Why Is My Dog Sleeping So Much All of a Sudden?

Has your dog suddenly started sleeping more than usual, or what’s considered normal? 

A dog that suddenly begins sleeping more than it usually does can be frightful, but there is no cause for concern in most situations. 

It’s essential to be conscious of the situation and to watch for anything strange in the dog’s behavior.  

We’re going to lay out why this may be happening to soothe your mind, and what measures you should take if any. 

Moreover, we’re featuring ways to get your dogs’ sleep schedule back on track. If your dog is snoozing much more than usual, here are a few reasons why this may be occurring.


Most Common Reasons Your Dog Is Suddenly Sleeping So Much

It’s Getting Older

One of the most precious times of a dog’s life is its “Golden years’, which occur around year 8-12, depending on the breed. 

When dogs grow older, they require more sleep. Keep in mind; the golden years are not going to cause a sudden change in sleep habits in the span of a few days. 

Instead, you may notice a change over a few months. It’s entirely normal for a senior dog to sleep up to 20 hours per day, according to PetMD

Furthermore, senior dogs tend to be a little less anxious and, therefore, sleep more without the added energy of younger, more energetic adult dogs and puppies. 

If you have been exercising them more recently, this can also cause more sleepiness, and is our succeeding consideration.

Activity Level

A tremendous factor that plays a part in how much a dog (or any living creature) sleeps is the amount of activity it gets throughout each day. 

Dogs that regularly walk, run or play with their toys will have a much more satisfying and deeper snooze every night. 

In contrast, dogs that do not get to be as active on an ongoing basis may have problems falling and staying asleep. 

For starters, activity helps use up all of its built-up adrenaline, affecting sleep if not used up before bedtime. 

So, if you exercise your dog daily, this may be the answer to your question. This is especially if your dog is otherwise behaving happy, healthy, and full of energy. 

If your dog is acting lethargic or appears unusual, take it to a vet to rule out anything serious.

Not Feeling Well

Dogs that do not feel well almost always sleep more than usual. For example, if a dog has a bellyache, it may try to sleep it off. 

Minor illnesses can cause a sudden change in sleeping habits, but these kinds of issues should not affect sleep for long; perhaps a few days. 

A change in the food you feed your dog can also cause stomach upset. 

In some cases, a dog can get worms that can eat away vital nutrients in their intestines, taking away the energy needed to stay up an adequate amount of time. 

Other reasons may be things such as constipation, dehydration, nausea, or other minor causes.

If it’s sleeping schedule changes and does not revert after a few days, then you should take a trip to your vet to get answers.


Less Common Reasons Your Dog Is Suddenly Sleeping So Much

Worms

Worms are prevalent in dogs and can cause a swift change in sleep schedules. As mentioned before, worms can eat nutrients that give dogs their happy energy. 

When worms eat away in the dogs’ intestines, dogs can feel tired, ill, and sad. Luckily, treating intestinal worms is as easy as giving your dog a small pill provided to you by your vet. 

These medications usually eradicate the worms within 24-48 hours. Fortunately, most of the time, the dog will rapidly return to normal after the worms have left its host. 

However, in rare cases, this can cause long-term anemia, which can be hard to cure. 

The most common types of intestinal worms are roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and hookworms. 

Infections

Infections in dogs can be serious if not treated rapidly, so if you suspect an infection, bring your pup to the vet as soon as possible. 

Infections make the immune system go into overdrive, which can cause the body to release inflammatory hormones. 

The infection may even be causing pain, which can either drive your dog to stay awake or attempt to sleep it off. 

If your dog has an infection, it’s likely easily treated by a round or two of antibiotics, or simple drainage, depending on the type of infection. 

Make sure to have your vet take a look, as any attempt to tamper with infections at home can lead to the spread of infections, and ultimately, sepsis.

Diabetes

Diabetes is another reason why your dog may be sleeping more. Diabetes can appear pretty quick, and its effects, even quicker. 

Luckily, diabetes is manageable with the right vet, and if managed, most, if not all, symptoms will go away. The two most usual kinds of diabetes are Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia. 

Hypo is a term used for low blood sugar, and hyper is a term meaning the opposite — high blood sugar. 

Though both can cause fatigue and sleepiness, hypoglycemia is the most common form of diabetes that causes a sudden change in sleeping habits. 

A few hypoglycemia symptoms are lack of coordination, dilated pupils, lethargy, shaking, and weakness.


Tips To Get Your Dog On Track

Make Sure They’re Eating The Right Food

A prevalent reason dogs are a little more tired than they should be poor eating habits or food choices. 

Puppies require more nutrients than adult dogs do, so they should exclusively eat food labeled for puppies. 

On the other hand, adults can eat most kinds of dog food, but they may have intolerances to some ingredients. If your vet says it’s safe, consider a change in dog food

If you’re recently changed your dog’s brand of food, this may also be the reason. 

Lastly, senior dogs should be provided with senior food, which features unique ingredients best for dogs of old age. Senior dogs that only eat regular adult dog food could be left feeling tired.

Wake Up at Set Times Each Day

I’m certain that I’m not the only person who has gotten carried away with work, school, or other life obstacles, leading to a sudden change in sleeping habits. 

If you’re a night owl, consider making your dog’s bed in another room that stays quiet, without any lights or noise. 

Furthermore, make sure you wake your dog up at the same time every day. 

If you find that you wake your dog up at different times each day, it may cause mild sleep deprivation, leading to longer sleep sessions. 

Dogs that wake up at varying times will inevitably become more tired over time and sleep longer because of it. 

Take Them To The Vet

Finally, if you’ve tried everything you can, but your dog just will not return to a regular sleeping schedule, take them to the vet. 

There are a host of reasons why a dog can suddenly start sleeping more than expected. 

Though the reason is likely nothing serious, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Some illnesses that cause excessive sleepiness can wreak havoc on a dog’s body over time if not treated promptly. 

Your vet may find that your dog is deficient in a specific vitamin or intolerant to an ingredient in food or treat you’re feeding it. Whatever the case, follow your gut and take them to the vet.


Takeaway

Dogs that start sleeping more than usual, primarily if it occurs suddenly, can mean there is trouble, mild or severe. 

In most cases, a sudden change in sleeping habits is due to a minor reason, such as high activity levels, old age, or simply a tummy ache that lasts a few days. 

Rarely, problems such as diabetes, worms, or infection can cause excess sleepiness, which can each wreak havoc on a dog’s physical and mental health. 

To be safe, we suggest bringing your dog to a vet because dogs are unfortunately really good at hiding when they’re not feeling well. 
Click here for a few great tips on how to find an inexpensive vet.



Written by Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors with his dog. His goal is to share his findings about dog care through articles he writes. Read more of Bryan's articles.