Why Is My Dog Sleeping All the Time?

Why Is My Dog Sleeping All the Time?

A sudden change in a dog’s sleeping patterns and sleeping position may reveal to you that something is wrong, which is why you can easily tell when they show some uncommon behavior like sleeping all the time, barking on end, acting aggressively and even whimpering. This is their way of communicating their discomfort, pain, sadness or even excitement. Here are some of the reasons why your dog may be sleeping all the time.

1. Health Reasons

Medical conditions such as diabetes or some infections such as Lyme disease, Parvo Virus or rabies may make a dog sleepy most of the time. Sleepiness may also be caused by hypothyroidism.  Other conditions such as metabolic diseases and hormonal imbalance may weigh down on the dog’s energy and activity level, making it to sleep almost all the time. A visit to the vet may help, with an expected diagnosis for drastic changes in sleep patterns.

Dogs with cancer or arthritis experience a lot of body pain which makes them less active, and because they are on heavy medication, they tend to sleep more. Therapeutic forms of treatment may also make a sick dog sleep almost all the time due to their relaxing effect.

2. The Age and Size

Puppies, just like children, use up a lot of energy because they are very active and are growing up fast. So puppies will end up sleeping a little bit more and just about anywhere even in the play house. Older dogs, on the other hand, will also sleep a lot because they are not as active or energetic any more.

When it comes to size, larger dogs will sleep more than the smaller dogs. Just like humans dogs who have weight issues and eating disorders, a dog that weighs more than it is supposed to will be more tired from simple activities such as an evening walk, or play time and they will fall asleep more easily.

The average sleep time for a dog is normally  a little more than humans that of humans, usually between 12-14 hours a day. Puppies, elderly and sick dogs can sleep up to 16-18 hours a day. Under these circumstances, you’d rather let sleeping dogs lie because sleeep is vital for their restoration and development.

3. Sudden Changes

Dogs are social beings; they are loyal and get attached easily to other humans or dogs. Sudden change in their environment, ownership or even loss can affect them adversely. Such changes may explain a change in sleeping patterns and habits such as your dog sleeping against you. I heard of the famous story of a dog whose owner died and it stayed by his graveside day and night waiting for him until it also died. This shows that dogs are emotionally affected when they lose their companion or their normal lifestyle is drastically altered. Some of these changes could be, moving into a new environment or even changing his diet. Dogs need time to adapt to sudden changes, or else their their normal sleeping patterns shall be affected. A sad dog will try to sleep away the pain, or avoid social contact altogether, explaining why your dog sleeps most of the time . You may want to find out if it is healthy for your dog to sleep heavily out of boredom and most importantly, ways of engaging it to break the boredom cycle to make it active and jovial again.

4. Comfort

Physical and psychological comfort is very important to any living creature. Pet dogs are fed, hence they do not have to hunt or walk for miles in search of food and water. They are cleaned, so they do not have fleas or other pests that make them uncomfortable. They live in houses with their own comfortable beds and furniture instead of staying outdoors in the harsh cold. These dogs are not worried of their safety, or sleeping hungry and rarely experience loneliness. This comfort allows them to sleep comfortably for long hours, seemingly all the time.

5. Breed and Type of Dog

Activity levels among dog breeds vary quite significantly. Consequently, there are corresponding variations of sleep durations from one dog breed to another. Take for instance the working dog breeds like German Shepherds, their activity levels are very high, they do a lot of training and they are needed to be alert most of the time while discharging their duties. In comparison, dogs which lead a sedentary lifestyle, such as French and English Bulldogs tend to sleep for longer hours because they are largely inactive.


If you are worried about your dog suddenly sleeping sleeping all the time, engage you dog in physical activities and fun games more often to break the boredom. A routine visit to the park and play days are important especially for dogs that are confined to apartments where they rarely have enough space to play. Routine checkups and visits to the vet will help you clear the air on whether the heavy sleeping is caused by an underlying health condition such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. It is important to find out first whether the problem with too much sleep is behavorial or medical for you to find an appropriate response.

Dogs are like babies, they cannot tell you that they are feeling unwell but you can tell from their behavior that all is not well. The more you interact with your pet dog, the closer you become and you will instinctively notice any abnormality in sleeping patterns. Make sure that you check in with or call your vet just to make sure that your dog is fine.