Isn’t it great to see your dog in high spirits?
Seeing them running around, jumping and playing can bring a smile to your face. And it can be contagious that you might just want to join in on the fun.
Unfortunately, it is not always like this.
Sometimes, you may notice your furbaby spending the whole day sleeping.
“Why is my pooch so lazy today? Is 18 hours of sleep still normal?!”
Don’t jump your horses just yet.
Keep reading to find out:
- The 3 big dangers behind your dog’s laziness.
- 5 proven ways to prevent laziness during hot weather.
- 3 safe reasons that make it okay to ignore the unusual sleeping habit.
- Easy but effective ways you can do to get your pooch active and about.
- How much sleep is normal for your four-legged friend and how much is not.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
Why is my dog so lazy?
Your dog is so lazy because he might be a puppy who needs longer hours of sleep to grow. Or he is already so old that he feels tired most of the time and needs to rest. But it can also be because of a sedentary lifestyle, sickness, depression, poor diet, breed, or as a result of hot weather.
People also ask:
7 reasons why your dog is so lazy
You might have noticed your puppy being quite active and having lots of energy. But they also require more sleep and will do so throughout the day and all through the night. Understandably so for growing pups.
And when it comes to older dogs, they are a bit more subdued. But it doesn’t mean they are reserving their energy so they can stay awake.
On the contrary, you might even find them asleep most of the time compared to when they were younger. This is all a part of the normal aging process.
So, how much do dogs really sleep?
A comparative study on the sleeping hours of canines revealed the following findings:
- The median time for day sleep of 16-week old puppies is 3.5 hours.
- For 12-month old dogs, day sleep is a total of 3 hours.
- At night, 16-weeker pups are asleep for 7 hours.
- While night sleep for 12-month olds is 7.3 hours.
In conclusion, the study showed the average total hours of sleep for puppies at 11.2 hours. While the for adult dogs it is 10.8 hours of sleep.
However, it can be very different for each dog.
Adult dogs can sleep from 8 to 13.5 hours a day. And puppies can spend 11.2 to 14 hours sleeping, even longer for younger puppies (around 18-20 hours).
#2: Level of activity
How your dog spends the day can tell a lot about his sleeping pattern.
When your Fido is active and likes to run and play all day, you will find that they sleep less.
This goes the same for “working” dogs, such as German Shepherds who are quite popular for being police dogs. Their days are full of activity.
And they are used to staying awake. Thus, they have a lesser number of sleeping hours.
Contrary to dogs who are active, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are usually asleep most of the day. Without much exercise and playtime, your dog can only spend their day snoozing.
This explains why a friend’s overweight Beagle just lays all day and sleeps. Unfortunately, she was very busy and didn’t have time to take her pooch out for exercise.
Thankfully, it wasn’t too late and the vet developed a plan for her pet. Now, her Beagle is getting all the exercise he needs. The doggo went from being a couch potato to a fit and active little tyke!
#3: Sickness or sleep disorder
Who wants to run around and play when they are not feeling well? No one, of course.
And your fur buddy probably feels the same way.
When suffering from a health condition, not being 100% can show in the sleep pattern of your pooch. Their body will try to save energy so they can heal faster. Thus, they become listless and sleep longer.
This is very true when your dog shows other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.
Or, your pooch might have a sleeping disorder. Narcolepsy and cataplexy are two of the most dangerous sleeping disorders for animals. This is according to VetMed.
Warning: Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible when he is suddenly sleeping longer and seems weak. This applies to canines who are usually active and alert.
According to Web MD, dogs can suffer from depression. And it does not differ much from depression in people.
But while it can be easier asking people how they feel, it is so much harder for dogs. You can’t just ask them what’s wrong, right?
This is why you need to check everything that may have an influence on your pet. As well as all the other signs and symptoms that can pinpoint depression.
Here are some of them:
- Changes in eating habits.
- Difference in sleeping patterns.
- Not participating in things enjoyed before.
Then ask yourself what happened recently that could have caused your pooch to feel blue.
Did you lose someone close to you? Or maybe another pet has passed away?
Situations like these are so stressful, not just to the owner, but also to the dog. And it can lead to depression.
Your dog’s diet can provide an answer to why they are being lazy.
Eating too much, for one, can interfere with your canine’s sleeping pattern.
For example, New York City veterinarian Danny Tufaro said that overfeeding dogs leads to obesity. Being overweight makes them become more lethargic. This in addition to developing a number of health problems.
Moreover, a poo diet can result in malnutrition. And when your dog is suffering from malnutrition, they might just sleep the day away. This is so they can save their energy.
Also, a diet that is not easily digested may cause your dog to be sluggish and uneasy. Thereby affecting their sleeping pattern.
Not only will they be sleeping more, but it will also jeopardize their quality of sleep.
#6: Hot weather
Imagine spending a summer day under the scorching heat of the sun. Not a very good picture, right?
Just thinking about it makes you sweat.
This is the same for dogs. Much worse, actually.
If people can release heat through sweating, dogs do so through panting. They also regulate heat through their paw pads and nose. This is why it isn’t easy for them to stay cool during hot weather.
In addition to panting, your pooch will try to cope with the heat by avoiding too much activity. And they will increase their fluid intake.
According to ASPCA, pets can get dehydrated quickly. This is why it is important to give them lots of water.
And of course, to know the symptoms of overheating. Then you can act promptly to save your four-legged best friend.
- Excessive panting.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Increased heart and respiratory rate.
Warning: Dogs are prone to heat stroke. Be aware of the signs because it can happen within minutes.
According to Reader’s Digest, the larger the dog, the more energy it requires to move.
