In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Is your 11 year old dog sleeping a lot?“.
Just like humans, your dog will experience certain ailments and challenges as he gets older. As they approach their senior years, dogs tend to sleep more than usual, unlike humans. When your dog is asleep, waking them up can actually be quite difficult when they are in such a deep sleep.
An infant dog’s hearing is normally very sensitive, and it is likely that they will wake up at the slightest noise. However, as they age, their hearing tends to deteriorate, and loud noises or explicitly calling their name right next to them can go unnoticed.
Even though this is a natural part of aging for a dog, it can sometimes be the result of age-related health conditions. Here are a few things you can expect from your dog’s sleeping pattern as he or she gets older.
How much are a normal amount of sleep for adult and senior dogs?
As your dogs get older, you will notice a change in their sleeping habits. It is inevitable that the days of having limitless energy to run around and play games will one day come to an end. Instead of waiting for you at the door to greet them, your pooch will be more inclined to just lay in their bed and rest. That’s how most dogs behave. Aging is a natural part of life that you must learn to deal with.
The amount of exercise your dog gets, their size, their breed, and their environmental factors will influence how much they sleep. As a rule of thumb, a fully grown dog will sleep between 12 and 14 hours a day. Larger dogs tend to sleep longer (18 hours).
An elderly dog may sleep as long as 20 hours each day. Sleeping occurs in stages over the course of 24 hours. During physical activity, senior dogs tend to consume more energy, so it’s not uncommon for them to require more sleep to recover.
But it’s not just the length of their sleep that changes. As your dog ages, the times at which he sleeps will also change, with nap times more likely to occur during the day than at night.
If you notice that your pet is waking up at odd hours, struggling to sleep at night, or both, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. You should visit your veterinarian to be on the safe side.
Factors that may be affecting your dog’s regular sleeping habits
Dementia is a possible cause of your dog’s sleep disturbances. Decreased brain function is a common occurrence in older dogs. It can also affect their mood around members of the family, it can create a level of anxiety due to disorientation, and it can also interfere with their natural sleep cycle.
It is also more difficult for older dogs to find a comfortable position in which to sleep. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that can cause your dog a fair amount of pain and discomfort, making it hard for them to get a good night’s sleep. Your vet can determine whether your beloved canine is suffering from osteoarthritis. The condition can be treated with a specially designed dog bed and joint supplements.
It is also possible for older dogs to suffer from hypothyroidism, which is caused by the loss of thyroid hormones that control the metabolism. Dogs with this condition can be excessively sleepy or drowsy even when awake. Medication is available to treat this condition.
As dog’s age, their bowels and bladders become more sensitive, which can also affect their sleep patterns. When you notice that your dog has to go to the bathroom, it can keep him or her from getting a good night’s sleep as he or she will feel agitated. A common problem with senior dogs is a lack of bladder control when they’re in stressful situations or when they’re extremely relaxed (such as when they’re about to fall asleep). This is called canine urinary incontinence. This is an unfortunate condition in which small amounts of urine leak from your dog’s bladder without them realizing it, causing discomfort and preventing them from sleeping well.
Your pooch’s sleep could also be affected by other health concerns. Symptoms that are unusual should be taken seriously and a vet visit should follow soon after. The following symptoms are to be noted: coughing, whining, inappetence, loss of bladder and bowel control, diarrhea, vomiting, drinking too much water or not enough water, uncontrollable sneezing, and lack of enthusiasm in general.
What can be done to improve your dog’s sleep cycle?
Keep track of your dog’s sleep patterns and how long he sleeps. Keeping a record of what times your dog usually sleeps and how many hours he or she gets per session is a good idea. This journal can be used to document any changes in your behavior, dietary habits, physical symptoms, and any other details you wish to include. It will not only provide you with a clearer understanding of your dog’s condition, but it is also an important tool for updating your vet on events and circumstances that you might otherwise forget, and it may inform your vet of a particular ailment.
Encourage your dog to participate in some light exercise a few times per week. By doing this you will improve cognitive function, oxygenate the blood, and stimulate the joints and muscles, making movement much easier. Although it’s a cliché, it’s actually true that the more you do, the more you can accomplish. In addition to helping your dog sleep better, exercise increases the body’s natural impulse to produce more energy, making it more likely that your dog will want to move around during the day.
Establishing a comfortable and safe sleeping spot for your aging pup will help him feel more relaxed. This will reduce anxiety and allow him to sleep more soundly. An orthopedic bed might be an option to consider if adding extra blankets to their bed doesn’t work since these beds are specifically designed to meet the needs of aging pets. If possible, keep the dog’s bed in the same room as where you sleep to make him feel safe at night.
If you can, try to stick to a consistent schedule so that your pooch’s internal clock learns when it’s sleepy time. Playtime, meals, and exercise during the day should be structured according to the plan you’ve established so that your senior canine companion gets tired at the right time and sleeps for a good portion of the night.
You may also want to consider changing your dog’s diet. Their food can lose a lot of energy during digestion if it contains too many heavy items. Fruits and vegetables provide your hound with a lot of nutrients and fiber that will keep them healthy, happy, and regular. You should consult your veterinarian to learn what dietary ingredients are suitable for your senior pooch. Check out your dog’s medication to see if there is anything in particular that will make him or her drowsy. Alternatively, ask your vet if there is an alternative that has less sedentary side effects.
Although ensuring that they have enough water to avoid dehydration is important, you may want to limit their access to water before bed in order to prevent them from urinating in the middle of the night. As a result, you should be able to create a better sleeping schedule.
It can be exhausting dealing with a puppy, but dealing with your dog’s senior years can be even more difficult as their condition is less resilient and every decision you make can have a dramatic impact on their quality of life. Excessive sleeping is normal but it’s also something to maintain an awareness of. Pay attention to any changes in the routine that might occur.
Do what you can to make your dogs feel loved. Make sure that they receive as much attention, good food, and comfort as possible. Don’t get too mad at them when they do something wrong and enjoy the time you spend with them. Since we only get to share our lives with our precious pets for a short time, try to learn from them and appreciate them as much as you can.
If you want to read more about dog health tips, read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.