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The quick guide to sleep

Dogs need a lot more sleep than we do. Adult dogs need around 16 hours of sleep per day, while puppies need up to 20 hours. It is essential that dogs aren't disturbed while sleeping, and feel safe (watch out for slippery floors!). When it comes to sleep, dogs:

  • are 'polyphasic' sleepers, which means they will choose somewhere to sleep while a short period before getting up and moving somewhere else. This is normal and instinctive behaviour.

  • are social animals. They normally like to sleep with company, day and night. In multi-dog households, however, they may sometimes need the opportunity to sleep alone and in peace away from others (especially if they are very young or very old).

  • like to have some peace and quiet - our households can sometimes be too noisy and active for them when they are trying to sleep.

  • should have lots of choices when it comes to sleep. This includes a variety of bed options (sofas, blankets, cushions, rugs, beds etc.), locations in the house and enough space to lie flat, curled up or on top of things.

Safe, good quality and comfortable sleep will promote and maintain good health in our dogs. And let's not forget it will do the same for us!

Marina Gates Fleming is a canine consultant working in Belgium.

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