pet education

How Much do Dogs and Cats Sleep? (And How Much Should They?)

Have you ever wondered how much dogs and cats sleep on average?

Following that thought, have you wondered if your dog or cat is sleeping normally? Perhaps you’ve worried that your pet is sleeping too much or too little.

How much should my dogs or cats sleep?

In this article, I’m going to answer these questions so that you can understand the sleeping behavior of animals and that relates to your precious furry (or not so furry) friend.

First of all, let’s tackle the sleeping patterns of dogs:

Dogs have a sleep pattern that, on the surface, appears similar to that of people, since they curl up and close their eyes when they sense their owners doing the same thing.

However, dogs do sleep differently. They are not going to sleep throughout the night – they wake up in an instant when they hear something or if the environment slightly changes. Overall, they will probably sleep around eight hours during nighttime, off and on.

But dogs nap during the daytime as well. They often sleep around four to six more hours at certain times throughout the day for a cumulative total of 12-14 hours per 24-hour days.

Dogs sleep 12-14 hours daily.

Why do dogs sleep more than humans? It’s because of something called REM sleeping, which is a phenomenon seen in human sleeping, too. REM sleep is the most restorative sleep, and in people it accounts for 25% of all sleep each night. But in dogs REM only accounts for 10% of all sleep – that’s the main reason why dogs need more sleep.

Why do dogs sleep more than humans? It’s because of something called REM sleeping, which is a phenomenon seen in human sleeping, too. REM sleep is the most restorative sleep, and in people it accounts for 25% of all sleep each night. But in dogs REM only accounts for 10% of all sleep – that’s the main reason why dogs need more sleep.

Now let’s take a moment to explore the sleep patterns of cats:

Cats sleep more than both dogs and humans. They sleep, on average, 15 hours per 24-hour day. It’s also important to note that cats sleep most during the day, and they’re most active at nighttime, that is, unless they have adapted to the sleeping patterns of their owners.

Why do cats need so much sleep? It has to do, again, with REM sleeping, the most restorative stage of the sleeping cycle. They need that stage of sleep, but on average only get around 6 minutes of REM per night. 

Is your pet sleeping abnormally?

Okay, now we’ve explored the sleeping patterns of dogs and cats. If your pet is sleeping abnormally, what could be the cause?

A few things could constitute as problems. (1) your dog or cat could be suffering from cognitive deficiency as a part of growing older, (2) he or she could be experiencing hyperthyroidism, an increase in metabolism that causes weight loss, (3) or discomfort from being overweight, which is typically the result of a bad diet.

In conclusion, dogs and cats sleep a lot! If you’re worried about one of your pets sleeping too much, that’s probably not the case. If your dog or cat is sleeping too much or too little, consult your veterinarian or perhaps take matters into your own hands by examining what you feed him or her.

Thank you for reading!

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