How Many Hours Should a Dog Sleep a Day? 31 May 2024

How Many Hours Should a Dog Sleep a Day?

Have you ever wondered how many hours your dog should be sleeping in a day? For some of our furry friends, they most certainly get more than enough rest, while others may appear to be constantly on the go – but how long should dogs really sleep?

The answer to this question may vary depending on a few factors, such as age, breed, and overall health. Just like humans, every dog is unique and has their own individual needs when it comes to sleep.

However, there are general guidelines that you can follow to ensure your pup is getting the right amount of rest.

With our years of experience with Man's best friend, we've broken down how much sleep your dog should be getting based on their age, common barriers to healthy sleep, and how you can help ensure they get the best sleep possible to continue being their cheeky, unique selves.

How many hours should a dog sleep a day at a glance...

Puppy Stage 18 - 20 hours (spread over short naps)
Adult Stage 12 - 14 hours (across short daytime naps and longer night sleeps)
Senior Stage 14 - 18 hours (spread over longer periods day and night)


The Amount of Sleep Dogs Need By Age Category

The most significant factor affecting the amount of sleep your dog needs is its age. Your dog's age can be divided into three main categories: Puppy, Adult, and Senior.

To help you work out how much sleep your beloved pooch should be getting, we've taken the average sleep time for these three main ages.

It's arguable that the 'teenage' stage has its own sleep requirements, but this stage is very short, and the sleep needs are often very similar to that of an adult dog.


sleeping dog on sofa arm

How Much Sleep Should Puppies Get?

Puppies, much like human infants, require a substantial amount of sleep to support their rapid growth and development.

On average, puppies can sleep 18 to 20 hours a day, although this won't be all at once!

This extensive rest period helps facilitate critical processes such as muscle development, central nervous system maturation, and the consolidation of newly learned behaviours.

Given the bursts of energy that puppies exhibit when awake, frequent naps are essential to help them recharge and maintain overall health and well-being.

How Long Should Adult Dogs Sleep?

Healthy adult dogs generally require around 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day to maintain optimal health and functionality. This sleep is typically spread out into several naps throughout the day and a longer period of rest at night.

Factors such as breed, size, and activity level can influence the specific amount of sleep an adult dog needs. For instance, larger breeds and working dogs may need more rest to recuperate from strenuous activities.

small sleeping dog

How Many Hours Should Senior Dogs Sleep?

As dogs age, their sleep patterns often change. Senior dogs typically need about 14 to 18 hours of sleep each day to stay healthy, requiring more rest than adult dogs.

A significant portion of this sleep may come from longer, uninterrupted naps both during the day and at night. Ageing can bring about reduced stamina and increased fatigue, prompting older dogs to take more frequent rest periods.

Plus, health issues like arthritis and other age-related conditions can influence a senior dog's sleep requirements, making it essential to monitor their rest closely to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Are Sleeping Habits Dependent on Breeds?

Yes, a dog's breed influences its sleeping habits significantly. Larger breeds, like Saint Bernards and Mastiffs, often require more sleep to recover from their strenuous activities and support their larger bodies.

On the other hand, smaller breeds tend to be more active and may need slightly less rest.

Working breeds, such as Border Collies and German Shepherds, usually have higher energy levels and may require less sleep compared to less active breeds.

Understanding your dog's breed-specific needs can help ensure they get the appropriate amount of rest for their health and well-being.

Here's a table of the sleep needs of some of the most popular dogs in the UK...

Breed Average Sleep Hours per Day
French Bulldog 10.3 hours
Labrador Retriever 10.3 hours
Golden Retriever 10.3* hours
Jack Russell Terrier 10.1 hours
Spaniel** 12.0 hours
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 11.0 hours

*Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are generally considered one breed for sleep requirements.
**Specific sleep habits for these breeds may vary depending on the spaniel type (e.g., Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel).

dog asleepImage by przemyslawiciak via

What Does it Mean if My Dog Doesn't Get Enough Sleep?

If your dog isn't sleeping as much as they should, it could be due to several underlying factors. Here are some common reasons why your dog might not be getting enough rest:

  • Anxiety or Stress: Changes in routine, moving to a new environment, separation anxiety, or exposure to loud noises can cause stress or anxiety, leading to disrupted sleep patterns.
  • Health Issues: Conditions such as arthritis, internal discomfort, or other chronic illnesses can make it difficult for your dog to relax and sleep.
  • Dietary Problems: An improper diet or eating too close to bedtime can affect your dog's ability to maintain restful sleep.
  • Lack of Exercise: Dogs need physical activity to expend energy. Insufficient exercise can result in pent-up energy, making it harder for them to sleep.
  • Environmental Factors: Uncomfortable sleeping conditions, such as a cramped sleeping area, inadequate bedding, or a noisy environment, can interfere with your dog's sleep. One of the most common reasons your dog isn't sleeping well is because their bed isn't comfortable for them. Make sure your dog has a bed that's both supportive and soft, as well as an appropriate size and shape for your dog's breed and sleeping habits.

