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Let a Sleeping Dog Lie

By Stephanie Minturn

Have you ever wondered why your dog takes so many naps? It’s obvious that a dog’s sleep pattern differs from a human but by how much? The average dog sleeps approximately 12-14 hours per day, though puppies and larger breeds can sleep up to 18 hours per day. When and how much a dog sleeps depends upon a few factors. One being the amount of exercise they are getting on a regular basis. Physical activity helps improve the quality of sleep your pet receives during those power naps and the more active the dog, the less sleep he will need. But remember, dogs need to sleep longer than humans. The reason for this can be contributed to the lack of REM sleep they receive per cycle. REM sleep is the “deep sleep” stage where active dreaming occurs. Humans spend about 25% of sleep in REM sleep while dogs only spend about 10% here, raising their hourly requirements of overall rest. Therefore, let them rest, they need it and will have more energy in their waking hours because of it!

So, where should our pets sleep while they are catching all these extra winks? Statistics show that 45% of dogs sleep with their owners, 20% are in a crate or cage of some kind, 17% are in a dog bed, 14% are somewhere else indoors and 4% sleep outdoors. Many Vets encourage allowing your dog to co-sleep (share the bed). Co-sleeping provides many benefits such as lowering anxiety and depression in both humans and dogs alike and provides a sense of security and comfort. This is all thanks to the “happy hormone,” serotonin, which is released into the body. Serotonin helps our body to relax and rest and is beneficial in in the treatment of many disorders both mental and physical. So why not grab that fuzzy blanket, curl up with Fido and receive these benefits for you both? The quality and quantity of sleep your pet gets plays a significant role in their mental and physical health. Just getting the right amount of deep sleep can make all the difference!

Stephanie, is a Registered Nurse and proud mother, of 4 whom has always loved animals and the purity and beauty they bring into the world. She enjoys researching current trends and evidence based practice in the pet industry and relating it to the healthcare industry for humans. She has passion in discovering new found knowledge with other pet owners like herself.


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