If you’re wondering why my dog sleeps a lot; you should know that dogs devote a good part of their time to rest on a regular basis; and according to their way of life and age, we can see differences in their sleeping habit. However, if we have the impression that our partner is sleeping more than normal and we detect other symptoms such as lack of appetite or sadness we may be facing a disease, therefore, you will need the intervention of the veterinarian.
My dog sleeps a lot, is it normal?
If our dog sleeps a lot and we wonder what it can be, the first thing is to check that his sleep periods are truly abnormally long. Normally, dogs spend about half of their time sleeping. This does not mean that during all those hours your dog sleeps soundly. There are other phases of light sleep, in which your dog is alert.
The body posture that dogs adopt can give us an idea of what moment of sleep they are in. For example, a dog lying on his side is usually in a deep sleep; unlike when they lie on their hind legs, that position indicates that your dog is in a light sleep and therefore, is alert to what is happening in his environment.
On the other hand, you should know that your dog’s age is another factor that influences the number of normal hours he sleeps. For example, newborn puppies and elderly dogs sleep many more hours compared to young or adult dogs.
If a dog sleeps for many hours and, in addition, falls asleep in situations where it is strange for us to do so, he may be suffering from a disorder called hypersomnia. This disorder seems to have a genetic basis and has been identified in breeds such as the Labrador retriever, the poodle, the beagle or the miniature pinscher.
Do dogs sleep more in winter?
Dogs’ sleep patterns are maintained, with small variations, throughout the year. If in winter our dog sleeps a lot and we wonder what it can be, we can find explanation in our own behavior.
We know that, in certain months of the year, the temperature drops a lot, which makes us spend more time inside the home. When we are at home resting it is normal for our dog to accompany us, spending more time at rest. Of course, if we notice other symptoms we can be facing a pathology.
My dog sleeps a lot in summer
And if in winter that our dog sleeps a lot could be normal, the same happens in summer. In the months of higher temperatures it is not strange that we notice that the dog sleeps a lot in the heat. In addition, it usually lays in cooler areas such as bathrooms or kitchens with tiled floors. The typical posture is the one that allows the contact of the abdomen with the ground.
In these cases we will notice the most active dog first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon, which coincides with the hours of less heat. It is also possible that in this situation dogs eat less. But if you detect other symptoms, it’s important to go to your veterinarian.
My dog is older and sleeps a lot
Another situation in which physiologically the dog’s sleep time can be increased is old age. In these cases, if our dog sleeps a lot and we wonder what it can be, the answer could lie in the cognitive dysfunction syndrome. It is a disorder at the brain level that resembles the Alzheimer’s of humans.
Affected dogs show changes in their behavior, may urinate at home, become disoriented, have stereotyped behaviors or suffer sleep disturbances so that they sleep more during the day and less during the night. You have to go to the veterinarian because before diagnosing it it is important to rule out other diseases also common in elderly dogs.
My dog sleeps a lot and is sad
If our dog sleeps a lot it may be due to a psychological problem. If the dog sleeps a lot and is down, although we must always rule out a physical cause first, we can not forget that it is possible that he is going through a depressive picture. A dog that sleeps a lot and does not play as it usually did may find himself discouraged by boredom, isolation, loneliness, lack of attention, sudden and frequent changes in his routine, etc.
In addition, if our adopted dog sleeps a lot it could be the consequence of having suffered abuse or an early separation from his mother. There are also genetic causes, although they are the minority. These dogs, in addition to drowsiness, will be apathetic, unappetent or will not react to interesting stimuli. They will need veterinary treatment, first to reach the diagnosis and rule out physical causes and, later, to modify the routine and living conditions of the animal.
My dog sleeps a lot and eats little
Drowsiness, lethargy, apathy, fever, and anorexia are common symptoms of multiple diseases. Therefore, if, outside of situations such as those we have explained, our dog sleeps a lot it may be because of a pathological process, so we will have to go to the veterinarian. For example, viral diseases can cause a clinical picture of this type. They are especially worrisome in puppies, since they are more vulnerable, with an immature immune system and more likely to suffer more serious symptoms.
My dog sleeps a lot and vomits
Finally, if our dog sleeps a lot it may be due to poisoning. Ingestion or contact with toxic substances is capable of triggering a clinical picture that leads the dog to a state of drowsiness and even shock. If the dog sleeps a lot and trembles, presents nervous tics, vomiting, diarrhea or neurological alterations we must quickly go to the veterinarian, because we could be facing an intoxication. Treatment is essential and prognosis reserved