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How Much Sleep Do Dogs & Cats Need?

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Discussing The Various Sleep Needs & Cycles Of Dogs And Cats

Dogs and cats are very different animals. But, one thing they both have in common is that they both love to sleep. Sleeping is a very important bodily function that nearly every animal needs in order to stay healthy and replenish their energy. This article will discuss why dogs and cats need sleep, how sleep affects them, and how much sleep they typically need. 

Why Do Our Dogs & Cats Sleep?

As pet owners, we often find our dogs sleeping in their bed or our cats curled up under the blankets. They sometimes sleep in the morning, in the afternoon, and even at night with their owners. But why do dogs and cats sleep so much? As previously mentioned, nearly all animals (including our pets) need some form of sleep or rest. This need for sleep applies to people as well. The true reason why animals need sleep isn’t fully understood. However, we do know what benefits are gained from sleep. 

The Benefits Of Sleep

Sleeping helps animals feel recharged and refreshed upon waking up. This is because being awake and active slowly depletes glycogen levels in the brain. Glycogen is essential for regulating an animal’s blood sugar levels and providing energy for exercise. Sleeping replenishes these glycogen levels and provides animals with the energy they need for the following day. There is no substitute for sleep. It is essential for energy conservation, healthy bodily functions, and overall cognitive function. Both people and our pets can’t survive without sufficient and regulated sleep. 

How Does Lack Of Sleep Affect Our Dogs & Cats?

A lack of proper sleep, or sleep deprivation, is very dangerous. It can negatively impact your pets health both physically and mentally. Common symptoms of sleep deprivation include low energy, slow thinking, bad memory, reduced attention span, and drastic mood changes. These are only short-term symptoms. Being deprived of sleep over long periods of time can result in very serious physical and mental problems over time. If your pet is displaying any of the aforementioned symptoms, be sure to have them checked out by your veterinarian. Proper amounts of sleep are essential to your pets health and well being.

How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?

The amount of sleep your pet needs will vary depending on several factors. The average dog spends roughly 50% of their day sleeping (12 out of 24 hours). However, larger breeds, puppies, and senior dogs may sleep more. On the contrary, smaller breeds and service dogs may sleep less. Similar to humans, there is a lot going on in a dog’s brain throughout the day. Random information and experiences are being processed and analyzed all of the time. All of this data is organized in our dog’s brain as they sleep. This is why sleep is so important to dogs as it gives their brain time to decompress and relax. Sleep is very therapeutic to dogs and will positively affect their mood, temperament, and mental stability. For more information regarding how and why dogs sleep, go to petmd.com

How Much Sleep Do Cats Need?

Compared to dogs, cats take sleeping to another level. The average cat needs 16 to 20 hours of sleep within a 24 hour period. The average kitten needs 20 to 22 hours of sleep a day. This may seem excessive, but it is essential to their overall health, cognitive functions, and mood. Cats are well known for engaging in NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and is often referred to as cat naps. This state of sleep allows them to be ready and awake at a moment’s notice. This is most likely an instinctual behavior from living in the wild as being asleep puts them in a very vulnerable state. No matter where they sleep or how often, your cat sleeps a lot because it needs to. Nobody likes a grumpy cat, so let them sleep!

Sleepy Time

Whether you have a cat or dog, it’s important that they get enough sleep. They need regular sleep in order to stay healthy and happy. We encourage both you and your pets to get the proper amount of sleep every night and never let yourself become sleep deprived. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our other pet health related articles such as Holistic Healing For Your Pet. Your pet’s health is important, but understanding your pet’s health is invaluable. 

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