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The Importance of Sleep for Old Dogs

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The Importance of Sleep for Old Dogs
Last update: 18 November, 2023

Older dogs require between 15 and 18 hours of sleep, hence a quiet environment is key so as not to disturb them. A good diet and moderate physical activity, among other things, will also help older dogs to rest

Once our best friends reach old age, they need a specific care regimen to maintain their good health. Among the crucial necessities for a healthy old age, are that we must pay special attention to how well elderly dogs sleep.

Our best friends need a good night’s sleep to keep their metabolism balanced and enjoy a long life. Below, we will give you some tips on how to take care of your friend in his old age and how to help him continue to have excellent quality sleep.

The importance of sleep for elderly dogs

Older dogs need to sleep for many hours, just like puppies. In addition, they also require specific health care, and their immune systems are very sensitive. Many experts conceive of old age as a regression to childhood, because of the similarities between puppies and older dogs.

How much sleep elderly dogs get is a determining factor for a healthy old age. Older dogs tend to sleep between 15 and 18 hours a day, in different blocks–not necessarily continuously.

We must also bear in mind that each dog is an individual and a unique being, so we must take our time to understand and respect his particularities.

In addition, it is essential to offer a positive and safe environment where our dog can rest peacefully and tranquilly. He must have a clean and comfortable bed, his own blanket if it is cold, his favorite toys and a lot of love.

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Some diseases can alter his behavior and cause changes in his routine, which also affects his sleep negatively. On the other hand, symptoms such as depression and lethargy can cause him to increase the number of hours that he sleeps each day. If he shows signs of insomnia or anxiety, we should quickly take him to the veterinarian.

Essential care for an elderly dog

While aging is a natural and inevitable process, we can give our dogs a comfortable and healthy old age. To do this, we must incorporate some specific care and reinforce the healthy habits of his routine. Below, we summarize the three fundamental areas of care for an elderly dog:


After seven years old, our dogs become seniors. At this stage, dogs experience a marked drop in their metabolism and also lose a good amount of muscle mass. This results not only in more serene behavior, but also in the reduction of strength and physical endurance.

His diet should take both his nutritional requirements and the natural transformations of his body into consideration. To maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity, you should reduce the number of calories in his diet, mainly cutting out carbohydrates. In addition, the proteins must be high-quality and easily absorbed so that they can be digested.

We remind you that it is important to speak to a veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet. In addition, this professional can help you to choose the best food or discuss the possibility of giving him homemade and natural food.

Physical activity

Elderly dogs should not perform high-impact activities, as their joints have suffered from natural wear and tear and their muscle mass is reduced. However, a sedentary lifestyle is not an option for older dogs.

Our best friends need to do regular exercise to maintain their good health and a good social life, and we can take advantage of this to have fun with them.

Daily walks will be very important, but their duration and intensity should be reduced. It would be ideal to go on two or three shorter walks of 15 to 20 minutes each in length. It is also essential to continue giving them toys and interactive games to keep their minds active and awake.

Natural supplements

In addition to high-quality nutrition, it is also a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about using natural supplements, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help to improve their metabolism and strengthen the immune system of older dogs.

In addition, supplements can be very effective in preventing or delaying the symptoms of degenerative diseases, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also recommended to prevent the loss of bone mass and to preserve the structure of their joints.

Respect his sleeping schedule

As we have seen, the sleeping schedule of old dogs must be respected and we must not interrupt their periods of rest; It will be essential to provide them with a positive and safe environment. Our best friends will be calm and will no longer have the hyperactivity of their youth. In this stage, they will need to count on your patience and, above all, your affection.


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