National Dog Day is celebrated in the US on 26 August each year. To share the love, we’re celebrating it in the UK too, by ensuring the four-legged members of your family are getting the perfect start to each day – with the right balance of sleep and exercise.
how much sleep?
Many factors – such as breed, age, sex and environment – can affect how long your dog sleeps each day. So how do you know if your dog is getting enough sleep? The average adult dog needs an average of 14 hours’ sleep per day, with puppies sleeping 18 hours a day or more.
It’s not simply a case of ‘smaller dogs sleep more than bigger ones’. Although small dogs like Pugs and Yorkies tend to sleep more than many breeds, large dogs such as Newfoundlands and Mastiffs need lots of sleep too.
the nap factor
And what about sleep pattern? Well, dogs don’t settle down for one long sleep each night like most of their human owners/parents. It’s actually typical for a dog not to have a regular sleep pattern and instead have a number of naps throughout each 24-hour period.
So if your dog is sleeping at least half the day, they should be up and running about the rest of the time? Well, no. Dogs are only active around 20% of each day.
Again, factors such as breed and age play a big part in how much exercise your dog should get each day. And, again, it’s not as simple as ‘big dogs need more exercise than small dogs’. Terriers love sniffing and digging, while Retrievers usually enjoy games of fetch.
every single day
What’s important is for your dog to be getting exercise every day, no matter what breed or age. It’s the length of time and how strenuous the exercise that should be altered for each dog, not the frequency.
When walking or jogging with your dog, keep an eye on how they are coping. If they sway or pant heavily, it may be that you are pushing them beyond their limits. Slow down and try taking it at a slower pace. If you can, give your dog off-the-lead exercise every day so they can choose their own pace.
If you’re worried about how much or little your dog is sleeping or if you notice any sudden or significant changes in your dog’s sleep or exercise behaviour, please seek the advice of a vet.
If you decide to treat your dog to snacks for National Dog Day, remember to reduce the amount of normal food they get to compensate for the extra calories!
We sat down and shook paws with loveable little pug Suki, of Suki in the city, to chew over doggy dreams, cat-naps and why it’s so important to have an outfit ready for the perfect start.