Does it seem like your rescue dog is sleeping too much? Normally, healthy adult dogs sleep about 13 hours per day. In fact, they may spend about half of their life sleeping. Still, your new dog should be relatively active when you are. So why might he or she be sleeping too much, and what should you do about it?

Normal Adjustment

Dogs don’t sleep all at once at night. Instead, they nap for a few hours every day during both day and night. If it seems like your dog is sleeping a lot, it may simply be that you are catching him or her when they are napping. They may be more awake when you’re sleeping, when you’re at work, or when you’re otherwise occupied.

For a new rescue dog, this is pretty normal. In the shelter and in their former life, they may have had a routine that is very different from the routine you like to keep. Maybe they were often walked at the shelter when you’re at work. Or, maybe their former owner worked nights. Whatever their former schedule was, your rescue dog will slowly adjust to your schedule.

It may also be possible that your dog is having trouble adjusting to the sleeping conditions you’ve offered them. Prepare a bed, but also give them access to a hard surface like a hardwood floor, and furniture to snuggle beneath, like a coffee table. Some dogs prefer harder surfaces, and most like to be enclosed in a den-like area with a roof.

Fear and Anxiety

Unfortunately, if your rescue pup doesn’t quickly kick their poor sleep schedule, or genuinely seems like he is always sleeping for more than 13 hours per day, fear and anxiety could be the reason. Rescues dogs that were abused or raised in poor environments may have developed fear and anxiety problems that prevent proper sleep.

If your dog is anxious and has trouble sleeping, they may be spending a lot of time lying down, trying to catch up on their missed sleep. Other dogs may have been abused at night or may have other triggers that are preventing their sleep at certain times, so they are trying to catch up at other times. A good dog trainer should be able to help you identify what’s causing fear and anxiety in your dog and teach you how to calm them so they can sleep.

Senior Dog Lifestyle

Is this your first time adopting a senior rescue dog? If so, you may be surprised at how much more an older dog may sleep. Sleeping an hour or so more than a younger dog is common for older dogs, and not necessarily a sign of health problems. As with humans, the older a dog is the lighter their sleep and the more time they need to spend resting to feel rejuvenated.

Health Problems

If your rescue dog is still sleeping too much, even after an adjustment period, it’s a wise idea to get them checked out by a vet. Sleeping too much can be a sign of several dog health issues, but it’s impossible to know if your dog is suffering from one without getting a check-up.