Why do puppies sleep a lot? The mystery explained

Husky puppy sleeping

 A puppy needs an average of 20 hours of sleep. This sounds like a lot, but your puppy needs this to grow. In addition to growing, these naps are used to process stimuli. After getting your puppy, you might notice that puppies do tend to sleep for longer periods of time. But what exactly are the reasons for a puppy to sleep so much? We will explain this to you in the article below. So, please tag along and get to know everything there is to know about sleep and puppies. 

 

What reasons are there for my puppy to be sleeping so much? 

As already highlighted above, puppies tend to sleep a lot for various reasons. That is why we have made a list with explanations as to why this is the case. In the second part of the article, you will read more about when you should worry about your puppy sleeping a lot. However, with the list below, you should not worry too much about your dog. Just make sure he or she gets their rest when necessary. And, just to note, it is very normal for a puppy to be sleeping up to 18 to 20 hours a day! 

  1. The first and foremost reason for puppies to be sleeping a lot, has to do with the fact that they are growing. This takes up a lot of energy, making a pup very sleepy. Also, they are not necessarily resting during their sleep. Rather, the body of the dog is constructing and shaping a nervous system, muscles and important connections in the body. It is therefore important to let your puppy sleep, as it will help with them growing big and strong. 
  2. Often your dog is also sleeping a lot as he or she is getting used to their new environment and surroundings. Not only are they getting used to you and their new house, they are also constantly being trained. From being able to sit on command, to toilet training. Again, this takes up a lot of energy, which makes your dog tired and sleepy. 
  3. Puppies are also very playful. They like to play with toys and to be challenged. However, this can also be very exhausting for such a small and young dog. They are basically using their whole body to play with you! So, even though it is a good thing to play and challenge your pup, please also let them rest in between. If you do not do so, your dog can get overstimulated. This in turn leads to a dog that can become aggressive and annoying in return. To prevent this from happening, take some time between play sessions to let your dog sleep or rest. 

Golden retriever puppy

When should I be worried that my dog sleeps a lot? 

You should be worried about your dog when he or she is generally feeling unwell. This can be seen if your dog is not interested in playing, food, drinking or even you. They will most likely stay put in one place and not move around a lot. If this is the case for your dog, we do strongly advise you to contact your veterinarian. They can run some tests to see what is going on with your puppy, and inform you on what might be wrong. For example, your puppy can have low oxygen levels or suffer from a disease.

It is however normal for pup to sleep a lot after they have gotten their (first) shots. This namely causes their bodies to be fighting and making antibodies. That way they are more easily able to fight off any other diseases. So, if your puppy is sleepy after his or her shots. Do not worry. Only if he or she keeps having weird symptoms of low energy, it should be advised to contact your vet. 

Symptoms of low energy in combination with lots of sleep can also be signs of the fact that your dog is not eating enough. Or, perhaps the food that you have been giving your dog does not include enough nutrients for your dog to be happy and playful. It could therefore be recommended to try and see if your dog’s behavior is changing if you feed them a little more, or change their food around. This could make them feel a whole lot better, causing them to sleep (a little) less. 

Lastly, your dog can also get really sleepy if he or she is not being challenged enough. This can make a dog slow, and in certain cases even lose their instinct for hunting. It is therefore important that you take the time to walk and entertain your dog. That can really u