Does your Shiba Inu sleep too much? Is the dog a veritable couch potato that competes with your cat in how many hours each spends napping? If your canine sleeps a lot and you’re worried about it, you’re not alone.
Shiba Inu breeds are notorious for sleeping too often and too much. They can sleep anything between 10 and 16 hours a day. This is normal and you shouldn’t get worried if your adult Shiba Inu prefers to hit the sack ever so often. That’s because this breed loves its sleep as much as it loves its food. It’s only a problem when the dog starts to sleep more than 16 hours a day.
Once the Shiba Inu hits a certain age, it starts to favor sleep over playing with toys or the other pets in the house. You start to miss the playful puppy that filled the place with joy. So what can you do to prevent this sedentary lifestyle from causing the dog some serious health conditions such as obesity or worse?
The Right Amount of Sleep for a Shiba Inu
First things first. How much sleep should your Shiba Inu have? The answer is inconclusive. As we already stated, this breed tends to get lethargic once it hits the second year landmark. It’s not the food nor the lack of company that drives them to sleep long hours. That’s just how they like it.
You might not notice it at first. Especially if you leave your canine friend for long hours at home on its own. You might even feel guilty for abandoning all these hours. But what you don’t know is that your Shiba Inu is spending most of these hours sound asleep. It’s not worrying about you or wondering when you’ll be back. It’s too busy having a long journey in dreamland.
Your dog could be sleeping anything between 10 to 18 hours every day having a long and healthy snooze. This is especially true of adult Shiba Inus. The physiological changes that their bodies undergo during adulthood makes them hungry for sleep.
How Much Sleep Does a Shiba Inu Puppy Deed?
The young ones are a different story. They are a bundle of joy and really focus on playing and being active. A Shiba Inu puppy could take periodic snoozes of a couple of hours each. But on the whole, they’re up and about from the early morning till late at night.
Like human children, the Shiba Inu puppy can be hard to put to sleep. They love to play and snack on whatever you offer them. Even 6 hours of sleep are good enough and seem to energize them for the rest of the day.
This is why when the dog leaves its puppy days behind it and becomes a responsible adult, the first thing it does is go to sleep as much as it can. That’s hardly responsible on their part which leaves the owner scratching their head and wondering what could be wrong with their four-legged friend.
Sleeping Problems Found in Shiba Inus
Sleeping too much might be a problem for other dog breeds, but not so with Shiba Inus. But how about sleeping too little? That’s when you need to start to worry. Lack of sleep or insomnia is a problem that afflicts Shiba Inus and the reasons vary.
It could be the dog has some health problems such as infections or parasites. An unhealthy dog will not sleep enough or maybe sleep too much that it won’t feel like eating or even spending a half-hour playing around as it used to.
If you notice that your Shiba Inu is either sleeping more than usual or not getting enough sleep, the first thing you need to do is take it to the vet for a thorough checkup. It’s important that you eliminate any causes related to health before you decide on what to do next.
Things That Change How Much Your Shiba Inu Should Be Sleeping
As we mentioned, your puppy Shiba Inu has different sleep needs than the adult one. The big change comes around the time the dog celebrates its second birthday. The change happens so fast that you’d think there’s a switch in the dog’s brain that got flipped.
As they age, their need for sleep increases and the Shiba Inu spends more and more time taking long and refreshing naps. At some point in the dog’s life, they’ll be eating and doing potty between long bouts of sleep. Of course, this can have some ramifications on their health and might even give them problems. We’ll discuss some of those problems below.
While being a sleepyhead seems to be the default state of the Shibu Inu, sometimes that excessive sleep can be either the result of health issues or itself be the cause of some other health issues.
We start with sleep-related health conditions. Shiba Inus have recurring health problems that range from dental issues to eye problems and general infections. Some of these diseases can be genetic which means the dog gets them from one or both of its parents. Any health issue that causes the dog pain or discomfort will interfere with their sleeping habits.
Too much sleep can lead to obesity which is a common problem among this breed. When all the activity your dog indulges in is eating and going to potty, it’s no surprise that they put on weight so fast and become obese in a short time. If your dog is obese you need to take measures to bring its weight down to normal standards as we’ll discuss later.
A comfortable Shiba Inu is a lazy one. Unlike other dogs that come seek you to play a game when they’re fed and happy, the Shiba Inu prefers to sleep. That doesn’t mean you should make the dog uncomfortable to prevent it from sleeping.
You can engage the dog in different games and take it out to the park or for a hike in the woods if possible. The change will help the dog become more active and get rid of that lazy lifestyle that is neither healthy nor fun. Speaking of lifestyle.
Have you ever wondered how many hours your Shiba Inu spends at home? If your dog sleeps a lot, then chances are, their lifestyle isn’t that interesting or exciting, to begin with. Does that mean that you can change your dog’s sleeping habits if you change their lifestyle?
The answer is definitely. Even if your sleepyhead Shiba Inu is more comfortable on its bed than out in the backyard, that doesn’t mean you should encourage it to be lazy. You need to coax it out of its comfort zone literally speaking, and give it a taste of the joys of the outdoors. Fresh air and the thrill of meeting other dogs will convince your puppy that there’s more to life than sleep.
Benefits of Sleeping with Your Shiba Inu
This is a two-way lane. That means there are certainly benefits for both the puppy and the owner if they shared one bed. For one thing, Shiba Inus are used to sleeping in packs. This is especially true of the puppies but even the adult dogs love to nuzzle against other dogs when it’s time to sleep. Here are some of those benefits
- Better quality of sleep for the owner.
- The Shiba Inu feels safer and sleeps better when sharing the owner’s bed.
- Frequency of the dog waking up or having interrupted sleep diminishes.
- Strengthens the bond between the dog and the human.
- Improves the mental health of the owner.
- Helps with any anxiety issues the dog might have especially if it’s new to the environment.
Risks of Sleeping with Your Shiba Inu
While many experts recommend that both humans and their Shiba Inus share one bed, there are certain disadvantages to this habit and it can also affect both parties. This has to do with hygiene and also the territorial nature of the dogs at the same time.
If either the owner or the dog has an infectious disease they could possibly pass it on to their bed partner. From dental problems to parasites and even eye disease. Sharing such a close space as one’s bed can become fertile ground for germs and bacteria.
On the other hand, the dog can come to see the bed as its territory and as we’ll explain below, that can lead to many behavioral issues and can impact the owner’s life especially if they’re in a relationship.
Can Sleeping with the Dog Cause Sleep Deprivation?
It’s not obvious how that could happen. Unless we’re talking about a sick puppy that infects the owner while sharing their bed which causes them to lose sleep as well. But of course, this is something that can be prevented with regular visits to the vet and taking care of the dog’s hygiene.
Generally speaking, sleeping with your Shiba Inu should improve your sleep rather than give you insomnia or cause the dog to lose sleep. Most dogs prefer to sleep with their owners since physical closeness improves their sleep.
Shiba Inus are no exception and if either you or the dog suffer from sleep deprivation it has nothing to do with sharing the bed with your furry friend. In fact, sleep deprivation might go away on its own when your Shiba Inu is with you at night.
Can Co-Sleeping Cause Problems in the Dog’s Behavior?
The short answer is: it depends. The Shiba Inu is known for being territorial and having a stubborn streak. This is why you can find it hard to train them.
Now, individual dogs vary. But if you notice that your Shiba Inu is treating your bed as its personal territory that it needs to defend against intruders (such as a girlfriend or a spouse) then you have a problem on your hands.
It might be better to keep your bed for yourself in that case and send the puppy back to its own place to sleep.