Doxies love to play around but they seem to love to sleep even more. This often prompts Doxies owners to wonder how much do dachshunds sleep on average and why? When you know that your dog can be prone to certain health issues, this is a rather alarming question to ask. And, especially if there’s a sudden change in the sleeping habits of the dog, there may be a reason for concern. Most of the time, however, your Doxie likely just loves napping. So, let’s delve a bit into the specifics.
How Much Do Dachshunds Sleep On Average?
Depending on its age, condition, and environment, a dachshund can sleep anywhere between 12 and 18 hours a day. The standard for most dogs is 12 to 14 or 12 to 16, depending on how you want to define “sleep”.
The rule-of-thumb formula most people give is that dogs sleep 50% of the day, rest 30% of the time, and are physically active during the other 20%. This is roughly true for most breeds but it misses a lot of additional individual factors that can affect your dog’s sleep habits.
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Why Do Dachshunds Sleep So Much?
Dachshunds are indeed one of those dog breeds that sleep more than average. Usually, the number people cite is ~16 hours a day and that’s somewhat accurate. But the truth is that this can vary a lot too. Here are some of the factors that affect how much do dachshunds sleep.
- It’s in their hunting dog nature. All hunting dogs tend to sleep an hour or two more than other breeds every day. That’s just how they’ve been bred and how they’ve evolved. The reason for this sleepiness is that hunting breeds need to conserve their energy for the hunt. In contrast, a shepherd or a guard dog breed needs to be active for longer hours during the day but at lower energy levels. So, are dachshunds lazy? No, they are just expert hunters!
- They are still young. This is standard for all dog breeds. Puppies – typically up until their 6th month of age – just sleep more than adult dogs. It’s the same with humans and with all other mammals when you think about it.
- They are getting old. The opposite is also true – as the dogs get older, they need more rest. This is also pretty standard for all dogs and mammals. What’s different about dachshunds, however, is that they live longer than most other breeds and, so, they are senior dogs for longer. The average lifespan of a healthy dachshund is 12 to 16 years (up to 20 if you take good care of it) but they technically move from “adults” into “seniors” when they are 6-years-old. So, they can literally spend up to 14 years of their life as seniors.
- They feel calm. All dogs tend to be sleepier when they are calm and satisfied with their environment. If your dog is sleeping less than usual, that’s typically an indication of stress.
- They are bored. This is also a big reason why indoor dogs tend to sleep longer than outdoorsy breeds. If you work away from home and/or you don’t interact with your pooch too much, chances are the separation anxiety is going to kick in. That’s usually followed by stuff such as boredom, and even depression and lethargy.
- They don’t get enough exercise. Low energy levels are also common in indoor breeds as they don’t get all that exercise. That’s not always a problem as a dachshund just doesn’t need (and can’t handle) as much exercise as a Labrador retriever. So, they are naturally calmer and sleepier. Still, it is important to give your dog enough exercise. If your Doxie is sleeping way too much, chances are that its muscle tonus isn’t good enough.
- Their food is not of high enough quality. Premium dog food can be expensive, that’s an understandable problem for a lot of people. But, it’s still important if you want your dog to stay healthy and happy. If you’ve been feeding your dog will low-quality food, partial malnutrition, and lack of energy can very easily lead to sleepiness – that’s the mildest problem that stems from the dog’s diet.
- They have health problems. Doxies can have some nasty health issues as well as some very standard ones. Obesity is the simplest problem that can lower your dog’s energy levels with some of the biggest problems going as far as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
What Do The Dachshund Sleeping Habits Tell Us About Their Health?
Excessive sleepiness can indicate a health problem, malnutrition, or something psychological such as boredom or depression. In dachshunds, the most common cause of worry is that your dog may have developed some back problems. This will naturally lead to your dog trying to lie down and rest more often as moving causes pain.
Additionally, if your dachshund does have back problems, you may also notice a different sleeping posture. While dachshunds usually like sleeping on their back or curled up, a Doxie with back pain may just prefer sleeping straight on the side.
Other common symptoms of health problems can be heavy breathing, lying with its eyes open, and so on. In either case, if your dachshund isn’t just sleeping more than usual but is also displaying any behavioral change, you should get in touch with your vet immediately.
In Conclusion, How Much Do Dachshunds Sleep and Why?
Dachshunds do sleep a bit more than other dog breeds. This isn’t because they are small or lazy, however, but is because they are a hound breed – all (former) hunting or working dogs sleep a bit more, that’s their nature. Additionally, as more of an indoor breed that doesn’t get too much outdoor exercise, dachshunds usually have lower energy levels throughout the day which can also lead to sleepiness.
Of course, some health problems or advanced age can also lead to your dog sleeping more than usual. That’s standard for any dog breed, however, so you should just call your vet if you suspect a health issue.
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