Is your dog getting enough sleep?
One of the best things we can do to protect and support our overall health and immunity is sleep. Quality sleep gives our bodies time to heal and repair itself. It’s the same for our pups, and their sleep habits can tell you a lot about their general health and wellbeing.
How much should your dog sleep?
The amount of sleep your dog needs depends on their age, breed and even the weather outside.
- Adult dogs require anywhere between 12–14 hours of sleep each day.
- Just like babies, puppies need even more sleep than adult dogs, to help support their muscle and neural development as well as their immune system. It’s normal for your puppy to sleep 18–20 hours per day, but rest assured they’ll more than make up for it when awake.
- Older dogs need more sleep than their younger selves – they tire more easily and need extra time to recharge their batteries. You might also find that they are generally less active during waking hours.
- Working dog breeds will likely sleep less because their ancestors were conditioned to stay awake for longer periods to perform specific tasks. Conversely, pups who don’t have hard labour built into their DNA will likely sleep more and may have even inherited a bit of a lazybones attitude.
Does your dog need a sleep schedule?
A sleep schedule can help instil good bedtime habits. Here a few things to consider if you’re thinking of scheduling your pup’s sleep routine:
- Unlike us, dogs don’t need to get all of their sleep in one go – especially puppies who require a lot of total snooze time.
- A sleep schedule helps prevent toilet accidents, as your dog may not last a long stretch of sleep without needing to use the bathroom.
- Rescue dogs may benefit from a sleep schedule to help get them used to their new homes.
- Once you’ve set up a good foundation for your pup’s sleep routine, you can loosen the requirements and add flexibility to the schedule. Who doesn’t love a late night or little sleep in from time to time?
How does your dog’s diet affect their sleep?
Being overweight or overfed can make dogs lethargic and sleep more. If you suspect this is the case for your dog, portion-controlled feeding can help. Older dogs are particularly susceptible to weight gain, so this is especially important for them.
Pups packing a few extra kilos are also more prone to sleep quality issues like sleep apnoea and snoring, which can be difficult to monitor in dogs. Be sure to speak with your vet if you’re concerned.
If your pup has developed bathroom issues during the night, perhaps look at the time you’re feeding them – eating too close to bedtime might be the reason they need to relieve themselves.
What else can you do to help your dog sleep better?
To help ensure quality sleep for your pup, try to keep them physically and mentally stimulated during the day, encouraging them to stay awake – that way they’re more likely to stick to their sleep schedule. Exercise and at least 30 minutes of movement a day is key.
If your dog is oversleeping, it could be a sign that something else is going on. Too much sleep could be related to conditions like:
- Canine depression
- Possible loss of hearing
That’s why it’s important to consult your vet if you notice changes in your dog’s sleeping patterns.
Blue light can affect your sleep, does it affect your dog’s too?
In short, yes.
In humans, light alters the body’s circadian rhythm, which affects your sleep and increases your risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Light a night is the reason why so many people don’t get enough shut-eye and are more susceptible to depression. Blue light wavelengths get a bad rap, but they are incredibly beneficial during daylight hours as they help to boost attention, reaction times, as well as your mood. However, blue light is incredibly disruptive at night, and not helped with society’s obsession with screen time. Too much blue light can cause insomnia by suppressing the body’s melatonin production.
When it comes to your dog, they too can feel the effects of light. Ever wondered why they might not be winding down at night? Your light bulbs or glow from your LED TV screen may be impacting your dog’s ability to do so. This is why a bedtime routine is so incredibly important. Dim the lights, remove any distractions, speak to them in a calm voice and reward their good behaviour with a small treat – careful not to get them too excited.
Why your dog will love Lyka
Made from fresh, human-grade ingredients, Lyka’s serving sizes are customised to suit your pup’s age, weight and activity levels. Each meal isserved individually, so you can be confident in knowing that you’re not overfeeding your furry friend.
Delicious and nutritious Lyka – for a healthy weight and sweet pupper dreams.