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Your dog’s sleep needs at different life stages

Humans sleep differently at different stages in their lives and it’s the same for dogs. Here we take a look at how your dog’s sleep needs change as they get older.

Puppy sleep

If you have children, you’ll know that their sleep is quite erratic whilst they’re still babies and even into toddlerhood. And it’s the same for puppies. It’s quite normal for a puppy up to around nine months of age to have a disturbed night’s sleep.

When you first bring a puppy home, they might wake frequently because they may not be used to being separated from their mother and siblings. Be prepared for unsettled nights when they may seek your reassurance. During the night your puppy may be processing what they have learnt during the day, which can affect their sleep.

To help your puppy settle in, make sure they have a comfortable bed and line it with newspaper and a blanket over the top in case they have any accidents in the night.

Adult dog sleep

Beyond nine months of age, your dog will start to develop a more ‘normal’ sleep pattern and will sleep for longer periods at night. If your dog still has disturbed sleeping beyond around two years of age, you might need to investigate what is affecting their sleep whether it’s an environmental issue or a medical condition that’s making them uncomfortable at night.

To help notice any sleep disturbances, you can track their sleep score using Animo, our activity tracker and behaviour monitor for dogs. Animo allows you to view your dog’s sleep score for each night, helping you to identify any changes in their sleeping pattern over time.

Senior dog sleep

When your dog becomes senior at around seven years of age, their sleep patterns may revert to how they used to be when they were a puppy, but for different reasons. Senior dogs are more likely to suffer from medical conditions or joint problems that may cause them to wake frequently at night. If your dog is given medication to manage their condition, Animo can help to determine if the medication is working because once you start giving them treatment, you can check their sleep score in the app to see if the score improves.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s sleep, speak to your vet for advice. Your dog may have a condition that you haven’t picked up on.

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