We spend a third of our lives sleeping. This makes sleep an integral part of life – and dogs are no exception to the rule! Dogs need at least 8 hours of sleep each day in order to maintain their energy levels and stay healthy.
Sleep deprivation is an issue for many dogs, leading to behavior problems and health issues. Understanding the signs of sleep deprivation and what causes it can help you provide them with better solutions.
What Causes Sleep Deprivation
Canines become restless and have trouble falling asleep as they age; however, there may be issues such as snoring, apnea or even a serious disorder like REM Sleep Behavior Disorder which prevents them from entering deep sleep.
Dogs rescued from shelters or abusive situations often suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), an anxiety condition which can cause sleep disruption. There are also possible underlying illnesses that could contribute to the issue.
Environmental factors such as a neighboring dog, noisy interstate, or a new home may making sleeping difficult. We recommend checking with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has a sleep disorder or is experiencing deprivation.
Signs Your Dog Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep
You should never ignore the warning signs of your dog not getting enough sleep because they could be trying to tell you something important. Here are some common symptoms of canine insomnia – if any sound familiar, it may be time for a trip to the vet!
- Excessive Barking or Howling
- Lethargy and Lack of Energy
- Losing Interest in Playtime
- Unusual Aggression or Unprovoked Anger
- Restlessness While Sleeping
How to Overcome Sleep Deprivation
Dog owners have the power to establish sleep patterns for their household to overcome these issues. Much like children, our pets do best on a routine, so they know what to expect. Try to rise around the same time and head to bed around the same time to provide a sense of security.
A regimented sleep schedule, including a crate or bed, is a comfort to dogs. They know where to go for privacy and comfort, making sleeping easier. Combine daily exercise with intermittent naps for an optimal routine.
Sleep deprivation can be a tough thing to deal with, but it is possible! With the right tools and tricks at your disposal, you will be able to help your pup overcome this lack of sleep in no time.