The Sleep Habits of Dogs One thing no one can deny, dogs love to sleep. How much a dog spends napping varies from one dog to another, and depends on the dog’s personality and age. If you count little naps and longer ones, a dog sleeps around 14 hours a day. Some breeds of large dogs require more sleep than other dogs do. Dogs such as Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards and Mastiffs, may spend as much as 16 to 18 hours a day sleeping. Dogs sleep more than humans, but they also wake up more often than we do. When they sleep and the frequency of it is dependent on how active their environment is. A dog who works for a living, such as a search and rescue dog will sleep less than a pet that stays at home. Dogs have the ability to adjust their sleep patterns in order to stay awake when they have something to do, and asleep the remainder of the time. Dogs may sleep a lot just because they are bored. You can help your dog not sleep so much by giving them enough stimulation in the daytime. This can mean taking them on walks, or playing with toys. If your dog has enough to entertain him during the day, he may stay up with you when the sun is up and sleep at night just like you. Dogs have the same type of sleep patterns as their owners do. As the dog first goes to sleep, he has the quiet beginning phase of sleep where he is lying still and not paying attention to his surroundings. His breathing slows down, and his heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature slow down. Ten minutes in, your dog goes into the REM stage of sleep. His eyes roll under closed lids and he may bark, whine, or his legs may jerk. The brain activity during this phase is similar to humans in their dreaming phase, and there has been evidence that dogs do in fact dream. Perhaps you see how much your dog is sleeping and you wonder if he is sleeping excessively. Know this. Dogs have a habit of sleeping most of the day at no specific times, and this is completely okay for a dog. The amount of time that they sleep may differ from one breed to another. If a dog is older, it tends to sleep more. Dogs usually don’t sleep too much, but if your dog is acting sluggish or sleeping all of the time, it is best to make an appointment with the veterinarian.

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