Skip to Content

Help! My Senior Dog Sleeps All Day

Close up of an old grey pug with its head down on its front paws to take a nap

Have you ever noticed that your senior dog spends the entire day sleeping? If you’ve ever owned an elderly dog, you know how much they like sleeping. However, if your senior dog sleeps all day, there could be something wrong with him/her. Keep reading to find out the possible causes of oversleeping in dogs and learn how to deal with this situation.

How Much Sleep is Normal for Senior Dogs?

A dog does not become a “senior dog” because of its age. Instead, the average lifespan of the breed determines whether its senior or not. Just like humans, the energy levels of canines drop as they grow old and will require more sleep. Therefore, adult dogs sleep for 12 to 14 hours each day on average.

It’s very important to observe the sleeping patterns of your pooch because there are no formal rules to calculate the regular sleeping hours of dogs. If you have noticed any unusual changes in your pet’s sleeping habits, consult your vet immediately.

Non-waking hours for fully matured, larger breeds of dogs can reach up to 18 hours per day. This is much more than their smaller counterparts. Similarly, working dogs may get by with less sleep per day than sedentary breeds.

Take note of any unexpected changes in your dog’s sleeping patterns. You can probably let it go if it’s only for a few days. However, if your dog’s sleeping habits alter for more than a few days along with additional symptoms, a visit to the vet becomes necessary.

Why is My Senior Dog Sleeping Too Much?

Close up of a Jack Russell terrier on its back sleeping on pink floral sheets with a pink fuzzy blanket

Understandably, your pet’s energy level may wane as the years pass. For example, your walking companion can tire more quickly during long walk as they grow old. Likewise, they may feel exerted and won’t enjoy lengthy play sessions as much as they during the young days. All of this is natural as it’s a part and parcel of the aging process.

Your senior dog’s sleep routine can also get flipped. In that case, he/she will wander as if disoriented and will be less attentive to recognized instructions. Older dogs can also suffer from cognitive dysfunction that can lead to home soiling, anxiety, violence, and loss of recognition of familiar persons. The following are some other reasons that can make your dog sleep too much.

Cognitive Degeneration

West Highland White Terrier in a dog bed with front paws over the edge on a dark background.

Staying up late at night and walking around in the later hours while seeming perplexed or disoriented. These symptoms might be early signals of cognitive degeneration. Therefore, it is necessary to visit the veterinarian.

Hearing Loss

At senior age, your furry friend is not awakened by sounds or stimulation. This might be a sign of hearing loss in your pet.

Heart Problems

Vet sitting on a couch with a chihuahua on a coffee table with the vet listening to the dog's heart

There can be a condition of sleeping while sitting up or standing. If fluid accumulates in the lungs or chest because of a cardiac problem or heart failure, dogs may adopt these sleeping postures. If you notice this type of conduct, it’s time to get professional help.

Joint Pain

A senior dog is quite likely to experience the problem of pain in joints. At an older age, bones become weak and that can be the reason why your senior dog is sleeping more often and feeling lethargic all the time.

What to Do if My Senior Dog Sleeps All Day?

Close up of the snout of a brown dog

No matter what stage you’re at with your pet, it’s always a joyful and gratifying adventure to have a dog. However, it’s not without its share of changes and questions. Whether your senior dog sleeps all day or only takes a few naps, it’s critical to keep up with frequent medical appointments.

A doctor can help you determine why your dog is sleeping too much and will give a suitable plan of action to counter the problem. It’s also vital to pay attention to the actions of your pooch to recognize something’s wrong.

If your senior dog has difficulties in sleeping, several simple things can help him/her (and you) get a good night’s sleep. Some of the possible steps that you can take to improve the sleeping schedule of your senior dog are discussed below.

Provide a Comfortable Dog Bed

Over head view of a square dog bed with a dog and a dog bone

Senior dogs often have a loss of muscular tone and suffer from joint discomfort. An orthopedic dog bed is a complement to a senior dog’s lifestyle. Similarly, carefully placed dog steps prove handy for your furry friend because he/she can reach the favorite high locations without suffering.

Examine the Vision Issues

If his vision appears to be deteriorating and he wanders and whines excessively at night, use a nightlight to see if the behavior reduces.

Ensure Regular Exercise

Greying dachshund walking on grass

Keeping your senior dogs muscular will make resting more pleasant for them . It will also keep them active and at a healthy weight. Older canines often prefer long walks, rather than the rigorous aerobic games, at this age. Hence, you should choose exercises that are mild on the joints while being effective in losing weight.

Visit a Vet

Vet in blue green scrubs listening to the chest of a golden retriever.

Changes happen with age, but do not believe that sleeping more often is merely a natural part of the process. When in doubt, get veterinarian help. It’s very conceivable that your dog’s sleeping patterns have changed due to a curable medical issue.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.