Does My Dog Sleep Too Much?
Dogs sleep a lot, but how much is too much? First time dog owners and any dog owner who notices an increase in their pet's sleeping patterns may both be asking "Does my dog sleep too much?" This post will answer the questions, "how much sleep does a dog need," and "why is my dog sleeping a lot suddenly", so you can make the best choices for your dog.
Does My Dog Sleep Too Much?
How Much Sleep Does a Dog Need?
Let's discuss the normal sleep pattern for dogs. This way we can be sure whether something is wrong and, if it is, how severe it is.
The average amount of sleep dogs need is 12 to 14 hours a day, spread out over the day. They should sleep at night and take naps during the day. It is normal for your dog to take a long, deep nap after periods of excessive energy usage, like when they've had a particularly rambunctious play session or have been really excited about having company over.
Age impacts sleep. Puppies sleep a lot because they work off so much energy, and senior dogs need more sleep than they used to to keep themselves fueled. So, a puppy sleeping a lot is to be expected, and they should require less sleep as they grow. Noticing an old dog sleeping a lot, particularly with a gradual increase, is normal.
The exact amount of sleep needed also differs depending on breed. Working dogs may not want to sleep as often and will need to have worked off a lot of energy during the day to sleep well. More sedate dog breeds may sleep readily and more than the average.
Educate yourself on your dog breed to learn what is normal for them and how to address any particular needs they have to maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
If a sleep pattern is normal for your dog, they show no signs of a mental or physical illness, and you maintain regular vet visits, they are probably fine.
Can Dogs Sleep Too Much?
Too much sleep could mean the dog isn't getting enough exercise and they could become overweight. If they have a joint problem like hip dysplasia or arthritis, too much laying around or too little exercise may make their pain and stiffness worse.
Sleeping too much can be a symptom of mental or physical illness. You would normally want to be concerned if your dog has a sudden, dramatic increase in the amount they sleep, or if they have other symptoms of an illness.
My Dog is Sleeping a Lot More Than Usual, Why?
There are many reasons a dog may sleep more than the normal amount, and some are very serious while some are not so much.
Dogs may sleep an abnormal amount because they:
- don't sleep well at night because they aren't comfortable
- don't have enough routine
- have insomnia
- are depressed
- are suffering side effects from a medication
- are in pain, from hip dysplasia, arthritis, an injury, or any other reason
- have hypothyroidism
- have canine influenza
- have diabetes
- are having breathing problems, ranging from allergies to something serious
- contracted an infectious disease like Lyme disease or rabies
Why Does My Dog Sleep All Day but Stay Up All Night?
It is not uncommon for people to say, "my dog sleeps all day and is up all night." If the dog doesn't sleep at night but does sleep during the day, this means that because they aren't sleeping when they are supposed to their bodies are crashing during the day.
Not being able to sleep at night could be caused by:
- not being tired enough at night
- not being comfortable in their sleeping area
- being bothered by other pets or household pests
- having bladder or digestive problems that make them have to frequently go
Look for symptoms of an illness like frequent urination or need to go potty as well as pain to determine if the dog needs to go to the vet.
If they are whining excessively, licking their paws when they aren't grooming, show a lack of interest in things, are increasingly unhappy when you have to leave them, or display other signs of emotional changes, they may be depressed or anxious.
If there are no other signs of a problem, or while trying to figure out if there is a mental or physical health concern for your dog, watch them attempt to sleep at night to see if they look uncomfortable on their bed or are too cold or hot. Check the home for pests. Eliminate the possibility that another pet may be bothering them. Ensure they are active enough during the day to be tired enough at night to go to sleep, without overworking them.
"My dog is sleeping all day and not eating."
Lethargy and loss of appetite are very serious signs. They can often be caused by life-threatening illnesses, and, even if that isn't the cause, the lack of eating itself can become life-threatening pretty quickly.
