Dogs and cats need to sleep more than people | Dogalize
Dogs and cats need to sleep more than people. Why? Veterinarian Judy Morgan explains:
“Dogs sleep more hours than people because they generally don’t sleep as deeply. They are a little more on ‘alert’ when sleeping because they have to guard the pack, the den, the food. This has changed since they have been domesticated, but they still sleep more than we do.”
Cats also sleep more than we do.
“Cats generally sleep a lot, even in the wild — 16 to 20 hours a day,” Morgan said. “They expend a lot of energy in short bursts stalking and hunting prey, eat a high protein meal, then sleep.”
But can dogs and cats have bad night’s sleep? Yes, they can, ofr the following reasons.
“Old dogs who develop Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome [basically senility] may pace or bark at night instead of sleeping. They may sleep all day but not at night. Lack of stimulation and interaction can contribute to the pet being more withdrawn and sleeping more. Old dogs or cats with decreased hearing and vision may also seem to sleep more and be more withdrawn,” she said.
To prevent the problem, Morgan, a holistic vet, recommends high doses of omega 3 fatty acids for CDS, as well as extra B vitamins in the diet or as a supplement. Sardines are a great supplement for Omega-3 and Vitamin D. Sam-e (antioxidant) and coconut oil (medium-chain triglycerides) also are helpful.
She noted the drug Selegiline helps with CDS in dogs at least 50 percent of the time. Side effects can include deafness, which may reverse if the drug is stopped. More exercise or stimulation during the day can improve nighttime sleep.
Cats develop cognitive dysfunction less than dogs. If they suddenly start howling, pacing, or begging for food in the middle of the night, they may be suffering from a disease like hyperthyroidism, she said.
Dogs with anxiety disorders may try to keep one eye open at all times, making it difficult to obtain a deep, restful sleep.
She advises pets with changes in sleeping behavior should be seen by a veterinarian. Natural treatments for sleep disorders can include melatonin and omega 3 fatty acids.
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