The sleeping pattern of dogs has always been a subject of curiosity for us humans. Unlike humans, our canine friends do not have any particular sleep schedule. Also, since dogs spend more time sleeping than humans, it is normal for dogs and puppies to sleep for 12 to 16 hours on any given day.
Did You Know?Although dogs fall into a deep sleep, the time spent in this form of synchronized sleep is very less compared to us humans. This is why our furry friends spend more time snoozing around.
Canines, however, do not sleep for long at a stretch, instead they prefer several short naps throughout the day. However, sometimes your dog may seem to become less active and sleep more than usual. This should not be ignored as it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Let us take an closer look at the probable causes.
Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
The following medical conditions may cause your pet to sleep excessively.
When the thyroid gland is not functioning correctly, it can cause your dog to sleep more than normal. In hypothyroidism , the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones, which play an important role in controlling crucial bodily functions such as metabolism, calorie burning efficiency, and heart rate.
When thyroid hormone production is less than normal, it essentially slows down the metabolic rate. As a result, less calories are burnt, making less energy available for usage. No wonder, dogs with hypothyroidism tend to be lethargic, hence sleep longer. Constipation, dry skin, reduced heart rate, unexplained weight gain, and muscle weakness are some of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs.
Changes in weather, shifting to a new home, separation from a loved one, loss of a close companion, be it a dog or any other person of the house can make your pet depressed. Depression can cause loss of interest in their favorite activities and cause them to sleep more than normal.
Dogs contract bacterial, viral, and parasitic infection, which may also make it lethargic and sleepy. The following are some of the infectious diseases that can make dogs extremely lethargic, sluggish, and appear sleepy all the time.
- Lyme disease
Dogs diagnosed with diabetes often suffer from flagging energy levels, which can also make your pet very sleepy. As we all know, body cells primarily depend on glucose for their energy needs. However, in diabetes, glucose does not reach the cells in sufficient amounts, since most of it circulates in the bloodstream. This inability to use glucose properly can cause extreme tiredness, in turn making your pet fall asleep more frequently. Diabetic dogs tend to urinate frequently, show increased thirst, suffer from increased hunger pangs and lose weight.
Well, if you are not feeding the right food, how do you expect your pet to be active and energetic. To put it simply, poor quality food can negatively affect its energy levels, thereby making your pet feel tired, lethargic and more sleepy.
When your pet has nothing to do, the best thing it would prefer is to have some quality sleep. In simple words, if your pet is not engaged in any kind of activity, it may soon fall asleep. So despite not being tired, your pet will fall asleep quickly simply out of boredom.
Your pet's age can also influence its sleeping habits. For instance, older dogs tend to sleep more than their younger counterparts. Senior dogs prefer to take rest than engage in any physical activity. However, puppies tend to sleep the most, which is actually necessary to ensure proper growth. When puppies are awake, they spend their time exploring things and consume a lot of energy, which makes them quite sleepy. So, it is perfectly normal if your puppy sleeps for around 18 to 20 hours a day.
On the whole, if you feel that your canine is sleeping more than normal, chances are that it might be unwell. So consult with your vet to check for any medical issues that may be making your pet sleepier than usual. In case your vet rules out any medical issues, simple lifestyle changes, such as a change in diet and playing more with your dog to banish boredom, can stop your pet from sleeping too much.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.