The Covid Pandemic has brought a lot of changes to our lives and the lives of our pets. With many of us working from home, we brought the bustle of a busy day into our space. This brought about a huge change for our dogs and their sleep schedule. Dogs, sleep, and covid are important topics of discussion regarding the shift to a work-from-home norm. Sleep is crucial for all living things, including our dogs. We explore how sleep is essential to dogs and ways to help your dog sleep while you work from home.
How much sleep do dogs need?
Most adult dogs need 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day. Puppies need about 15 to 20 hours a day. That’s a lot of sleep!
We’re not talking about napping or relaxing. We’re talking about proper deep sleep. It was easy for most dogs to get all the rest they needed when the house was empty of humans during the day. They can get approximately 6 to 8 hours every night while you sleep, and then they could nap during the day to make up the balance.
But that’s not how our world is right now. Our homes have become our offices and our classrooms. Everyone’s home. All. The. Time. While our pups can still get some shut-eye overnight while everyone else is sleeping, they no longer get their naps in during the day. The home is busy with noise, meetings, lessons, and people just doing people things. Some dogs will be able to manage; some may not.
Lack of sleep and its effects
The side effects of disrupted sleep can include general grumpiness and snarkiness. A lack of sleep can also result in a lack of concentration in learning or training. The overall inability to tolerate changes in their space and their day can also result from not enough sleep.
Here are some ways to help your dog get some more sleep.
Create their own space
The best way to help your dog get some restful sleep is to create their own space to rest. If you have a crate that your dog likes to sleep in or is comfortable with, make sure it is available for them to use at any time during the day. If your dog has out-grown their crate or no longer uses one, then it is recommended that you dedicate a space just for your pup. This will create a divide from the hustle and bustle of humans at home.
A separate space can be created by placing their bed in a different room (even a bathroom could work) or on another floor. They need an area where they aren’t constantly being woken up or tempted to follow you. Their space can include their crate, bed, toys and their bones so they can feel comfortable.
Keep in mind; it might take some time for them to settle in the new location.
Let them sleep
A sleep-deprived dog needs downtime more than they need exercise. If your dog doesn’t get up at the same time you do in the morning, let them sleep until they get up on their own. If it’s time for a walk, and you see they are sound asleep, let them sleep. Having a good rest is crucial to their health and will result in a better-behaved dog.
Build a routine
Have a schedule to maintain consistency. This will provide your dog with some stability and predictability. They will know when it’s walk time and when it’s nap time. Spending some energy and then recharging is always a good thing and even better when your dog can get in the habit of doing so.
Settling activities are great to wind your dog down and get them relaxed. Some activities can excite your dog. These excitable activities include walks, runs, playing tug, etc. There are many things you can do to help your dog settle and relax post activity.
A gentle grooming session or a canine massage can help your dog relax. A Lickimat can also help calm their excitement by focusing their attention on the mat. Any activity that’s great at getting a dog to settle and relax is a good one before bed.
A common misconception is that a tired dog is a good dog. That is only true to an extent. An overtired or chronically fatigued dog is less able to cope with stress, just like humans. As dogs become increasingly tired, you will see their grumpiness escalate into a growling, air snapping or even biting. This is a situation that can easily be avoided by letting your dog rest when they need to.
Managing nap times, creating a routine, and creating a space conducive for napping is an easy and essential step for ensuring your dog gets the right amount of sleep daily. Keeping our canine friends happy and healthy while working from home is important as responsible pet owners. Little things like rest can affect so much.
If you have any questions about how to crate train or create a safe place for your pet to sleep in, please contact us.