This explains why large dog breeds sleep more than their smaller counterparts. They need more energy to match their movement and activity.
Here are some of the large dog breeds that love to sleep:
- Great Dane.
- Saint Bernard.
However this isn’t always true for bigger dogs. For example, working dogs like Border Collies spend the day being active and busy. Unlike other big dogs who spend much of their time sleeping.
3 dangers if your dog is lazy
#1: Suddenly sleeping longer and uninterest in things
When your dog is usually active and sleeps “normally” (meaning they sleep at almost the same time everyday and for the usual number of hours), suddenly sleeping longer can be a red flag.
This can signify depression. And it is quite true when it happens along with uninterest in things previously enjoyed. More so if you don’t see signs of illness or injury.
As mentioned earlier, changes in sleeping pattern is a symptom of depression.
Your dog may feel tired most of the time. He will try to catch up on sleep even if you see him lounging around all day.
This is because sleeping more does not equate to quality sleep. Depression can negatively affect your furbaby and his zzz’s. Thus, he feels tired all the time.
Moreover, depression endangers your dog because their eating pattern also gets messed up.
And when they don’t eat and sleep better, serious consequences can occur.
#2: Lethargy along with uncommon signs and symptoms
Healthline says that lethargy is a sign that says there is something wrong with your dog.
Being sluggish and tired along with one or more of the following signs that Web MD lists, warrants a trip to the vet.
- Lack of appetite.
- Vomiting or diarrhea.
- Decreased in activity.
- Hair loss or itchy skin.
- Urinating more or less frequently.
- Stiffness, lameness, or difficulty with rising.
These are warning signs that your pet is suffering from an illness or injury. Your furry buddy will need immediate assessment and treatment as soon as possible.
#3: Sleeping more and difficulty rousing
Suspect that your dog has a sleeping disorder when their sleeping pattern is unusual. Add to that the difficulty of rousing them and the signs are clear.
According to Pet MD, dogs with sleep disorders might cry, whine, or wake up frequently during the night. They might also become sluggish during the day or disoriented.
Here are 4 of the most common sleep disorders that your dog can suffer from:
- Sleep Apnea.
- REM Behavior Disorder.
Sleep disorders, when left untreated, can cause dogs to become more aggressive. They can develop other behavioral problems, too.
In addition to these, sleep disorder weakens a dog’s immune system. Then, they become prone to infections and other diseases.
Bonus: Sleepy dog in hot weather
Beware! If your dog became more sleepy and sluggish in summer, heat stroke might be creeping up on him.
Your dog may pant excessively, drool, become weak and lethargic when you go out in the heat. When this happens, immediately cool him down and contact the vet.
Heat stroke is very dangerous for canines. Thus, prompt treatment is needed.
5 tips on what to do if your dog is lazy
#1: Take your dog to the vet
When you notice your pet being lazy or sleeping more than what is considered normal for their age and breed, it is necessary to take them to the vet.
Having an expert check on your pooch is the best way to find out what is wrong with them.
This is quite important because your dog’s laziness can be a sign of an underlying health disease. But it can also be due to injury, mental condition like depression, sleep disorder, or even heat stroke. And these cases need immediate management.
#2: Provide lots of attention and exercise
Maybe your dog is becoming lazier and sleeps longer because of a sedentary lifestyle? Or, can it be because he is feeling a little down?
Giving your pet a lot of tender loving care can help bring them out of the dumps.
And here are some easy ways to do it:
- Enjoy some cuddle time.
- Give your furbaby some toys to play with.
- Go on walks, play fetch, take them to the dog park.
- Provide attention and give time for your lazy pooch.
#3: Change to a better, more balanced diet
Your dog’s diet plays an essential part in the way they spend the day.
When diet is poor and unbalanced, it can result in malnutrition or obesity.
Same with people. When you eat only burgers and fries, what do you think will happen?
Eating unhealthy meals will definitely lead to disastrous results. And when your dog becomes malnourished or obese, they will simply want to lie down and rest or go to sleep.
This said, providing better, more balanced meals will save your pooch from being unfit. Then, they will start becoming more active and become healthier.
VCA Hospitals recommend these tips in choosing what to feed your dog:
- Low-calorie diet (ideally less than 350 calories).
- Dog food with real, recognizable, whole food ingredients.
- If the majority of the ingredients listed on the labed is unfamiliar, don’t feed it to your dog.
Note: Web MD states doggy treats that are low in calories and fat but high in fiber guards dogs against weight gain.
#4: Integrate positive reinforcement
A study revealed that punishment-based methods of training results in higher stress levels in dogs. And this can make your pet depressed.
The results of the study showed that dogs trained with aversive and mixed methods:
- Displayed more stress-related behaviors, such as crouching and yelping.
- Showed greater increases in cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
In other words, punishment can lead to stress. In the long run, it can turn into depression. And this may be the reason why your dog is suddenly lazy.
If this is so, remove punishments from your dog’s daily life, especially during training. And instead of punishment, you can give rewards for good behavior. This is what you call positive reinforcement.
Note: Research showed that dogs trained using only positive reinforcement are more obedient.
#5: Cool down during hot weather
Dogs get rid of heat from their body through panting.
However, with extreme heat, panting may not be enough. And this is when heat stroke can occur.
According to Memphis Veterinary Specialists, heatstroke happens when a dog’s body temperature rises. Unfortunately, it is fatal when not treated immediately.
So, what can you do when the weather is hot?
- Give them a cool drink.
- Treat them with popsicles.
- Let them play in shaded areas.
- Avoid putting your pet in direct sunlight.
- Cool down in a wading pool (with proper supervision).