How much sleep do our dogs need?
Posted in Chiropractic Treatments for Dogs

On average an adult needs between 11 and 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, that’s a whole 50% of their day.

Puppies, whose bodies are growing at an exceptionally fast rate will need more, averaging about 18 to 20 hours sleep, one reason is that the growth hormone needed for growing little bodies is released during sleep. Our senior dogs will also need more sleep, as movement and activity get harder and cognitive function is challenged, sleep is needed to recover.

Dogs and humans share the same sleeping patterns, which can be split into 4 sections.

1. Awake; the period where a dog is officially awake but lying quietly and still

2. Light sleep; this stage is when a dog begins to fall asleep, breathing slows and body temperature drops

3. Deep sleep; this is when the magic happens, deep sleep is the most rejuvenating sleep of all, when growth hormones are released, cellular regeneration and healing take place, and muscle growth and repair happen. It is hard to wake a dog who is in this sleep state, and your dog will often wake from this sleep looking a little dazed and confused

4. REM sleep or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep; the dream state, when your dog dreams of catching those rabbits! Jerky limb movements, growls, puffs and little woofs happen. This type of vivid sleep is all about brain activity, memory, learning and problem-solving

Humans will go through 1 cycle of sleep, (which includes all 4 stages), within a 90-minute period. While a dog will go through 2 of these sleep cycles in a 45-minute period. Of course, as a prey animal descended from the wolf, this shortened sleep cycle would have served them very well.

So now you know where the old saying “let sleeping dogs lie”, comes from, because dogs need sleep, a lot of it, but not necessarily all at once. It’s a skill we must teach our baby puppies so we too can get our full 8 hours.


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