If a dog is sleeping too much and has a lack of appetite, they may have:
- physical pain
- an allergy
- an injury
- a side effect from medication
- a not so serious illness
- a life-threatening illness such as cancer
- toxicity or poisoning
Encourage your dog to get exercise and eat, without being too pushy with them. Try to feed them their favorite foods and do their favorite things. If they go or have gone more than 24 hours sleeping too much and not eating, you should get them emergency vet care. If they have improved but are simply eating less than normal after 24 hours, you might just call the vet for advice.
What to Do When You Have to Ask Why Does My Dog Sleep So Much?
If the dog shows other signs of a physical illness, such as pain, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, etc., get prompt vet care for them. If they stop eating, get emergency vet care.
Otherwise, try to address the potential reasons they are sleeping too much.
Determine whether they aren't sleeping at night and eliminate the potential reasons for it. You might act like you're going to bed but stay awake so you can check on them. They may even be sleeping but sleeping poorly or fitfully and therefore not feeling rested during the day.
Remove potential allergens. The elimination test is one of the primary ways to determine if a person or pet is allergic to something. Dogs can be allergic to many of the same things we can, dust, mites, pollen, chemicals, and certain foods. Close the windows and/or run an air purifier, dust and vacuum, don't use cleaning chemicals around them, and change any new foods, whether dog food or table food. Do be aware that a dog can develop a sudden allergy to something they've been exposed to for a long time or there may be more of the allergen present. Use that information as seems fit concerning your dog and the potential allergens in their living environment.
See if the sleep problem is mood related, and can be easily fixed, by doing things to try to cheer them up. You might spend more time playing with them, come up with a new game for them, take them to their favorite place, etc.
If you don't have one, develop a routine. Often when people have no routine, they feel purposeless and laze around a lot. So do dogs. Just small changes toward having set times to do things could make a big difference for your dog. Get up and feed them around the same time each morning. Do different activities in the home and with them than you do at night. Try to go to bed around the same time.
How CBD Oil Can Help When Asking Why Does My Dog Sleep So Much?
CBD oil could potentially help a dog who sleeps too much or can't sleep at night in many different ways:
- promoting healthy sleep patterns
- alleviating digestive issues
- relieving pain
- reducing inflammation
- providing a subtle energy boost
- easing anxiety
- lessening depression
- acting as a natural alternative to a medication with an intolerable side effect
- easing a side effect so the dog can continue taking an otherwise helpful medication
Using CBD Oil
There are several types of products to fit your dog's tastes and needs, including:
- oil tinctures
- extract concentrates
Extract concentrates come in a tube containing only cannabidiol, which is the active ingredient in CBD oil. The cannabidiol is dispensed in little beads that you can measure to achieve an exact dose. The main appeal of concentrates is that they contain only one ingredient and are therefore the most cost-effective form of CBD oil. The downside is that it tastes exactly like hemp and every dog isn't okay with that. If yours is one who doesn't like it, you can mask the concentrate in a strong-tasting food or beverage.
Oil tinctures are cannabidiol combined with a carrier oil, and often a flavoring, to offer the same dose flexibility as concentrates but in a more convenient form. They come with a dropper or sprayer, and you measure the dose by the number of drops or sprays.
Capsules are quick, taste-free ways to give a dog the same average dose of CBD oil each time.
Treats are CBD oil versions of the same kind of treats your dog already loves. They come in crunchy and soft forms as well as similar flavors as normal treats. When you don't have to measure out a dose, treats are an ideal way to take CBD oil.
Topicals, usually lotions or balms, are applied externally to address pain and inflammation in localized areas. For instance, if your dog has arthritis in only one joint or in their back legs, you might rather apply the CBD oil to the spot rather than give it internally.
Dosing CBD Oil
Treats and capsules come in packages designating which dogs should take the dose of the treats or capsules inside. You'll usually choose between small, medium, and large dogs, though the wording of the choice depends on the individual product.
The doses for treats and capsules are based on the average dog of that size. This doesn't take into account age, weight, or overall health. Puppies, senior dogs, unusually large or small dogs, or very sick dogs will need a different dose.
