How does the age of a dog influence how many hours a day he sleeps?

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Though all dogs sleep regularly throughout the day, older dogs tend to sleep more than younger dogs because they often find it more difficult to be alert and mobile in their old age. It is common for dogs to sleep anywhere between 12 and 18 hours a day, depending on their environment and lifestyle. Puppies and younger dogs generally wake up more during the day to investigate sounds or changes in their environment. Older dogs may begin to lose their sense of hearing or sight, making it more difficult to be awoken by the stimuli that would commonly wake a younger dog.

Older dogs are also generally less active than younger dogs, which may lead to an increase in sleep during the day. If a dog is active, and consistently on alert throughout the day, he will most likely only sleep around 10 hours in total.  If a dog is more sedentary and not interested in keeping watch or playing with toys anymore, he will most likely sleep between 16 and 20 hours a day.

If you notice that your older dog is sleeping much more than usual, or enters into period of deep sleep where normal stimuli such as saying his name or the ring of a doorbell, cannot rouse him, you may want to consult a veterinarian. Often times, an increase in the amount of time and deepness of sleep can be an indicator of a health issue or disease.

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