Do dogs sleep when they don’t feel well?


As beloved members of our families, dogs rely on us for their well-being and happiness. It is not uncommon to notice changes in behavior or signs of discomfort when our furry companions are not feeling their best. But have you ever wondered if dogs, like humans, sleep more when they are unwell? In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of canine health and sleeping patterns to understand whether dogs tend to sleep more or differently when they don’t feel well. So, if you are a pet parent curious about deciphering your dog’s behavior when they are under the weather, read on to explore the various factors that can affect a dog’s sleep and how they may signal their discomfort.

Lead to the rest of the article sections:

To unravel the mystery of dogs’ sleeping habits when they are unwell, we will explore different aspects related to their health and sleep patterns. In the following sections, we will discuss common signs that indicate a dog might not be feeling well, such as changes in sleep duration and positions, loss of appetite, or lethargy. Additionally, we will examine the connection between various health issues and sleep, including pain, illness, anxiety, and medication side effects. We will also provide insights into how you can help your dog when they are unwell, such as creating a comfortable sleeping environment, seeking veterinary advice, and practicing proper caregiving. By the end of this article, you will have gained a comprehensive understanding of how and why dogs sleep when they don’t feel well, enabling you to better respond to your dog’s needs during such times.


Do Dogs Sleep When They Don’t Feel Well?

When dogs are not feeling well, do they tend to sleep more? This question often arises when pet owners notice changes in their dog’s sleeping patterns.

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As pet owners, it is important for us to understand the behavior of our furry friends. Dogs, just like humans, tend to sleep more when they are not feeling their best. It is their way of conserving energy and allowing their bodies to heal.

In times of illness or discomfort, dogs may experience a lack of appetite, lethargy, or other symptoms. During these moments, they may find solace in sleeping as a means of escape or distraction. Moreover, sleep can promote overall relaxation and facilitate the healing process.

However, it is crucial to note that excessive sleep or changes in sleeping patterns should not be taken lightly. If you observe abnormal behaviors or significant shifts in your dog’s sleeping habits, it is advisable to seek veterinary advice. A professional can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your dog’s discomfort and suggest appropriate treatment options.

In the next section, we will delve deeper into the various reasons why dogs may sleep more when they are unwell, including common ailments and the importance of rest in their recovery process.

Do dogs sleep when they don’t feel well?

Dogs sleep for various reasons, including relaxation, boredom, and heat regulation. But what about when they are not feeling well? Just like humans, dogs also tend to sleep more when they are not feeling well. It is their body’s way of conserving energy and focusing on the healing process.

In fact, sleep is a crucial part of a dog’s overall health and well-being. When a dog is sick or injured, their immune system is activated to fight off the illness or heal the injury. During this time, their body needs extra rest to aid in the recovery process, and sleep plays a vital role in that.

Sleep is known to support various functions that are essential for a dog’s recovery, such as tissue repair, cell regeneration, and hormone production. It helps strengthen their immune system and reduces inflammation, resulting in a faster healing process.

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When a dog is not feeling well, they may also experience discomfort and pain. Sleep can provide relief from pain and discomfort as it allows the body to relax and release natural pain-relieving hormones. Additionally, sleeping helps dogs distract themselves from their discomfort and aids in reducing stress and anxiety.

Dogs may exhibit different sleeping patterns when they are unwell. Some may sleep longer hours than usual, while others may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. These changes in sleep patterns are normal and can vary depending on the type and severity of the illness or injury.

It is important for dog owners to monitor their pet’s sleep habits when they are unwell. If you notice any drastic changes in their sleeping patterns, such as excessive sleepiness or persistent insomnia, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian. It could be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs attention.

To assist your dog in getting proper rest when they are unwell, create a comfortable and quiet sleeping area for them. Ensure the room is well-ventilated, at a comfortable temperature, and free from any disturbances or loud noises. Providing a cozy bed or a soft blanket can also help enhance their sleep quality.

In conclusion, dogs do sleep when they don’t feel well. Sleep is a vital part of their recovery process, aiding in the healing of their body and mind. Monitoring their sleep patterns and seeking veterinary advice when necessary is crucial for ensuring their well-being during times of illness or injury.


A survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association found that 47% of dog owners reported their pets sleeping more when they were sick or not feeling well.

FAQs about Do Dogs Sleep When They Don’t Feel Well?

1. Do dogs sleep more when they are not feeling well?

Yes, dogs often sleep more when they are not feeling well. Rest is a natural way for their bodies to heal and recover.

2. How can I tell if my dog is sleeping more because they are unwell?

If your dog is sleeping excessively, seems lethargic, or shows a decrease in appetite or activity level, it could be a sign that they are not feeling well.

3. Should I wake my dog up if they are sleeping a lot?

No, it is generally best to let your dog sleep when they need it. Interrupting their sleep may impede the healing process.

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4. Can dogs sleep too much when they are sick?

While dogs may sleep more when they are sick, there can be instances where excessive sleep could be a sign of a more serious condition. Always consult with a veterinarian if you are concerned.

5. Should I provide a specific sleeping area for my sick dog?

It is important to provide a comfortable and quiet sleeping area for your sick dog. This will allow them to rest undisturbed and promote their recovery.

6. Will my dog’s sleep pattern return to normal once they recover?

In most cases, a dog’s sleep pattern should return to normal once they recover from their illness. However, certain conditions may require longer rest periods or special accommodations.

7. Are certain dog breeds more prone to sleeping when unwell?

There is no specific breed that is more prone to sleeping when unwell. It is more of an individual dog’s response to illness and the need for rest.

8. Can pain or discomfort cause my dog to have trouble sleeping?

Yes, if a dog is experiencing pain or discomfort, it can make it difficult for them to get proper sleep. Providing pain relief and addressing any underlying issues can help improve their sleep quality.

9. Is it normal for my dog to sleep more as they age?

Yes, it is normal for dogs to sleep more as they age. Older dogs often have a slower metabolism and require more rest to maintain their energy levels.

10. Should I be concerned if my dog suddenly starts sleeping more?

If your dog suddenly starts sleeping more and there are no obvious reasons such as illness or age, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues.


In conclusion, dogs do tend to sleep when they don’t feel well, and this behavior is an innate instinct to aid in their recovery process. It is important for dog owners to be observant of their pet’s sleeping patterns as it can be a significant indicator of their health condition. Dogs may sleep more or less than usual when they are unwell, depending on the specific illness or discomfort they are experiencing.

Furthermore, the quality of sleep can also change when dogs are not feeling well. They may exhibit signs of restlessness, difficulty falling asleep, or frequent waking during the night. These sleep disturbances can indicate pain or discomfort, and it is crucial for dog owners to monitor and address these issues promptly to ensure their pet’s well-being.

It is worth noting that while sleep can be a symptom of illness, it should not be solely relied upon as a diagnostic tool. Other signs such as changes in appetite, energy levels, bathroom habits, or unusual behaviors should also be considered in determining a dog’s overall health. Consulting with a veterinarian is advisable to accurately identify the underlying cause of a dog’s sleeping patterns and provide appropriate care and treatment.