Why do dogs sleep so much?

The characteristic sounds and movements of a sleeping dog prove it: our four-legged friends are indeed able to dream.

Sleeping dogs are sometimes very funny to look at. Some are moaning, growling, barking or even moving their legs and it looks like they’re chasing something. Their sleep times are unevenly distributed throughout the day. It is therefore often difficult for dog owners to anticipate the times when their dogs are active or sleeping.

How many hours should dogs sleep daily?

The sleeping habits of dogs vary according to age, size and activity. Puppies, of course, sleep longer than adult dogs, even big St. Bernards tend to sleep more than the little Chihuahua.

Large dogs and puppies sleep on average 18 hours a day. The average rhythm of a full-grown dog is between 12 and 14 hours.

Half (50%) of the total sleep hours are distributed over the night, the rest overslept the dogs at an irregular distance throughout the day. The reason for this division is the so-called REM phase.

The REM phase in humans occupies about 25% of the total sleep phase. In this phase, brain activity is increased and mammals process the stimuli they have absorbed during the day.

In contrast to us dogs spend only 10% of their total sleep in the REM phase. For this reason, dogs make small naps during the day, which serve their recovery and health.

Yes, even dogs dream

The characteristic sounds and movements of a sleeping dog prove it: our four-legged friends are indeed able to dream.

As with any other creature, the dog’s brain has to process all the information it has received throughout the day. Dreaming is the brain’s most effective mechanism for achieving this.

According to a study comparing the brain waves of dogs and humans, it was concluded that dogs also have two different sleep phases: the REM phase and the falling asleep.

The latter phase is the initial phase of sleep during which brain activity is shut down and the heartbeat and respiration slow down.

The REM phase is part of the deep sleep phase. This phase owes its name to the typical rapid eye movements (Rapid Eye Movement).

During this sleep phase, the heartbeat accelerates, the body is paralyzed, one dreams and can even be sexually aroused. The realization that dogs like us humans have two sleep phases is the irrefutable proof that our animals also dream.

Exercise is important for the healthy sleep of a dog

Just as with humans, physical and mental activity in dogs is the key to good and restful sleep. Contrary to common belief, our animals no longer sleep if they are not sufficiently physically and mentally engaged.

Too little activity causes insomnia in the dog and leads to long-term sleep disorders, which significantly deteriorates the quality of life of the animal.

A responsible dog owner should dedicate at least half an hour to his four-legged friends daily in order to use him physically, z. B. to go for a walk with him. For larger breeds and dogs with more energy, including hunting and watchdogs, one should take more time to keep them busy.

Even a short walk before and after work can have a positive effect on your dog’s sleeping habits. To round off the morning walk and before we leave the house for the office, we should give the dog a toy so that he can keep himself occupied while he is home alone.

We should always keep in mind that the daily activities of our pets are crucial to their sleep habits. Guide dogs or police dogs, for example, spend most of the day being vigilant and attentive to their work.

A family dog ​​who spends all day waiting for his master or mistress does what he wants in the time when he is alone. And that means in most cases that he lies down in his cot and sleeps.

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