Why Does My Dog Sleep So Much?

dog sleeping on bed

Look at your dog right now. They’re sleeping, aren’t they? As I’ve mentioned before, a sign of a happy dog is one that sleeps…a lot. But is there a fine line between sleeping just enough for optimal dog-life-quality and sleeping so much that they turn into a long eared koala?

Let’s find out.

Dogs sleep on average 14-20 hours per day depending on their age – puppies sleeping on the longer end of that cycle due to their need for optimal recovery and constant growth. Dogs are flexible with their sleep patterns and will opt for a nap the first chance they get throughout the day. If you are not actively monopolizing your dog’s time with exercise or mental stimulation elsewhere, they will spend the predominance of their time asleep. This is completely normal.

Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.

Why Your Dog is Sleeping So Much

Dogs sleep – a lot.

As a matter of fact, it’s completely normal for a dog to spend 50% of their day sleeping.

Another important part of a dog’s day involves an adequate amount of “resting” – about 30% to be exact – while the remaining 20% should be dedicated to physical activity and cognitive stimulation.

When our humans aren’t home to entertain us, or better yet, when they’re just not entertaining us, we find it better time spent to just sleep. We simply have nothing better to do.

If you happen to be one of those people who works 14 hours each day, your dog will undoubtedly pass those long, boring, monotonous days with lots and lots of sleep.

Also, can you not leave your dog for such long stints at a time? Especially if you crate them. That’s absurd and we deserve more.

Anyway, I digress.

If your dog is sleeping in the 12-20 hour per day range but still acting normal, then fear not. All is well in your dog’s world.

How Long to Expect Your Dog to Be Sleeping

Dog’s AgeTime Spent Sleeping Daily
12 months and youngerUp to 20 hours per day
1-6 years old12-16 hours per day
7+ years old14-20+ hours per day

How Age and Lifestyle Affects Your Dog’s Sleep Patterns

The amount of time and the frequency of your dog’s naps depends greatly on their age.

Puppies are like human babies – they need lots of sleep in order to recover and grow. They are easily exhausted and have spells of zoomies (random acts of extreme energy exertion).

A puppy (as shown above in the graph) can sleep upwards of 20 hours per day.

Older or senior dogs have a tendency to fall back into this “puppy” sleep cycle as well. Think 80 year old grandpa. What’s he doing when you walk in his house for a visit? He’s sleeping.

An older dog is no different. They don’t have as much energy to give like a puppy does, causing them to conserve what energy they do have, as much as possible.

An older dog (as shown above in the graph) may sleep upwards of 20 hours per day.

But What Does Lifestyle Have to Do With it?

This goes for the service dogs or K9’s. They are trained for a specific job thus causing them to stay awake more throughout the day when compared to a family pet.

The dogs with a service lifestyle have a tendency to fall in a more human-like sleep cycle. Predominantly getting their rest and recovery throughout the night.

Service dogs may get around 10 hours of sleep each day.

Ways to Keep Your Dog Awake More During the Day

Not that you need for your dog to stay awake more, but if you feel like they’re sleeping their life away then you need to invest in a few mental stimulation toys.

  • Puzzle toys are great for dogs of all breeds and ages. The ones where you hide a treat are a great experience and time-spend for your dog during the day.
  • Doggie cams with voice activation are another innovative integration into your dog’s daily life. You can simultaneously keep an eye on them while being able to talk to them during the day. Truly a win / win for both.
  • Daily walks can be mutually beneficial. I go on a daily and nightly walk with my human. The morning walk wears me out just enough so that she can work during the day without me and my sister (a Siberian Husky) bouncing off the walls and driving her literal bananas. These walks double as physical activity and mental stimulation because my human understands the importance of allowing us to sniff a bit on our walks. I wrote an entire article on this. I’ll link it here for your continuing education purposes.
  • On-going dog training is a great way to keep us stimulated and less inclined to need constant sleep. Keep our mind and body engaged and we’ll thank you for it in more ways than you could ever imagine. Increased doggie IQ, obedience, and well-being.

While these are all great techniques to implement on a regular basis, we still need sleep – a lots of it. Don’t be alarmed if all of these activities makes us nap even harder when we’re done.

Although we have a natural ability to catch a lot of snoozes, it’s important to make note of us sleeping more than usual or when our sleeps are accompanied with other unusual behaviors.

When You Should Call Your Vet

There are some instances you should be hyper aware of. These could be signs of possible health related issues.

If your dog begins to sleep more than usual and begins to show signs of altered routine or strange behaviors, call your vet immediately and explain the situation.

Some common signs to watch out for include:

  • A sudden or abrupt change in normal sleep patterns.
  • Your dog is suddenly avoiding play time and opting for sleep instead.
  • You dog’s normal eating habits are replaced with sleep instead.
  • Your dog refuses to get out of bed in the morning.
  • Extreme lethargy, pacing, excessive drooling, or other common signs of increased anxious behaviors.

You know your dog better than anyone. Pay attention to their normal amounts of sleep so that you can compare to times that may warrant heightened attention.

I talked about this more in detail in another article. Pay particular attention to number 5 on the list. I’ll link the post here for you.


Don’t sweat the over-extended sleep cycle of your lazy pup! We need lots and lots of sleep and rest so that we’ll be ready for all the love and hugs when you guys get home from work.

Also, if you work from home and you’re boring, we may need to sleep through that too.

Don’t mind us.

But again, if we begin to act weird in association with an irregular sleep cycle, alert your vet immediately.

Other than that, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often!

Love you guys,


P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.

This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.

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