Dogs love to sleep. On average, dogs sleep about 14 hours a day, although some sleep more than others. How much a dog sleeps depends on several factors, including age, breed and environment.
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A dog's breed can influence how much time it spends sleeping. Some very small breeds and some very large breeds will spend as much as 18 hours a day sleeping if they have nothing better to do. Certain large breeds, such as Newfoundlands, mastiffs and St. Bernards, have earned the nickname "mat dogs" because they spend so much time lying asleep on the floor.
Age is a major factor in how much a dog sleeps. Just as it is with people, a dog's sleeping patterns change throughout his life cycle, with more or less sleep needed at different stages of life. Healthy adult dogs in their prime of life generally average about 14 hours of sleep each day. Young puppies generally need 18 to 20 hours, while aging dogs also tend to sleep longer the older they get.
Dogs who have a lot to do generally sleep less. A dog who's cooped up in a crate or stuck inside a house or apartment for long hours will sleep a lot more than a working dog, such as a farm dog or a police dog. Sometimes, a dog will sleep simply because he's bored. Providing an environment that includes plenty of activity or places to explore will cut down on the amount of time your pooch spends sleeping during the day.
If your dog seems to be sleeping more than usual, it could be a sign of a health problem. After providing your dog with plenty of stimuli to rule out boredom as a factor, you should take note of any other potential symptoms or unusual behavior and have him checked out by a veterinarian.
By Jean Marie Bauhaus
About the Author
Jean Marie Bauhaus has been writing about a wide range of topics since 2000. Her articles have appeared on a number of popular websites, and she is also the author of two urban fantasy novels. She has a Bachelor of Science in social science from Rogers State University.