How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Olga Popko/Shutterstock

Sleep allows all big and little creatures to rest, regenerate, grow, and gain strength for further milestones in life. Dogs, too, need to have enough  sleep to thrive – both during the day and through the night. But some doggos love to snooze more and others, and then there are those who won’t sleep that much at all. So what is the bottom line? How much sleep do dogs need exactly? While there can’t be a general, straightforward answer (after all, not all dogs are identical), there are some general rules and guidelines to follow. 

How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need Daily?

The amount of sleep a dog needs can vary depending on factors such as their age, breed, and activity level. Generally, dogs sleep a significant portion of the day, and their sleep patterns can be quite different from humans. Here's a rough guideline for how much sleep dogs typically need on a daily basis – based on their age, lifestyle, and so on.

Puppies, naturally, need a lot of sleep, usually around 18 to 20 hours a day. They have bursts of energy and playfulness, which are followed by periods of deep sleep. Puppies are still growing, and sleep is essential for their development.

Adult dogs, on the other hand, are not such sleepy heads. Still, they will sleep more often than not. Most adult dogs sleep around 12 to 14 hours a day, although this can vary. Larger breeds tend to sleep more than smaller breeds. Active and working dogs, such as herding or hunting breeds, may require more sleep to recover from their daily activities. 

There are also seniors, who get tired more quickly and need plenty of rest during the daytime. Older dogs may sleep more than younger adults, often in the range of 14 to 16 hours a day. Senior dogs tend to be less active and love to snooze whenever there’s a chance. 

It's important to note that individual dogs can have different sleep needs. Some dogs may sleep more or less than the average, and this can be influenced by their overall health and well-being. It's also influenced by their daily routine, exercise, and mental stimulation. Then again, some doggos are straight-out lazy – they love to snooze, hate to jump around and exercise, and snore as much as they want! This is not something you should worry about unless it comes about suddenly. That’s just how some dogs are. 

Also, keep in mind that dogs are crepuscular, which means they are most active during dawn and dusk. This behavior is a remnant of their wild ancestors, who were more active during these times for hunting and other activities. As a result, it's normal for dogs to have sleep patterns that align with this natural cycle. After all, old habits die hard, even in the canine world. If you notice that your doggo gets the zoomies in the earliest part of the day, try investing in an  interesting and stimulating dog toy that will keep them occupied when they get up, while you get a few more minutes of sleep before you need to jump out of the bed and take them for a walk. 

To ensure that your dog gets the right amount of sleep, it's essential to provide them with a comfortable and quiet sleeping area and establish a routine that includes exercise and mental stimulation. They should have a  cozy dog bed to sleep on, as well – since dogs spend the majority of the day sleeping, their bed should provide proper support for their body and keep them comfortable during all those snooze sessions.

While it’s true that every dog is unique and there are no rules about dog sleep that are set in stone, you should keep an eye on their routine so you can notice if something goes amiss. In case you see any significant changes in your dog's sleep patterns, it's a good idea to consult with a veterinarian, as it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

More by Angela Vuckovic