Are you thinking your dog is the laziest canine on earth because it sleeps a lot and about ten hours in the whole day? Let me shock you with this. Your dog is probably getting bad sleep. Most normal dogs should sleep even more than that. The average sleep time for a dog is around twelve hours and above it a day - except if the dog is employed as some police dog or for sport, then it can sleep less.
But if your dog used to be very lively and has only changed recently, then there may be something wrong with it, and you should find out the reason why.
There are many possible reasons for this sudden change in habit. The problem can range from stress to more severe problems. It’s crucial to know the signs of possible causes and be able to realize when you should visit the vet.
Here's is an infographic that you need to know about a dog’s sleeping habits and when to worry about them.
When a dog exhibits a sleeping routine that is different from what it has always been known for, there are psychological, physical and health reasons for it.
We usually suspect illness to be the cause of a dog’s sudden change in behavior or routine. While it is no doubt the safest thing to visit the vet first, there may be other things to consider if there are no signs of sickness from the dog. Your dog may be reacting to some changes in its environment even in its own self - maybe because it is getting old.
The reasons why your dog is sleeping a lot may be due to the following;
● Dog Breed
● Stress and anxiety
● Activity Level
● Thyroxine deficiency
● Bacteria infection
● Viral infection
1. Age of the Dog
Dogs may sleep for more than 12 hours a day, usually 12- 14 hours daily sleep. Large dog breeds, Old dogs and Puppies need more sleep, and puppies may sleep up to 18 hours a day, and all this is completely fine.
Generally, dogs would sleep the most when they are puppies, and when they are old. Puppies around 4 months up to a year old are only playful, and very active when awake. The puppies’ activities make them become easily exhausted and this may be the reason.
The breed of a dog determines its size, activities, and also how quickly it gets old. All of these factors can affect the dog's requirement of sleep. A smaller dog breed usually takes longer to reach old age and requires less sleep.
Greyhounds, Bullmastiff, Chow, Saint Bernard, Bassett Hound, Newfoundland are widely known as being “lazy dogs” because of their sleeping habit. They can spend up to 18 hours a day sleeping.
A dog that is going through psychological difficulties such as anxiety, stress, and boredom would sleep a lot. If your dog is stressed or feeling anxious, you will notice them becoming lethargic and they will doze off often. Helping the dog by giving it a routine with activities can to stimulate and enhance it’s a mental and physical condition.
Dogs that have tasks to hold their attention will spend most of the day activities, dedicated to completing those tasks. The number of sleep dogs needs also depends on what they are bred to do.
This is also called hypothyroidism. The under-secretion of thyroxine normally reduces chemical processes occurring within the cells of the body, especially those related to metabolism, consequently, the dog looks unhealthy. Older dogs are prone to hypothyroidism, in rare cases can be found in younger dogs too. The most susceptible of these breeds are Labradors, Great Danes, dachshunds, Doberman pinschers, among others.
The inability of the body to produce insulin in the amount needed by the body can affect the dog greatly due to the risk of hyperglycemia. Certain breeds are more prone to diabetes than others. These breeds include Dachshunds, Australian terriers, and Keeshonds ETC.
7. Bacterial Infection
This is an infection caused by bacteria that is highly contagious. Dogs can get leptospirosis through direct contact with urine from other dogs or even human infected. It can also be transmitted easily through water, soil ETC. It's most common in warm climates.
8. Viral Infection
This is a highly contagious viral illness. Majorly found in puppies before adolescence - between six weeks and six months old. It’s caused by a virus from the Parvoviridae, which affects the ability to absorb nutrients, and an affected animal will easily become dehydrated and weak from lack of protein and fluid absorption and nutrients essential to the dog body. The best way to nip this fatal infection is early puppy vaccination.
It is also called Kennel cough; it is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is airborne It’s highly treatable in most dogs but can be more severe in puppies younger than six months of age. Like the parvovirus, it can be prevented with early vaccination
Anemia is a medical condition of reduced blood in dogs. The reduction in the red blood cell of a dog is due to the presence of bloodsucking parasites in the dog's body. Such parasites include;
● Roundworms: Transmitted to a puppy through a mother’s uterus and also when milk is fed to her puppies. These worms are easily detected in dog stool.
● Hookworms: These can be dangerous for a dog because they latch onto the intestine and suck blood. Hookworms can also be transferred from a mother to a puppy. But, dogs can get them from soil that is infested, too.
● Whipworms: These are intestinal parasites that cause severe irritation to the lining of the cecum and colon. They aren’t usually seen in the dog’s stool.
● Tapeworms: These are usually transmitted to dogs when they ingest fleas. In a dog’s intestine, tapeworms can grow anywhere from 4-6 inches in length. They are typically easy to identify and can be seen in the dog stool.
An untrained dog would eat anything if it feels is palatable. Also, a dog owner may decide to pamper it with something from the human food that is harmful to it. Avocados, spices, alcohol and even coffee are poisonous. The effect can be fatal. In case your dog eats something poisonous, see the vet immediately.
Here is how your dog usually sleeps. In the picture, you will have a clear idea about it.
Regardless of your dog's sleeping routine, you can always organize your dog's daily activities to a routine that you feel is best for them. Your dogs may take some time, but will definitely adjust to the new routine. Also, always go to the veterinary first when you notice a sudden change in the behavior of your dog before making assumptions.