It’s perfectly normal for puppies to appear tired all the time. Depending on the breed, puppies need between 15 and 20 hours of sleep per day. Their little bodies are growing at a rapid pace, so they need plenty of sleep to keep up with the rapid growth.
When you first bring a new puppy home, one of the first things you might notice is that they sleep A LOT more than you thought they would. You may be disappointed to realize how much sleep your new pet needs when all you want to do is play and cuddle with them.
Naturally, you may worry that something is wrong with your puppy. In rare cases, fatigue in puppies can indicate a medical issue, but in most cases, it is entirely normal for their age. A dog’s first six months are filled with changes that require some extra sleep.
If you’re worried that your puppy is sleeping a little too much, keep reading to learn what is considered normal and when you should be concerned.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Why is Your Puppy More Tired Than Normal?
- 2 Sleep Requirements Vary By Puppy
- 3 When to Be Concerned About a Tired Puppy
- 4 Contacting a Veterinarian
- 5 Going Forward
Why is Your Puppy More Tired Than Normal?
Spending More Time Outside
Your new furry friend is likely going on walks, playing outside, and getting a lot more attention compared to what they received before coming home with you. This should make you proud. You are giving your pet the love and attention they need!
If you got your puppy from a shelter or a pet store, they were likely more sedentary before you brought them home, so they will need more rest than they usually would. They also probably didn’t spend much time in the sun. The new environment can stimulate their little brains, leading to a sleepy puppy.
Puppy Isn’t Sleeping Well
Puppies usually don’t sleep well during their first few days at a new home. They are used to sleeping with their littermates in a familiar environment. Once the puppy gets used to their new sleeping situation, they’ll get better quality sleep, which means they won’t be as sleepy throughout the day.
Also, once your puppy gets used to the first few days of being in your home, they’ll need to catch up on the sleep they have been missing out on. If you recently brought your puppy home, expect its sleep levels to even out over the next few days.
Increase in Activity
This contributes to an increase in sleep. If you have recently started taking your puppy on longer walks or have enrolled your puppy in doggy daycare, you can expect them to be more tired until their body adjusts to the increased activity.
In some cases, your puppy may be tired because they are not getting adequate nutrition. If you notice your puppy is becoming unusually thin (or was underweight when you adopted them), they may not be eating enough food (or not eating the right type of food) and may be malnourished.
Your puppy will need larger portions of food as they grow and become more active. A puppy’s diet will differ from an older dog’s, so make sure you are providing them with food specifically made for puppies.
A veterinarian should be contacted if your puppy experiences vomiting or diarrhea.
In rare cases, an overtired puppy may be a sign of a medical condition. If you notice your puppy is sleeping more with no change in activity level, watch out for additional symptoms and contact a vet if your pet becomes unusually tired out of nowhere.
Sleep Requirements Vary By Puppy
Puppies have unique needs that differ depending on their stage of development. Puppies are growing and require more sleep than adults. In fact, puppies need an average of 18-20 hours of sleep per day!
This means that your puppy will be sleeping most of the day. They may only be awake for mealtimes, walks, and occasional playtime. This might be disappointing at first since you want to spend time with your new family member. However, it’s important to remember their needs and acknowledge that they require adequate sleep to grow and develop.
Once your puppy reaches 18 months of age, you can expect its sleep requirements to become more regular.
Some dog breeds require more sleep than others. This can be attributed to physical activity levels, as larger dog breeds are more active throughout the day. Growth rates also differ by breed, which impacts how much sleep your puppy needs.
A larger dog breed such as a Great Dane or Mastiff will continue to grow past one year of age. Dogs of this size need more sleep to accommodate their growth phase, which lasts much longer than smaller dogs.
Have you recently picked up jogging with your puppy? Did you just return from a vacation with your puppy? Sudden lifestyle changes can make your puppy more tired, but their sleep requirements should return to normal within a few days.
Activity levels affect sleep requirements. An active dog will require more sleep than one who lives a sedentary lifestyle. If your dog goes for frequent walks, plays outdoors, or is involved in agility sports, they require additional sleep to recharge.
Even something as simple as taking your puppy on longer walks or enrolling them in doggy daycare can cause an increase in their sleep requirements. The first few months of a puppy’s life are exciting and full of changes. They will need plenty of rest to allow their body to adjust.
When to Be Concerned About a Tired Puppy
A veterinarian should be consulted if additional symptoms appear.
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Signs of pain
Fatigue is often the first symptom that will arise because of health conditions, so it’s important to monitor your pet’s behavior and contact a veterinarian if you notice anything unusual. If your puppy is sleeping more, continue to monitor the behavior.
Contacting a Veterinarian
If you decide your puppy needs to see a veterinarian, try to recall abnormal behaviors from the past few days to help them diagnose your pup. Fatigue is a broad symptom that can have many underlying causes. The more specifics you can recall, the better.
It’s worrisome to see your puppy sleep all day since humans are accustomed to getting around 6-9 hours of sleep per night. It’s hard to understand how an animal could need so much sleep, especially for a first-time puppy owner who is unfamiliar with the amount of sleep pups need.
Once you become familiar with the routine of your new puppy, you will spot abnormal behaviors much easier. Props to you for being a responsible pet owner and looking out for your furry friend!
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