Sleep is a vital part of life for dogs and people alike. The body simply can’t function optimally without adequate sleep. But for a toy breed like the Pug, how much is too much?
Many Pug owners find themselves worrying that their dog spends way too much time in dreamland and not enough time playing and socializing. Do Pugs sleep more than other dogs? What is considered normal and at what point should you be concerned?
Why does my Pug sleep so much? Sleeping between 10 – 14 hours a day is completely normal behavior for a Pug. Sleeping for more than 14 hours per day may be caused by boredom, insufficient exercise, obesity, low-quality diet, the owner’s habits, or illness but can be corrected easily.
Knowing how much sleep is normal for a Pug may put your mind at ease. But if your Pug has an unusual affinity for sleep and is dozing his life away, some changes are called for.
Let’s take a look at the most common causes for excessive naps and easy solutions to get your dog up and moving around.
How Many Hours of Sleep Are Normal for a Pug?
While it’s perfectly normal for a young, growing puppy to sleep up to 20 hours a day, an adult Pug will usually sleep 10 -14 hours per day. The norm for most breeds is 10 -12 hours, so a Pug typically sleeps just a bit more than the average dog.
Depending on your sleeping habits, the majority of these hours will be during the night while you too are sleeping. So, if you average 9 hours of sleep each night, chances are that your Pug does too.
Nine hours or so of nocturnal sleep mean that for the majority of the next day, your Pug should be awake and active, only catching a few naps here and there. Some owners find that this is indeed the case.
Other owners report that their Pug routinely sleeps for hours on end during the day after they’ve had a long night’s sleep. Is that normal?
Well, while it might be a normal routine for Pugs who are under-stimulated, it’s not necessarily normal Pug behavior and may indicate an underlying issue and could lead to future problems such as obesity.
Possible Reasons Why Your Pug Is Sleeping So Much
If your Pug’s total daylight naps are adding up to more than 5 hours a day, it’s time to take an honest look at the cause.
You may not want to hear this, but the problem often lies with the owner. Try to swallow your pride (gulp), admit you might be to blame and let’s get to work to resolve the issue.
This is the number one cause of snoozing away the daylight hours. Your poor Pug simply has nothing better to do.
Picture the following for a moment. You’re left without any distractions in a warm, comfortable room. No cell phone, computer, books, or TV. Nothing to engage you or hold your interest. What’s likely going to happen? You guessed it. Sooner or later, you’ll grow bored with your thoughts, settle down on the couch, and drift off.
The same thing happens to Pugs frequently. When they are left with nothing better to do, sleep is the only appealing option.
Granted, many dog owners must head off to work for the majority of the day, leaving their four-legged buddy home alone without much to keep him alert and occupied (and awake).
It’s not the worst thing in the world if your Pug sleeps away these lonely hours as long as interesting activities are provided before you leave for the day and when you return home. In fact, sleeping when he’s home alone might be a good thing because he’s not missing you or making his displeasure known by being naughty if he’s fast asleep.
Boredom is a very common problem, but there are plenty of ways to provide your Pug with some stimulating activities, even when you’re not home.
Here are a few ideas to encourage your Pug to stay awake more than usual when you’re not around.
- Treat-dispensing ball toy – As your dog rolls, chews, and pounces on the ball, several treats are released to encourage more play time.
- Interactive fitness robot – With this toy, you can schedule interactive play at certain times throughout the day right from your phone.
- Enlist help – Arrange for a friend or family member to drop by once or twice per day to take your little sleepyhead out for a short walk. No friends available? Try booking a professional dog walker on sites such as Rover or Wag.
- Doggy daycare – Chances are that there is at least one privately run daycare for dogs near you. If not, consider hiring a pet sitter to come by daily and spend a few hours interacting with your dog.
Cause: Too Little Exercise
Habits form easily. A Pug who isn’t encouraged to play and romp around the backyard or isn’t taken for daily walks can easily settle into a couch potato lifestyle. It takes motivation and encouragement to get you up and moving, right? The same is true for your Pug.
Opening the door and telling your Pug to go play isn’t going to cut it. Head out there with him and engage him in some fun activities.
Although a lot of Pugs aren’t too keen on fetch, there are plenty of games like hide-and-seek or popping bubbles that will get your pup moving. Get creative to hold his interest and make exercise fun.
Keeping in mind that Pugs are a brachycephalic breed (like French Bulldogs) and shouldn’t overexert themselves, try going on a short hike with your Pug.
At the very least, establish the habit of going for a couple of short walks each day. Head out in a different direction every so often to keep things interesting.
Pugs are a breed particularly prone to obesity. Once a dog is overweight, it’s difficult for them to get up and be active, so they tend to become more and more sedentary as the pounds steadily increase.
Guess what inactive pugs spend their time doing. Sleeping – which only makes the issue of obesity worse.
Visit your veterinarian to ensure your pug has a clean bill of health and isn’t suffering from a physical condition, like hypothyroidism, which contributes to weight gain. Your vet can recommend an appropriate diet plan and exercise regimen to help your Pug shed some pounds and regain mobility.
Cause: Poor Diet
Low-quality dog food, excessive treats, and lots of “people food” are a recipe for disaster and can lead to an overweight, unmotivated, lazy Pug. If your Pug is filling up on junk, he may not be getting enough required nutrients to keep him active and energetic. The result? A constantly tired, lethargic Pug. Not good.
Feed the highest quality kibble that you can afford so that your Pug will receive the necessary nutrients that he needs to convert food into energy and get off of that couch.
A small treat now and then is fine, but don’t overdo it. Make sure that each bite of food he eats is nutrient-rich, not loaded with unneeded fat, sugar, and calories.
Cause: Mimicking Behavior
Pugs love to be with you at all times and the phrase “monkey see, monkey do” fits them perfectly. If you spend hours at a time relaxing in the family room, your Pug is likely to be right by your side relaxing too (i.e. snoozing).
If your Pug is going to mimic your behavior, and he will, set a good example by moving around frequently throughout the day. Every time you get up, spend a few minutes interacting with him so that he’ll associate being awake with getting attention, something every Pug adores.
Cause: Illness or Injury
As is the case with you or me, if a dog’s body is fighting off a sickness or recovering from an injury, he’ll be more tired than usual as the body needs more rest to combat the problem and restore wellness.
If you suspect that your Pug may not be feeling well, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Your vet can run tests to diagnose the problem and get your Pug started on the road to recovery.
In the meantime, it’s okay to let a sick Pug get some much-needed rest, so let him sleep.
In a Nutshell
More than likely, your Pug’s sleeping habits aren’t cause for major alarm, especially if he’s been given a clean bill of health and isn’t obese. Just make sure that he’s getting enough daily exercise, has stimulating toys and activities and eats a healthy diet.