Shop Cosy Dog Beds

Why It's Important to Deal With the Issue

Understanding these potential issues can help identify and address the root causes of your dog's sleep problems, ensuring they get the rest they need for a healthy, happy life.

Lack of sufficient sleep can negatively impact your dog's overall health and behaviour. If your dog doesn't get enough rest, you may notice signs of irritability, decreased cognitive function, and a lack of energy.

Over time, sleep deprivation can weaken your dog's immune system, making them more susceptible to illnesses and infections. Insufficient sleep can also interfere with the body's ability to repair and regenerate, potentially exacerbating conditions such as joint pain or other chronic ailments.

If you notice your dog struggling to get adequate sleep, it's important to investigate potential underlying causes and consult with a veterinarian to address any health concerns.

dog sleepingImage by northlightimages via

Why Does My Dog Sleep Longer Than They Should?

If your dog is sleeping more than usual, several factors could be influencing this behaviour, including health issues, sleep disorders, environmental changes, and behavioural factors.

Health conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and heart disease can cause lethargy, leading to increased sleep.

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy can disrupt normal sleep cycles.

Environmental changes like moving to a new home or seasonal shifts can also affect sleep patterns.

Also, simple things such as boredom and loneliness may prompt more sleep from your pup.

Note: If you notice significant changes in your dog's sleep habits, consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Dog Behaviour Explained: Why Do Dogs Howl In Their Sleep?

How to Ensure Your Dog is Getting Quality Sleep

Ensuring your dog enjoys quality sleep involves establishing a reliable routine, maintaining a balanced diet, and monitoring their overall health.

  • Consistency in daily activities, such as feeding and exercise times, helps regulate your dog's internal clock and facilitates better sleep patterns.
  • A nutritious diet tailored to your dog's specific needs can also enhance their sleep quality by promoting general health and well-being.
  • Regular vet check-ups are essential to identify and address any health issues that might disrupt sleep.

However, the cornerstone of quality sleep is providing a comfortable, supportive bed. A high-quality bed can significantly improve your dog's comfort, leading to deeper, more restful sleep and contributing to their overall health.

It's important to invest in a bed that suits your dog's size, breed, and sleeping habits, ensuring it is plush, soft, and appropriately shaped.

For help choosing the right size dog bed for your four-legged friend, take a look at our dog bed size chart.

Choosing the Best Bed for Your Dog

Choosing the best dog bed for your pup comes down to a couple of main factors.

First, consider your dog's size and breed. Smaller breeds often prefer beds with raised sides or donut-shaped beds to curl up in, like our range of Cosy Beds. Larger breeds may need more space, like a mattress bed, to stretch out comfortably.

You also need to consider the age of your pooch when selecting their bed. For senior dogs, you'll need to opt for something with extra support. Our Senior Gold 7+ range has been specifically designed to support your dog's ageing joints, so is an excellent choice.

For younger pups with more energy, our Trojan beds can withstand rough playtime and mishaps with sharp puppy teeth. Made from ballistic nylon and with waterproof, removable covers, these beds provide your pup with a comfortable place to sleep while giving you peace of mind through the puppy stage.

Shop All Dog Beds

Key Takeaways: How Many Hours Your Pup Should Sleep

So, to round it up, your dog should be getting anywhere between 12 and 20 hours sleep depending on how old they are – more for puppies and elderly dogs, and less for adults.

It's important to provide them with a comfortable and supportive bed to promote good quality sleep and overall health. It’s a factor that many puppy-parents overlook, but a good bed can make all the difference in their sleep.

Read our Dod Bed Buying Guide on how to choose the best dog bed for your pup to ensure they are getting the rest they need. Remember, a well-rested pup is a happy and healthy pup!

Our Dog Bed Buying Guide


Yes, happy dogs often sleep a lot. Adequate rest is crucial for their health and well-being. Content and relaxed dogs achieve better sleep, which supports their physical and mental health. However, excessive sleep should be monitored to rule out potential health issues.

Yes, it's usually okay for a dog to sleep 20 hours a day, especially for puppies or senior dogs who typically need more rest. However, monitor for any signs of health issues or behavioural changes and consult your vet if you have concerns about your dog's sleep patterns.

No, dogs do not need complete darkness to sleep, but a quiet, low-light environment can enhance their rest. Dogs can adjust to light conditions, but minimal lighting helps create a more conducive setting for uninterrupted, quality sleep.

Yes, many of our dog beds are hypoallergenic, designed with materials that minimise allergen accumulation. This helps to create a healthier sleeping environment for dogs, especially those prone to allergies. Check product specifications for hypoallergenic features within our range.