Maybe you see your dog sleeping and wake him up just to cuddle or play. However, we humans actually underestimate the importance of sleep for dogs. In fact, being woken up for a cuddle isn’t the best thing for your dog, even though it may fill you with warm fuzzy feelings!
This article will show why sleep is so important for dogs. Hopefully owners will be more likely to stop and think the next time they’re tempted to disturb their dog’s nap.
Why is it so important that your dog sleeps?
Just like how it’s crucial that we humans get at least a few hours of sleep every day, pets also need their rest. If you see them taking a nap during the day, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t also need to sleep at night.
To understand the importance of rest for dogs in particular, we must first learn about their sleep cycles. They vary quite a bit from ours. We should also bear in mind the fact that a dog’s sleep cycle can also vary greatly according to its age.
Making sure your dog sleeps is important for their:
- Mood. Yes, dogs have their own character and personality. Not getting enough sleep can alter a dog’s emotions and make him act unfriendly or even aggressive.
- Calm. Getting good sleep will help them be more calm. It will keep anxiety away, which often makes dogs misbehave.
- Bodily functions. Just as with us humans, a dog sleeps to allow different parts of their body to rest and improve the functioning of their body overall. It will allow your pet to recharge their batteries.
- Energy. Sleeping little or improperly drains your dog of his energy. Not getting enough sleep will keep him from exercising enough. In the long term, this could cause heart problems and even obesity.
As you can see, the health of your pet is at risk if he doesn’t rest as he should. Now, good sleep requires more than just not being disturbed. Owners should take steps to create an environment that’s conducive to rest and relaxation. But how?
Creating an ideal sleep spot for your dog
What factors should we bear in mind when trying to create an ideal sleeping environment for our pet?
- Location. The location of the dog’s bed is very important. If your dog wants to be near you, but you put his bed on the other side of the house, he may end up spending all night trying to get to you, which obviously will keep him from resting and relaxing like he needs.
- The bed. The bed should be the right size for your dog. This means it should be big enough to allow your dog to turn around fully, lie down stretched out but also curl up in a comfortable position. Try out a range of different textures, from soft to hard, and see which he likes best.
- Lighting. Although you may think your dog doesn’t care, he does. Dogs, just like humans, have their own tastes and preferences when it comes to light. To find out what conditions he likes best, see where he chooses to sleep naturally. Some dogs prefer to sleep in locations with a lot of light, while others will seek out darker areas. They may even squeeze themselves in between sofas or under the bed. See what your dog chooses so you can replicate those conditions.
- Take your dog’s sleep cycles into account. Allow him to sleep when he chooses. For example, by human standards it may seem strange that your dog wants to sleep for a few hours at night and a few in the daytime, but this is simply your dog responding to the needs of his body. So respect your dog’s sleep cycle and don’t wake him up for no reason.
To conclude, making sure your dog gets enough sleep is as important as anything else for his health. So do everything you can to help your dog get the rest and relaxation he needs.