions of your human friend or you forget about your own needs. If you are currently in the game, you could do this for hours until you finally give up from exhaustion.

Allow yourself some rest

Dogs need lots of sleep. However, they are so dependent on you that you have to give them peace of mind. If you play with your dog, he will hardly come to rest.

It is therefore important to recognize when your dog is tired. Does he seem more and more listless and clearly expresses his exhaustion [2], then you better quit the game. Even if your dog would like to continue, you should give him the space to take a break.

This is important because dogs spend most of the day sleeping. Typically, dogs sleep between 17 and 20 hours a day. This depends on the age and the state of health. Puppies and sick dogs can sleep up to 22 hours [3]bring. They actually only wake up to relieve themselves and to eat. The rest of the time is lazy and rested.

For puppies, even sleeping up to 22 hours a day is not uncommon

Puppies have high levels of energy in the few hours that you are awake. They excitedly explore the environment and literally soak up the impressions . These are processed during sleep and development is driven forward.

Smaller dogs need a little less sleep on average than the larger four-legged friends. You can also get by with 14 hours of rest.


If a period of up to 20 hours is mentioned, then this is not purely related to sleep. Dogs spend rest periods differently to regain their energy.

Similar to humans, dogs also enjoy simply making themselves comfortable on the couch or dog bed and resting there. The eyes are open and he looks at the surroundings. If he is relaxed, he should be left alone. The game can take place at a different time and the animal friend should be able to enjoy the break.

If the dog has closed his eyes, this does not have to mean that he is actually asleep. It could be that he’s just dozing and taking some time out. You can tell that he’s still awake by the movements of his ears and nose. They react very sensitively to every sound or other impression. In this state, your dog rests, but still feels connected to the environment.

Rest periods

Not only do dogs sleep a lot during the day, they also doze off and relax in this way.

Dogs are really in deep sleep only for a small amount of time. Around 20 percent of the rest phases are the four-legged friends in the land of dreams and no longer notice anything from the environment. Deep sleep is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. During this time the body regenerates and the brain processes the experiences of the day.

If the previous hours were really exciting, your dog will have a hard time falling asleep. Sleep could be disturbed. A lack of exercise could also lead to a lack of sleep. If your dog is not busy, he will not go into the sleep phase.


lack of sleep also has serious consequences for dogs and should not be underestimated. But how does the dog’s lack of sleep express itself [4]?

Sleep deprivation affects humans on different levels. How exactly the deficiency manifests itself is perceived individually. However, dogs react quite similarly and seem to go through certain phases one after the other when they lack sleep.

At the beginning, the lack of sleep manifests itself in an over-excited impression of the dog. He hardly comes to rest and does not manage to calm down.

In the second phase, physical and mental limitations can be experienced. Concentration is impaired and commands are much more difficult to obey. The motor skills also suffer and he is initially perceived as “clumsy”. In truth, this could be an expression of lack of sleep.

Overtired dogs

The exhaustion in dogs manifests itself in a more irritable and aggressive behavior. He seems less balanced and much more nervous.

If the sleep deprivation persists, the nature also changes. The dog becomes more nervous, irritable and aggressive. He no longer reacts confidently, but less confidently.

A lack of sleep leads to aggressive behavior and chronic diseases in dogs

The persistent lack of sleep ultimately leads to diseases that, in the worst case, can be chronic. The behavior becomes much more aggressive and it becomes clear that the dog is not doing well.


A dog’s lack of sleep has serious consequences. However, dogs are not always able to get the rest they need. The task of humans is to create optimal sleeping conditions and to respond to the needs of the dog.


Puppies would like to spend the few waking phases just playing or romping around. You do not even notice that you are completely overtired. To signal that it is time to go back to sleep, don’t overdo your game. Act more calmly if you want to get the puppies to sleep. It may be necessary for you to lie down on your own bed so that the puppies notice that it is now time to go to bed.


Adult dogs, like humans, follow a fixed daily routine [5]and rhythm. It is important that you maintain roughly a steady day-night rhythm . Get up at the same times, prepare the food and play with your dog. If this process is disturbed and takes place at constantly changing times, this could unsettle your dog.


In order for your dog to get adequate and restful sleep, the place to sleep is of course also very important. Since dogs are very different in physique and their own preferences, it is hardly possible to describe the perfect sleeping place.

It is important that his sleeping place is quiet . Noise and loud noises put your dog directly on an alert. You can see this clearly by the moving ears that follow the noise . At the same time, the sleeping place should be close to you. Dogs seek closeness to human companions and only feel comfortable in the immediate vicinity. In addition, the square itself should convey a certain sense of security and offer a good view.

These are quite a few requirements that are placed on the dog sleeping area. In most cases, a place in the corner of the living room is a good place for your dog to rest. However, avoid being too close to heaters and in direct sunlight. Place a sufficiently large orthopedic dog bed or a dog mattress at the sleeping area so that your dog feels comfortable there and comes to rest. You can also set up a suitable space in the bedroom so that your dog spends the night near you.


If your dog spends most of the day sleeping or dozing, it should come as no surprise. You can rest and laze around for up to 20 hours a day. You should give yourself this time to avoid a lack of sleep.

However , if your dog needs more sleep and appears aggressive, an illness could be responsible. Check with the vet [6] whether your dog suffers from an illness.

Ensure adequate sleep and your dog will happily spend the remaining hours actively.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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