Brown puppy sleeping on the floor next to a stuffed animal

How Sleep Affects Your Dog

Sleep is something that everyone needs. Your little pup is also in need of a good night's rest. But how often and for how long should they be sleeping? This question is asked often by many pet parents who are concerned that their little furball is sleeping too much. So, how much sleep is normal for a dog? Continue reading to learn more about how sleep affects your dog.

Sleep And Your Dog

How Much Sleep Does A Dog Need?

Unlike humans, dogs do not need a full 8 hours of sleep each night in order to function properly. In fact, a normal dog will spend around half of their day asleep, with a good portion of the time they are awake spent just lying down. The rest of the time is reserved for doing their business, playing with family, and eating their meals. However, your dog may be getting even more sleep than this. Puppies may sleep for up to 20 hours each day. This is normal for dogs of their age as they are still growing and developing.

When Do Dogs Sleep?

Even though a dog will sleep for around half of one day, this doesn't mean that they will sleep for a consecutive 12 hours and at the same time each day. In fact, your dog will most likely sleep when you do, and when you are not around to play.

Sleep Cycle In Dogs

Just like humans, dogs go through sleep cycles. On average, a human takes 70 to 90 minutes to get into a deep sleep where dreaming occurs. However, in dogs, it only takes around 10 minutes for them to reach this state of sleep. You can tell when your dog is in this state if they are lightly barking, moving their eyes, twitching, or even running in their sleep. In addition to dogs being able to fall asleep more quickly, they also can be woken up easily. So don't worry too much if you accidentally wake your pup when they are in the middle of one of their many napping sessions.

Is It Okay To Sleep With A Dog?

Many people claim that sleeping with their dog allows them to get better sleep. However, there are also people who claim that when they sleep with their dog, they cannot get enough sleep at night. So, what is the verdict on whether or not you should allow your dog to sleep with you in your bed? Well, it all comes down to you and your dog.

If your dog is well-behaved and mild-mannered, you may find comfort in sharing the bed with them. This can also increase your bond with your pup. However, if your pup is not as well behaved, and they sleep in the same spot in your bed each night, they may get defensive if you try to take back your space. In addition to that, you could possibly get sick of co-sleeping with your dog and making a change may cause behavioral issues. However, if you do not allow your dog under the covers, you can minimize the risk of this.

Ultimately, the decision comes down whether or not you think your dog will be disruptive to your sleep or not. If you experiment with their nighttime sleeping arrangements, you can better find what works best for you and your pup.

Tips To Help Your Dog Get Better Sleep

If you consistently set a routine for your dog to go to sleep for the night at a certain time, they'll get on a consistent sleep schedule just like humans. Some examples of routines are taking them for a walk, and letting them out to do their business, and then putting them in their kennel or wherever they sleep.

Another thing to do that can do is make sure they are getting plenty of stimulation and exercise throughout the day. That way they are not up at night keeping you awake when they should be asleep.

The last thing you can do to help your dog get the rest they need is to routinely check with a vet on their health. It is recommended that you do this at least once a year, or every six months if your dog is older. That way, you can know that your pet is healthy.


When it comes to how sleep affects your dog, there is a lot to know. One thing to remember is that a dog will spend most of their day either asleep or lying down, so it is okay if they do this as it is normal behavior. However, if there is a sudden and significant change in your dog's behavior whether it be them sleeping more or less, contact your veterinarian. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn How To Handle Complaints About Your Dog.