How To Tell Whether Your Sleepy Pup Is Spending Enough Time In Bed
By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Jasper, the sleepy greyhound that is still waiting for his forever home. By the estimates of his rescue, Jasper has been overlooked by nearly 2,000 people in the past six months because he’s almost always asleep when potential adopters stop by. While this story is adorable, it does bring up a good question: How much sleep do dogs need?
Just like people, the amount of sleep needed varies from dog to dog. On average, an adult dog should be getting between 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day, but this differs depending on the size of the dog. In general, the larger the dog, the more sleep they need.
Breeds such as Newfoundlands or Saint Bernards may need between 16 and 18 hours of sleep, whereas smaller breeds like Chihuahuas or Toy Poodles may need closer to 10 hours.
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Puppies, on the other hand, need significantly more sleep than the average dog while they grow, often spending 18 or more hours a day snoozing.
This may seem like a long time to be asleep, but unlike humans, dogs do not sleep in one long stretch. Instead, they sleep in short bursts, waking up more frequently due to the level of activity in their environment.
Can you imagine being woken up every few hours, or even minutes, while you try to sleep? That sounds like a form of torture to me.
This works for dogs though because they are able to adjust their sleep schedule more easily than we are. Our furry friends have the unique ability to be awake and alert when there is something to do, and sleep during the down time. This works especially well for working dogs, such as search and rescue or farm dogs, which need to be able to recharge between jobs.
If the life of a dog didn’t sound good before, it certainly does now. Our furry friends get to spend 70% of their day snoozing and only have to worry about eating and being adorable the other 30%. That’s not a bad life if you ask me!
We’ve all taken those quizzes or examined those guides on what our own sleeping positions say about us… don’t try to deny it. (Oh, you’re a stomach sleeper too?) Well, this might be a huge DUH! statement, but you may have noticed that dogs have a whole lot in common with humans. And who’s to say we don’t share similar hidden sleep messages?
No one, that’s who! So it’s time to make like the 90s and go all mood ring on these puppers. (I always knew they were psychic.)
Also known as the curled-up-so-tight-into-a-ball-you-could-dribble-them-down-a-basketball-court, there are likely no paws visible in this position, and your dog is using his tail as a makeshift pillow. Science says he does this to revert back to his wild instincts–wrapping himself up so tight is a great way to preserve body heat and protect vital organs in the abdomen from exposure to predators.
The mood ring version of the story says this dog is just a big ol’ sweetheart with a chill attitude and cuddles for days. If you take science’s word for it, it could also mean your dog is either 1) cold, or 2) does not feel entirely comfortable in his environment. It’s always a good idea to give a new pup space to get acclimated to unfamiliar surroundings; then you might find him belly-up “dead bug” style!
Ah yes, the “dead bug.” This means your dog will likely have all if not most of his legs reaching for the sky. Bonus points if his lips flop upside-down to expose those pearly whites–gravity is a cruel mistress. It’s highly Instagram-worthy, and with good reason. It tells us our dogs are confident and strong-headed, and could literally not be more comfortable in their home.
This position also belongs solely to the domesticated dog; you definitely won’t find wolves snoozing like this in the wilderness–it’s too vulnerable and makes it difficult for them to get to their feet quickly. It’s also a great way to cool down by exposing the less fur-covered belly to the open air. If you find your dog lettin’ it all hang out, chances are he simply doesn’t have a care in the world.
Many a young pup will be found in this position, as they’ll basically plop down for a nap where and whenever they can squeeze one in. Lucky for you, it also means they’re able to jump back up at a moment’s notice and not miss out on anything interesting.
These guys are ready for anything, but their exuberance won’t get the better of them. They are gentle and responsive to your emotions, though sometimes this sensitivity can give them a certain shyness. No worries though, pups. We’re here for you no matter what.
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