Dogs are complete sleepyheads. They can doze on the couch for hours, preferably in the company of their beloved owner. They feel most calm and relaxed in these moments. Dog sleep is extremely important not only for their health, but also for their well-being. It allows them to relax after a long, intense day and gain strength for new challenges that lie ahead.
To a large extent, it is in our hands as owners to provide our dogs with the right conditions for a peaceful sleep. The first step is to create a special corner for your dog with a convenient and comfortable dog bed, but there is more to it than this. Good sleep is also affected by the amount of daily physical activity your pooch gets, the way in which his routine is structured and the type of food he eats.
If you wish to investigate any sleep related disorders your dog may have, it’s necessary to go to a specialist. Dogs love to sleep, and we must be aware that if they start to suffer from insomnia, this might be the first sign of a bigger health problem.
Healthy sleep for pets is composed of several factors. Awareness is crucial in ensuring the calmness of our pooch at night, but also during short, afternoon naps. Below you can find some important factors that affect the quality of your pet‘s sleep.
One of the most important factors is the length of dog’s sleep itself. We cannot present one general pattern for all dogs, however, because it is quite an individual matter. The length of sleep needed by a dog for proper rest and full regeneration of strength depends primarily on his age and daily physical activity, but also on his breed.
Genetically, dogs such as Labradors or German Shepherds require the most sleep. The pups of such breeds, which are smaller, sleep somewhat shorter. In this group of dog breeds that require more sleep, we can find, among others, Maltese, Yorkies, Pugs and French Bulldogs.
Older dogs need the most sleep. During the day, they can sleep up to 18 hours. The same applies to puppies, where sleep plays a key role in the process of proper development. Adult dogs’ sleep, on the other hand, is much shorter. They need between 12 and 14 hours of rest each day to feel rejuvenated and at full strength.
More sleep is crucial for dogs that lead a very active lifestyle. Increased physical exertion means that dogs need to sleep more than usual to reach full regeneration. This is especially noticeable in dogs who professionally train for different types of sports.
Not every nap will provide the same level of energy and strength restoration. The quality of dog’s sleep directly affects the level of positive impact that, that period of slumber has on its health. Therefore, creating the atmosphere for a quiet night spent by our pet is the basis of caring for him.
When speaking about dogs, we can distinguish two stages of sleep: SWS and REM. The first of these is the process of falling asleep, which calms the brain, and slowly transitions the dog into a time of rest. During SWS, the dog’s body calms down and relaxes, but it is still active, which is why it is called the early phase of sleep.
REM, in turn, is a deep sleep phase. It is during REM that the body has a chance for full regeneration and total relaxation. Observing a dog in the REM phase, we can see eye movements under his closed eyelids, as well as slight limb twitches. Sometimes dogs can even make sounds. The REM phase in dogs makes up about 12% of their total time sleeping. Considering that sleep only has health properties for a dog during this period, its percentage in relation to the total time a dog spends sleeping is very small.
Due to the fact that the REM phase makes up such a small portion of a dog’s overall time spent sleeping, our task is to ensure that our dogs have a calm place to rest every night. The quality of a dog’s sleep has a direct impact on his physical and mental health. Providing your dog with optimal sleeping conditions will allow him, and you, to take full advantage of the health effects that result from good sleep.
The place where your pet decides to take a nap is not a coincidence. Dogs choose their resting place for a specific reason. This location must live up to the dog’s expectations regarding comfort and atmosphere.
Dogs feel safest when they have their own corner at home. This spot should be somewhat tucked away, but also close enough to the main areas of the house that the dog can observe all of the household activities going on around him. His bed should be large enough so that he can lie down comfortably, without restraint. A well-chosen dog bed will provide him with comfort both during the night and whenever he needs a quick power nap throughout the day. High-quality beds, made of the best materials possible, can be found throughout Bowl&Bone Republic extensive range of products. Dog beds from the URBAN or LOFT line have become highly touted cult items. Their unique advantage is the use of hypoallergenic, artificial down filling. This material ensures that dogs that suffer from allergies will not have to worry about allergic reactions interfering with their peaceful sleep.
When choosing a dog bed, you should also pay attention to how it is filled. The bed should separate your dog from the cold, hard floor below him. In addition, the filling should be flexible enough to gently mould to the shape of your dog’s body, making him feel more secure while he sleeps.
Dogs like stability and routine. The constant rhythms of the day give them a sense of security, sequence and order. Thanks to the development of everyday habits, based on the constant rhythms of the day, dogs feel stable and confident. Setting a consistent schedule for walking, eating and sleeping has a tremendous effect on the quality of your dog’s sleep.
The evening routine is a time for your dog to calm down after an exciting day of activity. During this time, avoid active and energetic play with your dog. Go with your pup on the last trip of the day –an evening walk. Choose calm routes, where you will not pass crowded, noisy places along the way. After returning from a shared walk, you can give your pet his favourite meal. In the place where the dog’s corner is located, take care to create a cosy atmosphere. Cover the windows that are near his bed dim the lights and lessen the noise of music or TV. Doing this will help your dog notice that it is time for rest, and he will soon fall happily to sleep on his bed.
If you notice that your dog is sleeping well, try to keep everything quiet, so as not to wake him up. Dogs are very alert, even during sleep. Any loud or unexpected noise can wake them up from the REM phase. A dog awakened by a violent sound can be very frightened and upset, which adversely affects his health. Your dog deserves a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
We all know what it is like to wake up cranky after not sleeping and getting out of bed on the wrong foot. The same applies to our four-legged friends. Sleep is very important to them. Therefore, as the guardians of our dogs, our task is to ensure that they sleep as well as possible.
If dogs sleep well, they will enjoy longer and more peaceful lives. For this reason, investing in a comfortable dog bed, made with high quality materials, is one of the best gifts you can give your beloved canine companion.