Oil tinctures and extract concentrates are great for finding specific doses for your dog with unique dosing needs or for varying the dose at different times of the day. You might always want to have one of these on hand to provide accurate doses to different pets in a multiple pet household.
Always start with the lowest possible dose for your dog's ailment and work up to find the right dose. This is the safest and least stressful method.
Risks Associated with CBD Oil
CBD oil is growing in popularity because it is seen as a natural, gentle, and safe alternative to traditional treatments. But there are some things you should know about to keep your dog 100% safe.
CBD oil is considered side effect free because most dogs don't have any side effects, but it is possible for them to experience loss of appetite, diarrhea, or sedation, particularly when taking larger amounts.
There is no known instance of CBD oil overdose.
CBD oil impacts how the liver absorbs medications, making doses not work as expected. All this means is that your vet needs to know about the CBD oil use to dose correctly. Studies show mixed results on whether CBD oil has a positive or negative(similar to alcohol or acetaminophen intake in humans) effect on the liver. You might want to discuss risks versus benefits with your vet, particularly if there is cause for concern over your dog's liver.
So far, the FDA has only approved one epilepsy drug for humans that contains CBD oil. This was given priority because there was a known drastic need for the unique benefits it provides for seizures. All the testing and trials are still being completed before FDA approval can be given across the board. Until then, it is still kind of experimental. Do not give CBD oil for a life-threatening ailment unless traditional treatments have been ruled out.
More and more vets support CBD oil use. If yours isn't one of them, call around to see which vets in your area do or look for a holistic vet in your area.
Purchasing CBD Oil
Before buying CBD oil, you should know the following points.
CBD isolate or Full-spectrum CBD
CBD isolate is just cannabidiol while full-spectrum CBD oil contains cannabidiol, other cannabinoids(not THC), terpenes, and nutrients from the hemp plant. Full-spectrum is generally considered best because all of these components create an entourage effect that heightens the effectiveness of cannabidiol, but some people also swear that CBD isolate works better for them. The good news is that if one doesn't work for your dog, the other might. CBD isolate cannot possibly contain even a trace of THC while full-spectrum offers extra nutrients that might be better for dogs with digestive issues that impact their nutrition.
Third-party testing ensures that the CBD oil contains the amount of cannabidiol that is promised and doesn't include other things that you might be concerned about, like an active amount of THC. We'll show you an example of our test results from each batch of PurCBD+ 125mg.
A CBD oil manufacturer should tell you on their website where they acquired their hemp. Whether they grow the hemp and extract the cannabidiol themselves or buy the hemp or cannabidiol from someone else, you should be told where the hemp was grown. This lets you be sure that the hemp was grown under safe agricultural regulations.
Check the website for mention of the CO2 extraction method as it is the safest and purest option.
The fewer ingredients a product has in it, the less likely it is that something unnecessary or unsafe is in it. You also will find it much easier to research the ingredients to prove for yourself that they're safe and non-allergenic.
An extract concentrate should only contain one ingredient, cannabidiol. Tinctures will contain CBD oil, a carrier oil, and often flavorings. Capsules and treats require more ingredients to turn them into those forms and give treats a great taste, but you should still be able to prove that all of the ingredients are safe. Topicals are very similar, the number of ingredients may vary, but they should be easy to research.
Innovations from Innovet
We find creative and eco-friendly solutions for pet ownership challenges and hard-to-treat pet ailments. If you're asking, "why does my dog sleep so much?", you may want to use some of our products to address the many potential reasons a dog may sleep too much, whether serious or not serious. We have CBD oil tinctures, capsules, crunchy treats, soft treats, and mobility balm for you to choose from. You might also want to pick up some anti-pest, ear cleaning, or dental products while you're here.
If no traditional or natural option addresses a problem you're experiencing, contact us to see if we can't find a new solution. We love to innovate for pets and pet owners.
Dr. Sara Ochoa
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, St. Georges University
Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.
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The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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