In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Why does my Chihuahua sleep so much? We will discuss the main reasons why a Chihuahua sleeps so much and tell you what to do in each case.
Why does my Chihuahua sleep so much?
When a Chihuahua sleeps too much or presents a different sleep routine, it is quite possible that there are psychological, physical, or health reasons.
We usually think of illness as the cause of this sudden change in behavior or routine. But there are several other possible reasons for this sudden change in habit. The problem can range from stress to more serious problems.
The reasons your dog sleeps all the time may be due to the following:
- Dog Breed
- Stress and anxiety
- Activity level
- Thyroxine deficiency
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Another disease
Dogs can sleep more than 12 hours per day, typically 12-14 hours of sleep per day. Large breeds of dogs, older dogs, and puppies need more sleep, and puppies can sleep up to 20 hours a day, without this being a problem. In short, dogs generally sleep more when they are puppies and when they are old.
A dog’s breed determines its size, activities, and also how quickly it ages. All of these factors can affect how long your dog sleeps. For example, a smaller breed of dogs such as Chihuahuas usually takes longer to reach old age and requires less sleep.
Greyhounds, Bullmastiff, Saint Bernard, Bassett, and Newfoundland are otherwise widely known as “lazy dogs” due to their habit of sleeping all the time. This allows them to spend up to 18 hours a day sleeping.
Dogs who suffer from psychological problems, such as anxiety, stress, and boredom, sleep a lot more than normal. If your dog is stressed or anxious, he may indeed become lethargic and doze off often.
Helping your dog by giving him a routine with activities can stimulate and improve his mental and physical condition. CBD can also ease your pet’s anxiety. This hemp extract has indeed calming and soothing benefits. CBD will naturally relax your pet and help relieve stress.
How long should a Chihuahua sleep normally?
A Chihuahua sleeps about 12 to 14 hours a day. But beware: this is only an average. Older dogs, puppies, small dogs, and large breeds all have different needs. Each dog is unique. The number of hours of sleep your dog needs is specific to him, his general health but also his character, his lifestyle, and his diet.
It is therefore important to observe your dog as an individual before assuming that he is getting too much or not enough sleep.
Here are some general indications:
How long should a puppy sleep?
Puppies are full of energy. They love to play, discover the world, jump, run … All of these activities tire them enormously and it is normal that they need to sleep longer.
In addition, sleep is essential to help their central nervous system, their immune system, and their muscles to develop properly.
Thus a puppy may need 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day. Many puppies will sleep throughout the day.
It is therefore essential to encourage your dog to nap in a fixed, calm and comfortable place so that he can establish a routine and try to prevent children or other animals from disturbing him.
Very young puppies may also need help establishing a regular bedtime. Turn off all lights and noises such as the television at the same time every night to convince your pet to go to bed when you do.
How long should an elderly dog sleep?
Older dogs need more sleep than puppies. Note that senior dog status depends on the breed of dog and the length of life of the dog. Bigger dogs, for example, have a shorter lifespan. But no matter their race, they all have one thing in common: the older they get, the more sleep they need.
Just like older people need more sleep, an older dog sleeps a lot compared to a middle-aged dog. At most, an older dog can sleep up to 18 to 20 hours a day, at least 14 to 15 hours a day.
Why you should pay more attention to your dog’s sleeping habits
Since they are all unique, there are no official guidelines for how many hours a dog should sleep. It is therefore essential to observe your dog’s regular sleep patterns to know if he is doing well.
If you notice sudden changes in how long your dog sleeps, it may be time to call a veterinarian. Use your dog as your own baseline and look for changes. For example, if your dog is still following you around the house and suddenly stops doing so, take note.
Likewise, if your dog is generally happy to play with you and that enthusiasm is gone, pay attention. Of course, these changes can be isolated. But if many isolated changes are happening at the same time, then it may be a good idea to see a vet.
Your Chihuahua may sleep so much because it lacks activity
Dogs who have tasks to hold and stimulate their attention will spend most of the day doing these tasks. In other words, the more your dog is stimulated by games or walks, the less sleep he will get throughout the day. And the busier your dog is, the better their sleep will be.
Your Chihuahua may sleep so much because it suffers from thyroxine deficiency
This is also called hypothyroidism. The under-secretion of thyroxine reduces chemical processes that take place in the cells of the body, especially those related to metabolism. As a result, a dog with iodine deficiency will not look great.
Older dogs are more prone to hypothyroidism, but in rare cases, this deficiency can also be found in young dogs.
