Sleep deprivation in dogs: Underestimated Risk - All About Dogs

Sleep deprivation in dogs: Underestimated Risk

Sleep deprivation in dogs

Sleep deprivation in dogs is a serious matter that can be life-threatening at worst. It is extremely important that dogs get enough rest since those that lose sleep tend to be rather groggy. As a dog owner, you should always ensure a restful sleep for your pet. Otherwise, it will certainly affect your own sleep.

In general, dogs who do not get enough rest are in great danger of getting ill. On the other hand, these animals tend to lose sleep usually when they are anxious, distressed or troubled.

Dogs need 17 to 20 hours of rest per day

Adult dogs need plenty of sleep on everyday basis. While puppies need 17 to 20 hours of sleep, old dogs need even more; wherein the term “sleep” is a bit confusing.

This means that dogs do not always sleep soundly. On the contrary, they spend a lot of time dozing.

Keep in mind that short naps are also included in the statistics. Unlike cats, which need slightly less sleep and rest than the dogs, canine sleep depends on many factors. Studies have shown that dogs which eat once a day take fewer naps during the day (but the naps lasted longer). But then again, dogs fed twice a day go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier, which means that the total sleep time at night is reduced.

Related: Can Dogs Eat PumpkinCan Dogs Eat Eggs.

Sleep deprivation in dogs Underestimated Risk

How to recognize sleep deprivation dogs


In principle, canine sleep is not much different than human sleep. However, lack of sleep affects the dog greatly, making them rather vulnerable.

Note that the following symptoms may vary, depending on the dog breed. If the dog does not satisfy its natural need for sleep, it will show abnormal behavior. In the first phase of sleep deprivation, dogs generally show restlessness and over-excitement. In the second phase, poor motor skills and lack of concentration are highly expressed. In addition, many sleepy dogs are unpredictable. The next stage is nervousness and irritability. Phase four of sleep deprivation in dogs is characterized with aggressiveness. Also, your pet can also be quite sickly.

Hence, lack of sleep affects both mental and physical well-being. In the worst case, it can cause chronic conditions that can be very dangerous, even life-threatening.

Summed up:

  • Phase 1: Restlessness and over-excitement
  • Phase 2: Lack of concentration, poor motor behavior
  • Phase 3: Nervousness and irritability
  • Phase 4: Aggression and ill-health
  • Phase 5: Serious and/or chronic disease

Avoid sleep deprivation in dogs

If your dog feels tired or shows any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should act accordingly and take all the necessary measures. Do not hesitate to visit the vet, since health problems (psychological as well as physical) can be responsible for canine sleep deprivation.

Too much noise, especially at night can cause lack of sleep in dogs.

Photo credit: Pedro Paulo Boaventura Grein/Flickr; James Cridland/Flickr

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