DogTime Blogs

Friday, April 24, 2009

ASK THE VET: Sleeping and Dreaming Habits of Dogs

Dogs need their sleep and without it they can become stressed. Stress can result in behavioral changes, weight loss and a lowered immune system. Although very few studies exist on the sleep and dreaming habits of dogs, it appears that the amount of sleep required depends on the dog breed, age and energy levels. Most dogs need about 14 hours of sleep a day.

Large breed dogs such as Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards and Great Danes sleep a lot more than the small breeds. They can sleep up to 18 hours a day. Low energy dogs that sit at home such as Bull dogs and Bassett Hounds sleep a lot more than high energy dogs such as working dogs (e.g. search and rescue dogs).

Placing your pet’s bed in an area that is away from noise and activity will help them get their required amout of sleep for rejuvenation. Changes in sleep patterns can definitely be an early sign of illness. If this is the case, seek veterinary attention for further investigation.

Like humans, dogs’ do dream. The twitching, whimpering and paw movements are signs of a dog in deep sleep. Avoid suddenly waking your pet up from deep sleep.

The question this week came from Lauren.

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