Your Chihuahua may sleep so much because it has diabetes
The inability of the body to produce enough insulin for the body can drastically affect the dog due to the risk of hyperglycemia. On the other hand, a dog that suffers from diabetes will sleep more.
Your Chihuahua may sleep so much because of a poor diet
Nutrition can also play an important role in your dog’s overall sleep. If he is not receiving adequate nutrition, his body may not have enough energy to stay awake.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian to see if your dog is receiving the proper nutrition.
Your Chihuahua may sleep so much because of a bacterial or viral infection
Certain bacterial infections can increase your dog’s sleep time.
This is the case, for example, with leptospirosis, an infection caused by highly contagious bacteria. Dogs can get leptospirosis through direct contact with the urine of other dogs or rodents. It can also be easily transmitted by water, soil, etc. Leptospirosis, however, is more common in hot climates.
Many viral infections also interfere with the length of sleep in dogs, which will then sleep longer. Among them, we can mention:
Parvovirus: It is a highly contagious viral disease that occurs mainly in puppies before adolescence – between six weeks and six months. It is caused by Parvoviridae, which affects the ability to absorb nutrients.
An affected animal will easily become dehydrated and weakened by the lack of absorption of proteins, fluids, and nutrients essential to the dog’s body. The best way to eliminate this deadly infection is to vaccinate puppies early.
Infectious tracheobronchitis: It is also called kennel cough. It is a very contagious respiratory disease that is airborne. It is treatable in most dogs but can be more serious in puppies under six months old. Like parvovirus, it can be prevented by early vaccination.
Your Chihuahua may sleep so much because of anemia
Anemia is a medical condition that shows a reduction in red blood cells. This decrease may be due to the presence of blood-sucking parasites in the dog’s body such as:
Roundworms: Transmitted to a puppy through a mother’s womb and also when milk is given to her puppies. These worms are easily detected in dog stools.
Hookworms: They can be dangerous for a dog because they stick to the intestines and suck blood. Hookworms can also be transferred from mother to puppy. But dogs can also get them from infested soil.
Whipworms: These are intestinal parasites that cause severe irritation to the lining of the colon. They are usually not seen in the dog’s stool.
Tapeworms: These are usually transmitted to dogs when they ingest fleas. They are usually easy to identify and can be seen in the dog’s stool.
Your Chihuahua may sleep so much because of an illness
Cancer, osteoarthritis, etc. There are many diseases that cause lethargy in dogs. By attacking your pet’s body, your pet will naturally get tired and will need more sleep.
If you suspect illness, check your dog for other symptoms. Sleeping all the time is usually accompanied by other signs of illness. If you think your dog is sick, see your veterinarian so they can prescribe the correct treatment.
My Chihuahua sleeps too much: when should I consult a veterinarian?
Write down your dog’s sleep patterns, and pay special attention to him if they suddenly change. If it’s only a day or two, your dog is probably not in serious pain. But if your dog’s sleeping behavior changes for more than a few days and is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with the vet.
If, for example, your dog sleeps very little and suddenly he sleeps all the time, there is a good chance that something is wrong. A change in sleep patterns accompanied by the following symptoms could also indicate that something is wrong:
- Doing its needs in the house
- Loss of appetite
- Don’t play as much as usual
- Drinks a lot more water
Since these symptoms can be attributed to a multitude of different illnesses, only a veterinarian can tell you what is specifically causing a change in your dog’s sleep patterns.
If you think something is wrong with your pet, it is always best to get a vet to check it up!
If you want to share your experience and how much your Chihuahua sleeps, you are more than welcomed to leave a comment.
FAQ on Why does my Chihuahua sleep so much?
What does it mean when your Chihuahuas sleeps a lot?
When your Chihuahua Sleeps a lot it means that he is generally very active during the day and needs to rest. A healthy Chihuahua can sleep between 13 to 18 hours each day, including naps.
Does your Chihuahua sleep with you?
Many Chihuahuas sleep with their owners, even adjust to your sleeping schedule. You can train your dog to sleep in his bed, or with you in the same bed!
Why do Chihuahuas bite their owners?
Chihuahuas bite their owners either as a defense mechanism or because they have not been properly educated and believe that to receive something, they have to attack.
Why is my Chihuahua so aggressive?
The most common reason why your Chihuahua is so aggressive is fear. Chihuahuas become aggressive when they face an unknown situation or an unknown person. They are small but need to show that they can defend themselves.