Pet Of The Week

Pet Doc with Nikki Burdine: Is your pet sleeping too much?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - We all could use a few more zzz's -- but should you be concerned about how much your pets are sleeping?

Nikki Burdine:  For today's Pet Doc we are talking about your dogs and sleep.  I always say I wish I had the life of my dog because he sleeps all the time.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  Is he getting too much sleep or not enough?  

Dr. Staci Cannon:  It's a common question,  dogs actually sleep probably more than humans. We think dogs probably need 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day.  They're sleeping at night usually when we are sleeping, but they are also probably taking naps during the day, that's also normal.  We definitely see puppies sleeping more and probably older dogs sleeping more as well.  

And also larger breed dogs tend to sleep a little more than smaller breed dogs. That might have something to do with their metabolism and their size difference there, and typically dogs are going to sleep longer than us, 12-14 hours a day.  

Things to watch for if your pet is sleeping more than that.  That could be the indication of an underlying medical problem.  Especially if they are getting older. That's something to mention to your veterinarian, how much they sleep.  

Or the other thing to watch out for as our dogs get older:  They can have alterations in their sleep pattern, especially if they are waking up at night and may seem disoriented.  Those are actually signs we think are coming from cognitive dysfunction, almost like when our dogs develop like a senile type behavior or they are developing almost like doggie Alzheimer's.  

They are developing changes in their brain as they are aging, but it can affect their sleep. So if your dog is suddenly awake at night, pacing around, vocalizing, seems confused, that's definitely a reason to talk to your veterinarian. 

Nikki:  Alright, so just watch your dog sleep.  Make sure he's Okay. Thank you, Dr. Staci Cannon.


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