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How Many Hours Does My Dog Need to Sleep?

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Dogs are among the animals that need several hours of sleep in order to be fully rested and healthy. Depending on their age, they may require up to 20 hours throughout the day. 
How Many Hours Does My Dog Need to Sleep?
Last update: 11 September, 2018

It’s more than obvious that dogs sleep a lot. In fact, sometimes it seems as if they only eat and sleep. Hence the famous saying, “as lazy as a dog”. So you might be asking yourself: how many hours does my dog need to sleep? Is he sleeping more than what he should, or maybe less? Continue reading to find out.

How long does my dog need to sleep?

Several factors influence the answer to this question. One is the dog’s age, and the other is his health. Let’s analyze each one of them.

The dog’s age

Just as it is for people, age influences a dog’s sleeping patterns. A puppy doesn’t sleep the same number of hours as an adult or senior dog.

How long does my puppy need to sleep?

Just like babies, puppies spend most of their time sleeping and eating. They practically don’t do anything else because they quickly use up their energy, so they can sleep up to 18 to 20 hours daily.

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This doesn’t mean that your dog will lie down at 1o pm and wake up at 6 am the next morning. Instead, dogs have several sleeping hours at different times throughout the day. However, there is no need to worry because you can spend time with your canine friend for a few hours each day when he doesn’t sleep.

How long does my adult dog need to sleep?

As the animal grows and mature, he will need less sleeping hours. However, dogs still need to sleep more than humans do. In fact, they need double the amount of hours because an adult dog needs to sleep between 15 and 16 hours to regain his energy. 

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It’s no wonder why your is full of energy when you take him out for a walk while you are exhausted after a long day at work.

If an adult dog is from a large breed, he will need a few more hours of sleep–around 18– because he will use up his energy more quickly.

How long does my senior dog need to sleep?

When a dog is older, he will need even more hours of sleep. Remember that old age is practically a regression to childhood, so a senior dog becomes like a puppy when it comes to hours of sleep.

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Unfortunately, some senior dogs can experience a painful medical condition that causes them to stay awake.

If you think your dog is stressed and experiencing nervousness due to a lack of sleep, then you should take him to the vet so he/he can prescribe him the proper sleeping medication.

The dog’s health

The estimated hours that were mentioned above are for healthy dogs. If your dog has a disease, he may need to sleep more or less, depending on his illness.

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For example, an animal with depression might sleep many more hours than he should, while an animal in pain might sleep less. Both cases are dangerous for a dog’s physical and emotional health, so veterinary attention will be necessary.

Consider the following

Keep in mind that every animal is a world of its own, just like every dog breed. Their sleeping hours are mostly similar but some breeds use up energy faster and may sleep more. However, larger dogs might need less sleep due to their calm nature.

No matter what, you should let your dog sleep as long as he wants without having any interruptions. Just like humans, dogs too know what their needs in order to stay healthy.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Kis, A., Szakadát, S., Gácsi, M., Kovács, E., Simor, P., Török, C., … Topál, J. (2017). The interrelated effect of sleep and learning in dogs (Canis familiaris); An EEG and behavioural study. Scientific Reports. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep41873

  • Takeuchi, T., & Harada, E. (2002). Age-related changes in sleep-wake rhythm in dog. Behavioural Brain Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-4328(02)00123-7

  • Toth, L. A., & Bhargava, P. (2013). Animal models of sleep disorders. Comparative Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-5981-0_12

  • Owczarczak-Garstecka, S. C., & Burman, O. H. P. (2016). Can sleep and resting behaviours be used as indicators of welfare in shelter dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)? PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163620

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.