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Should Dogs Have Bedtimes? (Explained for Beginners)

Dogs are exactly like you and me. When we have a bedtime routine that we follow consistently, we feel energetic and happy the next day. We work better, play better, and our meals taste more delicious.

We feel we can conquer the world. Well, it’s quite the same with our pet friends.

Should dogs have bedtimes?

Dogs should have a fixed bedtime every night. When dogs have a bedtime routine, they sleep better. So, does everyone else in the house. When a dog sleeps consistently at the same time each night, it is more active the next morning. There is enough time for exercise and meals as well.

When we are awake and active during the day, we want our dogs to be around us: playing, eating, or just spending time with their human friends. It would be rather sad if our dogs stayed up all night while we sleep in. Nobody wants to leave their dogs roaming around in dim light.

Having mentioned that, a routine dog bed time is as beneficial as it is to us humans. You feel active and healthy when you get regular sound sleep at night. Especially when the sleep schedule is consistent. The same can be said about dogs.

More so, daily bedtime routines and consequent daytime routines have proven to keep dogs in a much happier mood. This is because consistency, whether it’s the sleep schedule or walk routine, decreases stress and anxiety in dogs. Results? A happy, healthy pet.

One other way a fixed bedtime for dogs is a blessing: you can have a good night’s sleep daily.

Your pets love your presence and feel disturbed when you’re not around at night. They could walk around, bark, cry or even try to wake you if they start pulling all-nighters. You and everyone else in the house rest better and feel better the next day.  

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How much sleep do dogs need?

Dogs and humans don’t sleep the same way. Your sleep-wake cycle is of longer duration. It should be helpful for you to know that dogs sleep in shorter bursts of time.

At a stretch, your pet friend will sleep for 16 minutes at most. Next, they leave the sleep cycle and wake for another 5 minutes to sleep again.

If we want to generalize and consider the average number of hours a dog needs sleep, it could be from 9 hours to 14 hours a day. However, how much a dog sleep will largely depend on what age the dog is, what it does all day, and whether it frequently naps during the day.

When we say the sleep requirement depends on your pet’s age, we mean if it’s a puppy or old dog, it might sleep more than middle-aged dogs. Before one-year, small puppies hardly sleep at a stretch.

Once they are more than a year, they start to adjust to the environment better. It’s no longer as overwhelming to them as it was when they were little. Much like newborn babies.

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When your pets are at a growing age, they automatically seem to need more sleep. They think more, move around more, and consequently get exhausted often.  Active, growing puppies can sleep from 15 hours to 20 hours per day.

Likewise, older dogs, just like younger ones, tend to have a disruptive sleep during the night. Bathroom breaks are more frequent in old and baby dogs in comparison to middle-aged, adult dogs.

Moreover, the older a dog gets, the more tired it gets physically. A little walk around the park could mean it has lost all its day’s energy. For such reason, aged pets tend to sleep more, up to 16 hours a day sometimes. The time would also vary depending on how much they nap all through the day.

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What time should dogs go to bed?

Like we have mentioned, your pet dog will not doze off at night and sleep for hours at a stretch. Dogs have shorter sleeping cycles and tend to wake up every 15 to 20 minutes.

There is no specific number of yours your dog must sleep. Similarly, there is no fastened rule on what time your dog should go to bed. However, it is best to synchronize your dog’s routine with yours.

If you work all day and sleep at around 10 pm, you should try to train your dog in such a way that it sleeps by 10 pm. If your dog starts to sleep at a particular time every night, its body clock will eventually adjust to the rhythm. 

There are a few notes you might want to remember. If your dog naps during the evenings, you should not expect it to sleep shortly after the nap. It’s most beneficial if your dog naps 5 to 6 hours before bedtime.

If your pets are younger, they might sleep as soon as the sun goes down. Young puppies sleep earlier than adults once.

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Why does my dog go to bed so early?

If your dog is going to bed early every night, it could be for one or more reasons. The following are few possibilities:

  • If your pet friend is a puppy, it could fall asleep earlier and sleep long hours. There is nothing to worry about in that case.
  • If your dog is ill or lethargic for its diet, it could doze off early. Sometimes, it could also pertain to what your pet is eating. Pay attention to what it is eating during the day. Eating too much could make them fall asleep easily.
  • Your dog is old. If your dog is older, it is only reasonable for it to sleep early. Age exhaust man’s best friend more than activities do.
  • Your dog is suffering from depression or anxiety. If something has upset your pet, it will sleep earlier than usual.

Why doesn’t my dog sleep at night?

If your dog is not sleeping at night, it might be for some kind of discomfort or stress. You might consider the following possibilities:

It is not comfortable in the space it sleeps:

You could try changing the room or make its bed cozier.

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New environment anxieties:

New pets or puppies go through a lot of change when you first take them in. They need to adapt to these changes slowly. Initially, all that could cause anxiety and stress, keeping them from sleeping at night.

Skin problems:

Your dog might be uncomfortable at night due to some allergies. Dog beds can have bed bugs even. If irritation is caused by scratching or itching, your dog might not sleep at peace.

Joint pain:

Older dogs suffer from joint pain that can keep them from a good night’s sleep. Some aged pets also have dementia.

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Why doesn’t my dog sleep during the day?

For your pet friend, napping during the day is as important as sleeping during its bedtime at night. If a dog does not take nap regularly, at least once a day, it will be restless through the day. This could disrupt their other activities, such as playtime or regular meals.

If your dog is not sleeping during the day, there could be certain reasons.

Too much noise:

If your house is full of people during the day who talk and move around, your pet won’t be able to sleep even if it wanted to. Sometimes, noise from the street can disturb your dog’s nap.

Pain or anxiety:

If your dog is suffering from some kind of pain, illness, or depression, it’s most useful to visit the VET to be sure. This could keep them from sleeping during the day and night.

Lack of activities:

Active dogs nap readily and enjoy doing it. If your dog is too bored and deprived of fun or playful times, it might not want to sleep during the day.

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Which dogs sleep the most?

Larger or companion dogs sleep more. Older ones and puppies also get long hours of healthy sleep. Few breeds of dogs love to sleep. Here is a list:

  • English and French Bulldogs
  • Pekingese
  • Great Dane
  • Shih Tzu
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Mastiff
  • Greyhound
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Saint Bernard
  • Spaniel
  • Pug
  • Chow Chow
  • Bassett Hound

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Which dogs sleep the least?

If your dog, however, is a working and dynamic dog that hustles all day, they might not sleep as much as older or younger dogs. Farm dogs or police dogs, for example, have a sporty lifestyle. They go out, work all day, and are used to various activities throughout the day.

Most dogs love to sleep. Few, because of your youth or old age, sleep longer hours. Few are almost always awake during the day. Here is a list of dogs that sleep the least:

  • Herding pets like border collies
  • Airedale Terriers.
  • Pomeranian
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Jack Russel
  •  Alaskan Malamute
  • Beagle

If you want an active lifestyle for your dog during the day, a consistent bedtime routine could greatly help your pet achieve it. Your dog will be happier and healthier if it can get accustomed to a fixed schedule. Bonus, you’ll sleep better too! 

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