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How much should a dog sleep?

Species: Dog
Breed: Cairn
Age: 8-11 years
I am curious to know how much sleep is normal for an older dog. He is a small breed and just turned 10 years old. He is still as spunky as ever when awake but seems to be sleeping more than he used to. How many hours is normal?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I don't know that anyone knows the answer to this question!

I have seen many dogs that will sleep more as they get older. Many dogs will sleep more soundly as well. This is often because their hearing gets worse as they get older and as such they are not woken up by things that used to be able to wake them up.

As long as your dog is eating a normal amount, drinking a normal amount, not losing weight and seems bright and alert when he is awake then I would not be too worried.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.