About authors

Image of partner

Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Have you ever wondered how much sleep our beloved four-legged friends need? Some dogs, for example, have enormous energy and find it very difficult to rest. So how much sleep do dogs need? And can our dogs dream?

Sleep is essential to life

Sleeping is enormously important for the health of humans and animals. During sleep, used batteries are recharged and the body, especially the brain, regenerates from mental and physical exertion. Experiences and learnings are processed, stored and played back during sleep. As with humans, the sleep of dog runs in different cycles.

Light sleep, deep sleep and the so-called REM phase (“Rapid Eye Movement”) alternate several times during the night. The human being has about 4-5 sleep cycles per night, whereby one cycle lasts about 90 minutes. Dogs have significantly more cycles. However, one sleep cycle lasts only 15-30 minutes.

Bedtime- How much sleep do dogs need?

In general, it can be said that younger, healthy animals need less sleep than older or sick animals. Also puppies have another sleep-demand, as adult dogs.

Dogs should come to about 16-22 hours per day, depending on age and condition. Puppies and older or weakened animals also easily need 20 hours. The active waking time is therefore between 2 and 7 hours. This is mainly used for eating, playing, exploring and going to the toilet.

Insufficient, but also particularly bad sleep, can have a negative effect on health and behaviour. Like humans, our darlings react to sleep deprivation with concentration difficulties, irritability, hyperactivity, but also with various physical (chronic) diseases. For this reason it might be better to follow the current rule “Do not wake sleeping dogs”.

During bedtime, however, your darling doesn’t always have to sleep deeply. Also the dozing and resting is counted here. Nevertheless, the need for rest is high.

Banner App

Can dogs dream?

Who doesn’t know it? A sleeping dog twitches, whines, barks and makes movements as if chasing an imaginary rabbit. Proof that our pets also dream? Unfortunately, it is difficult to say what animals dream and whether they can remember it. Scientists, as well as animal psychologists, however, assume this on the basis of various studies. Some even go one step further in their conjectures. Accordingly, there are also race-specific dreams. This means that the individual preferences of a dog show up in the dream. Also the experience of the day is processed.

Place for dog sleep

Not all animals manage to retreat and rest by themselves. So help your dog to build in enough rest periods. Also the suitable sleeping place plays an important role here. Pay attention to where your animal feels comfortable, whether it prefers soft or hard, open or in a cave, above or below, … wants to sleep. Remember that your darling rarely chooses the sleeping place that seems most practical to you.

schlaf Babyhund


Sleep is just as vital as food and drink. Without enough sleep our pets become irritable and unbalanced roommates.Dogs need a lot of sleep. And always remember, it’s better not to wake up sleeping dog!