How Small Dogs Sleep by Vicki Smirnova |Published 02-15-2021
Dogs are lovable and loyal creatures. Pet owners usually ask various questions. What are their different sleeping patterns/behaviors? How long does a dog sleep in a day? And many more questions related to the quality of their pet’s sleep patterns.
Here, we will discuss dog naps and all related facts in the light of scientific literature.
We all assume our dogs sleep but do they? It has been scientifically proven that small pets nap just like human beings. Interestingly, dogs sleep even more than humans do.
On average, a pet sleeps 12 to 14 hours per day, but the amount of time is based on breed, age, gender, and other parameters. However, it has been observed that puppies - who expend a lot of energy learning different things - may sleep up to 20 hours. Older dogs also tend to rest more.
The total amount of sleep a Shih Tzu usually gets depends on its age. A Shih Tzu puppy sleeps for about 14 hours a day. An adult pet will probably rest 12 hours a day, and an older pet of this breed sleeps over 20 hours.
According to a research study, dogs spend 50% of their day sleeping, 30% lounging, and 20% active—additionally, pets nap when they are bored and have nothing to do. Generally, police pets or farm pets who have to do much work do not nap a lot.
Pets nap in various positions, such as on the side, curled up, etc. Surprisingly, the different sleeping habits of dogs also provide an idea of their health and mood. It is up to the pet owner to pay attention to the sleeping position of the pet. According to Casper, sudden changes in sleeping position can be an alarm that your pet is not feeling well (or any other medical issue). If you observe any change in your pet’s sleeping pattern/behavior, talk to your vet.
As discussed earlier, sleeping tendencies depend upon age, health status, breed, and other essential parameters. The health status of a pet is the most important of all.
For example, Shih Tzu dogs can snore. They are brachycephalic dogs and have short noses, so they are vulnerable to breathing problems.
If you notice snoring in the Shih Tzu, this is a common sign of upper airway obstruction. Many brachycephalic pets are also prone to nap apnea, a nap disorder characterized by temporary stops in breathing.
An overweight Shih Tzu tends to nap a lot more than a healthy dog. Similarly, excessive snoozing can also be an indicator of some health-related problems. For instance, separation anxiety and stress cause excessive snoozing in pets during the daytime. It is the owner’s sole responsibility to keep an eye on his/her beloved canine’s sleeping hours. Any form of excessive sleep can be a sign of potential health problems.
This sleeping disorder is characterized by excessive sleepiness. Dogs suffering from this condition usually nap during playtime. The primary reason for this sleeping trouble is a decrease in the brain chemical hypocretin, which regulates sleep.
However, this reduction in the hypocretin hormone occurs due to autoimmune diseases. In this case, the body’s immune cells attack the brain cells involved in the synthesis of hypocretin hormone.
The essential key signs of this nervous disorder in pets are:
* Narcoleptic episodes involve a sudden loss of movement and collapse. Note, this condition is usually seen in young dogs. If you suspect this particular condition in your pet, talk to your vet and get his/her suggestions.
This is usually observed in active dogs. Weak twitching of the limbs in a dream is a normal phenomenon. Still, intense, jerky movements of the paws can signal serious violations of the central nervous system. You can talk to your vet and get medications that can decrease the physical movements during a nap.
Insomnia is an inability to sleep. Just like humans, pets can have insomnia. Various factors cause insomnia in pets; for instance, anxiety, pain (due to any injury or arthritis), parasitic infestation (constant irritating itching due to fleas or other ectoparasites) are significant reasons for sleeplessness in pets. It is best to consult a veterinarian and get medications to deal with this condition.
This is another serious sleeping disorder that is commonly seen in dogs. This condition causes abruptions/disturbances in the standard sleeping patterns. Dogs suffering from this disorder become annoyed and tired. Additionally, nap apnea has usually been seen in obese/overweight and brachycephalic breeds, such as English bulldogs and pugs.
Remember, if your dog is suffering from any of the above nap disorders, consult a pet expert. Better nap enhances the functioning of the dog’s immune system. Conversely, lack of a nap weakens your canine friend’s immune system.
If you want your Shih Tzu to have a restful and healthy nap, follow these guidelines.
According to ThePets guide, start by taking your pet for a walk outside after dinner. Additional physical activity is great for small dogs’ nap quality.
Check your pet regularly with a veterinarian to make sure his or her problems are not health-related.
If a Shih Tzu has nap apnea, it is a serious problem and should be treated. Note that insomnia is especially common in older dogs.
Arrange a comfortable sleeping place for the Shih Tzu. Small pets need a sleeping area that promotes proper rest. If possible, set up a bed that meets these criteria:
Dogs appreciate sleeping in corners because they feel more protected there.
Lack of drafts and correct temperature. For a comfortable nap, the pet’s sleeping place should be indoors, where the temperature is approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is a quick overview of sleeping hours of different dogs based on their age and breed:
Is it normal for my dog to nap a lot during the daytime?
This depends upon the age, breed, health status, and physical activity of the particular dog. If you observe excessive snoozing and sleepiness in your dog during the daytime, talk to your vet.
Do puppies nap more compared to adult dogs?
Yes, puppies nap more. They usually nap for approximately 18-20 hours a day.
Does nutrition play an essential role in the sleeping pattern of a dog?
Yes, high-quality nutrition is vital and guarantees better sleep in dogs. Ensure your dog is receiving proper nutrition.
Can insomnia occur in dogs?
Yes, sleeping inability is also found in dogs. This makes them annoyed and frustrated. Various factors are responsible for this condition, such as separation anxiety, stress, and other health-associated disorders. Consult a registered veterinarian.
Do service and guard dogs nap more?
No, service and police dogs don’t nap more. They spend most of the time awake.
Do dogs dream like humans?
According to a Hungary research study, dogs dream just like humans, and they even learn while sleeping.
Vicki Smirnova is a professional writer and editor. She has extensive experience in media, editing, translation, and audience engagement. With the advent of ThePets, Vicki began creating informational articles that help pet owners live in harmony with their pets. Vicki also enjoys spending time with her family and taking care of her cat, Brenda.