Shih Tzu Sleeping Habits

Shih Tzu like to sleep.
Image Credit: Mary Swift/iStock/GettyImages

After a day of chasing his ball, exploring the neighborhood on a walk, and soaking up the sun in a bright spot on the living room carpet, your Shih Tzu is ready for a good night's sleep. Never mind that he took several naps while you were hard at work during the day. Like other canines, Shih Tzu sleeping behavior can take many forms. He can curl up and sleep in nearly any comfy spot, from the sofa to the laundry basket

How much sleep is needed

Just as human babies need far more sleep than their parents, so do Shih Tzus. Newborn puppies may sleep 22 hours a day, according to All Shih Tzu. When they aren't sleeping, their primary activity is nursing. Once they are weaned, their sleep needs decrease to 19 to 21 hours a day and then to 16 to 20 throughout the rest of her first year.

By the time they are 1 year old, Shih Tzus will sleep about 12 to 16 hours a day, depending on how much activity they're getting. If your dog is chasing sticks and going for walks, he won't sleep quite as much as one who is left alone and bored. Adult dogs often sleep through the night and take several naps during the day.

As you Shih Tzu grows older, she will likely slow down and enjoy more naps in a sunny spot in the house. During Shih Tzu golden years, senior dogs will sleep about 14 to 19 hours, sometimes waking up during the night to ask to go out or to try get more comfortable if they have aching joints. A soft, warm bed will help older dogs get the rest they need.

Short snouts and snoring

Your Shih Tzu's short-nosed face is adorable. But it can lead to loud snoring and other respiratory problems. Dogs whose facial structure makes it difficult to pass air through the trachea are called brachycephalic. Some brachycephalic dogs have sleep apnea, where the breathing stops and starts because of airway obstruction, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals notes. If you notice this with your Shih Tzu, consult a veterinarian.

To help your dog (and you if he sleeps in your bedroom) get healthful rest, make sure your Shih Tzu maintains a healthy weight. Stress and heat can make the condition worse as well.

In addition to snoring, be alert to other Shih Tzu behavior changes concerning sleep, such as narcolepsy, where your dog suddenly falls asleep while sitting or even standing up. Older dogs may be prone to insomnia, according to Shih Tzu Time. If you are concerned about your Shih Tzu's sleep, talk to your vet.

Shih Tzu sleeping

Shih Tzus sleeping can be an adorable sight. Like other dogs, they have dreams where they mimic running or lick the air. Shih Tzus crave company when they sleep. If you have more than one dog, you may see them curled up together. They feel more secure and safe while sleeping with other dogs or their owners.

Your Shih Tzu likely loves to sleep on your bed or at least in your room. Once you establish where he'll sleep it's best to let him sleep there consistently. If he does sleep on your bed, provide steps or a ramp so he can safely get on and off the bed.

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