Thursday, January 16, 2014

How Long Do Dogs Sleep on Average? (Guest Post)

People like to sleep according to their biological clock. They usually sleep for a long, continuous period of time. Now, when it comes to dogs, things are a bit different. Dogs prefer taking shorter, discontinuous naps throughout the day. However, when it all adds up, they sleep a lot. In fact, they spend more than half of their lives sleeping.

Average sleep

Sleeping on the Sand... Mmmm, warm...
*image provided by Andrea
On average, dogs sleep for 16 hours per day. Older dogs and pups sleep longer than middle aged ones. Sleeping implies that they are unaware of their surroundings, just like other animals.


By studying brain waves, scientists have confirmed that all mammals dream during a certain period of their sleep. While they sleep, dogs often twitch, moan or make other specific sounds – just like some people tend to talk during their sleep. Owners believe that dreams come during that period of twitching and moaning.

Studying dog dreams is practically impossible, because scientists can't use the same methods that are used while studying human dreams. Nevertheless, it has been confirmed that dogs have different periods of dreaming, just like people do.

During deep sleep, dogs roll their eyes, which is connected to moving limbs and moaning, presupposing that dreams come during that period. People have the most intensive dreams during this so called REM phase of sleep, so we assume that it is the same case with dogs.

If a dog is lying still, eyes closed, it is not sleeping. It is often awake, ready to react if something happens. Dogs are living beings, and just like with people, their senses are stimulated each day. Only when they become perfectly still and fall asleep can they process all the information received during the course of the day.

Healthy sleep

When it comes to the physical and emotional well-being of dogs, it is important that they get enough sleep, especially deep sleep. A dog that doesn’t sleep enough is prone to stress, nervousness, stomach aches, or aggressive behavior.

If you need to wake your dog while it's in deep sleep, do it carefully. Wait a few minutes for it to go from deep sleep into normal sleep. Your dog will have an easier time waking like that. If not done properly, waking your dog from deep sleep can result in violent behavior and perhaps biting.

Sleeping positions

Dogs usually lie on their stomach, or are curled up during sleep. A popular napping position is on the side, although it can lead to deep sleep as well.

One way to know that your dog is deeply asleep and dreaming is if it's lying on its back with all four legs in the air. That is the position of maximum comfort and deep sleep. The stomach doesn’t get hot like that, and no muscle is tense, similar to when it's curled up. When a dog turns its back to its owner or another dog, it is a sign of commitment. The dog feels protected in that position.

Choosing the right spot

What better way to get some R & R than beside a loved one.
*image provided by Andrea
It is believed that dogs like to sleep on posts that aren’t affected by negative energy and radiation. Before they go to sleep, dogs like to circle around the desired spot, sniffing and exploring it. That proves that they won’t sleep anywhere but prefer to pick the perfect spot for that sweet nap.

Author bio:

Andrea Hudson is a professional photographer and a great doglover. . She is interested in dogs and pets related topics, and she is also the first person in the neighborhood who you call for help when you lose your dog, any kind of pet. She is always there for her friends.


  1. In this hot weather, we're doing a lot of sleeping!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  2. Yep plenty of circling here before nap time. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. My sissy, Annie, does all kinds of things when she sleeps. She talks, crys, snores, chases squirrels and has to be touching someone...anyone! Mom can't even turn around in bed for fear of bothering Annie...


  4. I sleep, I dream, nap and sun. Oh yea

  5. Great post, I sleep and dream :) It's good to know that some of the time I am fooling her by pretending to be asleep ..BOL xxoxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  6. Mommy says I look adorable when I dream. :)


  7. We did wonder! So you guys don't sleep as long per day as we kitties. But we both dream (adorably, we might add!)

  8. Very interesting! Me and Stanley sleep a lot and then when we don't we are very active!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  9. Like Daisy said, with this heat Floyd and I have been sleeping a lot. Especially Floyd. He's usually pretty active, but not in this heatwave. He's joined me in front of the fan!

  10. Anyone United Nations agency owns dogs has most likely found themselves asking the question: why do dogs sleep thus much? It appears like anytime we tend to turn our fuzzy buddies ar curled within the corner asleep.


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