Is it normal for my dog to sleep a lot?

Understanding your new dog's sleep habits

Many people contract with our professional pet sitting service after they have added a new furry friend to their home. This new lifestyle change can be as scary as it is exciting. This is some of the information we share with our new clients. We hope that it will help you to understand your new pet a little better.


New dog anxiety

The good and bad news is that new dog anxiety is a real thing that many new pet parents experience. The good part is that you are totally average should you experience this. The bad part is that you can really become stressed out.

Many people expect to have an immediate close bond with their new dog. Don't take it personal or worry if it takes some time for you and your new best friend to look like you've been together forever. Even if you know of someone that had the immediate BFF experience, that doesn't mean that anything is wrong with you and/or your dog.

Jasper and Mylie share at bedtime

Jasper and Mylie share at bedtime


Dogs who prefer to be in their crate

Despite the whole family being in the living room, your pup may go right into her crate and take a nap. This "disinterest" in the family is not necessarily disinterest at all and it definitely does not confirm depression. Many dogs just really love their crates! Also, depending on the age and background of your new friend, she may not be into play time all of the time. In her crate she can be undisturbed and feel safe.

If you have set up a nice comfy crate that your pup loves, good job to you! The fact that your pup has a place that she considers her personal space in the home is great.

Bailey loves her cozy crate

Bailey loves her cozy crate

Charlotte takes lots of naps in her favorite spot

Charlotte takes lots of naps in her favorite spot

Is my dog depressed?

One of the biggest, and most common, worries after an adoption is: "I think my new dog is depressed".

Two observations that often lead to this worry are:    

  • My dog stays in the crate even when the door is open

  • All my dog wants to do is sleep           


K.C. has the best dreams in his crate

K.C. has the best dreams in his crate


Did you know?

  • The average adult dog sleeps between 12 and 14 hours each day.

How long should my dog sleep?

New pup parents frequently wonder how long should their dog sleep? The average adult dog sleeps between 12 and 14 hours each day. This can be spaced out over any number of naps. Typically your pet will adjust to your sleep pattern; so if you sleep for 8 hours at night, she will nap for 4 to 6 hours throughout the day.

If you have other dogs, you may be worried because of the differences in their sleeping patterns, but breed, age and background have lots to do with their sleep.

Puppies - Young dogs need more sleep because they are growing. Also, while they are potty-training, they are often up a number of times during the night.

Seniors - Because of their life expectancies, different breeds are considered senior at different ages (ranging between 6 and 11 years old). However, all senior dogs require more sleep. Don't be alarmed if your senior adoptee sleeps as much as 20 hours every day. This may involve more rest than deep sleep.

Working dogs- Both active working dogs and those bred for service work, such as German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, often require less sleep during the day, even if they are companion dogs.

Brodie likes to sleep in the sun

Brodie likes to sleep in the sun

A new life for your new friend will require adjustments for everyone, but especially for the new dog. Love and patience work miracles. However, please contact your vet if your pup seems to be experiencing symptoms that may require medical attention.

We would like to give a warm thanks to all of the Western Mass families that allowed us to include photos of their sleeping beauties in this blog. THANK YOU!!!

Do you have a sleeping beauty photo? Please share your photos with us in the comments.