What you can learn from your dog’s sleeping

While the saying goes that sleeping dogs should be left to lie, I believe that there are some questions that simply should be asked. Like how much sleep does a dog really need? Or do dogs dream just like people do? Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the influence of sleep on human health and the same can be said for dogs. Seeing that sleep is such a big part of a dog’s day, it is important for us to understand what their sleeping behaviour says about their mood and wellbeing. Here are some of the most common questions asked about dogs’ sleeping habits.

How much should my dog sleep?

All dogs are unique and so are their sleeping habits. The amount of sleep a dog needs will depend on his breed, age and activity level. Dogs tend to spend about half of their day, or around 12 hours, sleeping. The rest of the day is spent relaxing, while just 20% includes being active. Just like human babies need more sleep, so do puppies to support their growth and development.

The same can be said for older dogs who often take longer to recover after being active. Arthritis can contribute to older dogs spending more time sleeping instead of being active. Despite arthritis being common in older dogs, it is not considered normal. Increased activity levels like going to the park can increase the amount of time spent sleeping. Dogs also tend to sleep more when bored, like when left home alone during the day.

Do dogs dream?

Yes, dogs can dream. Animals have complex dreams and can retain and recall long sequences of events while they are asleep, researchers report. While it’s difficult to uncover exactly what dogs dream about, we know the brain processes the events of the day during sleep. We can assume they are dreaming of the day’s events, like the afternoon stroll they went on or the dog they barked at this morning.

 

Would you like to read the rest of this interesting article? Get the December/January 2023 edition of Animaltalk magazine now from retailers, or order a digital or printed copy from www.coolmags.co.za.

 

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