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Your Dog's Sleep May Tell You About Their Health

Dog owners are often curious about their pet's sleeping habits. Although most dogs sleep an average of 12-14 hours per day, there is a wide range of variation among breeds and individual dogs. Some dogs prefer to sleep in a crate, while others prefer to curl up on their owner's lap. Some dogs sleep soundly through the night, while others may wake up several times.

There are a few things that your dog's sleeping habits can tell you about their overall health and well-being. If your dog is sleeping more or less than usual, it could be a sign of illness. If your dog is having trouble sleeping, it may be a sign of anxiety or stress.

Be on the lookout for unusual sleep patterns, position or length of sleep.

Normal Sleeping Habits vs. Abnormal Sleeping Habits

Most dogs sleep between 12 and 14 hours a day, although some may sleep as much as 18 hours. Puppies and older dogs tend to sleep more than adult dogs. Sleeping habits can vary depending on a dog's age, breed, health, and activity level.

Dogs usually sleep in short bursts of around 15 minutes at a time, although some may sleep for up to an hour at a time. They typically have two periods of sleep during the day, with a shorter nap in the early morning and a longer one in the late afternoon or early evening.

Abnormal sleeping habits in dogs can include insomnia, hypersomnia, and sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea. These disorders can be caused by a wide variety of health issues, such as obesity, arthritis, and kidney disease. They may also be the result of emotional stress, such as separation anxiety or pressure from neighboring cats or new pets or humans in the house.

It is always important to stay up-to-date with your veterinarian checkups and reach out to your vet if you notice something off with your dogs sleeping pattern.

When insomnia is a problem for your dog, they may have trouble falling asleep, frequent wake-ups, or a difficult time getting comfortable. Hypersomnia  is when your dog is sleeping more than normal (may be accompanied by loud, intermittent breathing), and paradoxical insomnia is when your dog sleeps much less than normal despite feeling tired.

If your dog is struggling to sleep, there are a few things you can do to help them feel rested and relaxed.  But there are also important things you should know about their habits that go far beyond sleep.

As with many things dog, there is more to sleeping than meets the eye. Dog sleep behavior is complex and differs between breeds as well as within species. What benefits one dog may be totally frustrating for another.

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