Just as with humans, sleep is a vital part of your dog’s health, which can have a knock-on effect across all areas of health. Sleep deprivation can be caused due to a number of different issues, so it’s important to ensure your dog gets enough sleep each night by creating the right conditions.
Understanding the importance of why your dog gets plenty of sleep will inspire most dog owners to take the necessary steps to ensure this.
Below are the main health concerns that come about due to sleep deprivation in dogs:
Humans aren’t the only living beings susceptible to mood disorders. All of our pets can also suffer from frequent bad moods. A lack of sleep is believed to be one of the primary aggravating factors of mood disorders, creating irritability and lethargy. Studies on both rats and humans have proved that sleep deprivation has a detrimental effect on mood.
Dogs living with mood disorders can also suddenly become aggressive, particularly when meeting other dogs outdoors.
One of the main functions of sleep is to help consolidate memories, so it’s no surprise that a lack of sleep leads to a significant diminution in memory retention. This has been extensively studied and is almost certainly true with dogs, too.
Without retaining important memories, dogs are less likely to learn new information and may struggle to obey basic commands. With dogs unable to perform simple daily tasks, it can also lead to impaired cognitive function. Many dog owners that have invested the time to train their dogs can find it was all for nothing.
Compromised Immune System
Having a healthy immune system is particularly important for dogs, given how they’ll put anything in their mouths and roll around in the mud. Dogs are susceptible to many diseases that can strike out of nowhere, so it’s vital to maintain their immune system.
Along with a healthy diet and plenty of exercises, sleep quality is one of the most important factors when it comes to strengthening the immune system. Dogs suffering from sleep deprivation will have a drastically weakened immune system, leaving them open to dangerous diseases, like Lyme disease and leptospirosis.
Dogs require a lot more rest each day than humans, partly because of their extremely high energy levels when they’re up and active. Dogs that seem unusually lethargic can be experiencing sleep deprivation, although lethargy can be a symptom of a variety of other problems.
Most adult dogs require around 16-20 hours of rest per day; rest entails a combination of sleeping and dozing off.
Dogs suffering from chronic tiredness will find it difficult to exercise enough each day, which will only end up exacerbating health problems.
One of the most common problems dogs experience due to a lack of sleep is narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a chronic health condition that causes dogs (and many others, including humans) to suddenly fall asleep.
Many owners will attest to their dog suddenly falling asleep, especially after a period of intense exercise. To prevent this problem from becoming permanent, dog owners must ensure their dog gets enough to sleep each night.
Sleep is a crucial part of our bodies healing themselves, which is exactly the same with dogs. Given how physically active dogs can be each day, they need their sleep recovery period even more than us.
Without receiving enough sleep each night, dogs are at an increased risk of developing certain physical problems, including muscle weakness and arthritis.
Reduced Life Span
With all the compound health issues related to sleep deprivation, dogs that go through life not sleeping enough will have a significantly shorter life span compared to a healthy dog.
Dogs that can’t physically heal and aren’t able to exercise energetically will not be in optimal physical condition, increasing their risk of developing health problems later in life.
Lethargic dogs won’t have much energy to be active each day, increasing their risk of being overweight. Dogs that are overweight can suffer from all manner of health disorder, including high blood pressure and arthritis.
With enough sleep each night, dogs are full of energy and vitality, which will help stave off obesity.
There are many health concerns abound when your dog isn’t getting enough sleep. This is why dog owners need to take every possible precaution to ensure their dog gets plenty of quality sleep, including a comfortable sleeping environment and enough daily exercise.
Don’t forget to visit a vet on a regular basis, and also feed your dog with the highest quality dog food so it gets all the necessary nutrients.