In a previous article, we found that over two-thirds of Millennial and Gen-Z dog owners are anxious about leaving their dog at home alone when they go to work. Studies show that dog owners would take a pay-cut in order to bring their dog to work or work remotely to keep their dogs company.

While you may feel anxious about leaving your dog at home all day, did you know that your dog uses that time to rest, catching up on much-needed REM sleep?

Dogs Need More Sleep Than We Thought

Sleep data compiled by the Fi Smart Collar from 400 dog breeds across 735 U.S. cities found that most dogs nap about 6 hours per day, with some breeds averaging a little more or less. For example, Terriers napped an average of 4.6 hours per day, while hounds and herding dogs tended to nap around 6.3 hours per day. On average, dogs sleep 8-9 hours per night.

This information contradicts some of what we used to know about dogs: they need more sleep than usual, both at night and during the day. Many of us can rest easy knowing that we aren’t “abandoning” our dogs to be alone all day long—instead, dogs naturally prefer to rest during the periods we’d be at the office.

Dog breed sleeping needs

Dogs Naturally Rest During the Day

It was previously thought that dogs sleep about 10-11 hours per 24-hour cycle. Most dogs sleep through the night, getting 6-8 hours per evening, but also need those additional 4-6 hours of daytime naps. Data from Fi actually shows that dogs sleep around 15-16 hours per 24-hour cycle because of the need for mid-day naps.

Dog Sleep Habits

Dogs have diurnal circadian rhythms, like us: they are active during the day and rest at night. But they are also bimodal, meaning they are most active in the early morning and late evening. When left to their own devices, researchers found that dogs are most active during the hours of 5 am-7 am, then about 4 pm-7 pm, with midday being more restful, then asleep at night.

There is some variation depending on your lifestyle, but this is a great starting point for understanding the best time to engage with your dog. When’s the best time to go to the park, training classes, or for you to go to work? This data shows that your work hours fit nicely with your dog’s natural sleep cycles.

For employees who can’t take their dogs to the office, or for those feeling guilty about returning to work—this data shows your dog actually thanks you for a little break during the day.

Geography Matters: Do Dogs in Cities Sleep More?

Dogs who live in large cities tend to sleep about one hour less per night than dogs who live in rural and suburban areas. This trend is apparent across all climates, suggesting that social activity, noise, and living arrangements (apartments vs. homes) all contribute to how much your dog sleeps. Dogs that live in noisier cities generally have higher stress levels and get less daytime sleep compared to those in rural areas.

sleep chart for dogs based on US locations

Things That Disrupt Your Dog’s Sleep

  • Loud noises
  • Noise pollution
  • Higher temperatures
  • Nighttime activity
  • Excess light
  • Lack of physical activity

Dogs exposed to a lot of stimulation—city walks, restaurant patios, dog parks, and dog-friendly offices—also need rest to decompress from all the stimulation.

Naps for Brain Development

Many dog owners will wake their dogs up during the day because they are concerned that dogs are sleeping out of boredom. Actually, it’s quite the opposite: dogs who are stimulated need daytime naps to process learning, reduce stress, and recover physically and emotionally from the day.

Dogs who take naps are found to process new skills faster, solidify existing skills, and cope with environmental stress better compared to those woken up during the day. Do you get snippy if you don’t get enough sleep? Research shows dogs need rest to not get grouchy, too.

Age matters, too: puppies under 12 months, adolescents, and senior dogs need more sleep per day than healthy adult dogs for physical and brain development.

How Dogs Sleep

The Gen-Z concern that dogs get lonely isn’t unfounded: Research shows that both puppies and adult dogs prefer to sleep near humans. That doesn’t mean they have to share your bed, but they do like being in the same room as you.

Employees shouldn’t feel guilty about needing to clock in 6- or 8-hours away from their dogs during the day: dogs naturally use this time to rest. Dogs prefer to nap in a quiet, cool, less-stimulating environment. For employees who take their dogs to the office, consider a dog bed or covered crate under your desk to help your dog rest peacefully.

how much sleep does a dog need?

How Do I Know if My Dog is Getting Enough Sleep?

For pet parents who live in cities, be aware that your dog may not be getting a full night’s sleep. They also definitely need those daytime naps to recover. How is your dog’s energy level, appetite, attitude, or training going? Have you noticed changes in your dog’s behavior or energy?

Curious to know more about your dog’s sleep patterns? Fi builds cutting-edge technology to elevate the relationship between millions of dog parents and their dogs. Find out more at Fi.


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Kis, A., Szakadát, S., Gácsi, M. et al. (2017). The interrelated effect of sleep and learning in dogs (Canis familiaris); an EEG and behavioural study. Scientific Reports, 7(Feb), 41873.

Schork, I., Manzo, I., Oliveira, MK., et al. (2022). How environmental conditions affect sleep? An investigation in domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Behavioral Processes, 199(June).

Siljia, G., Reimer, S., Warembourg, C., Sousa, F., Wera, E., Berger-Gonzalez, M., Alvarez, D., Bulu, P., Hernandez, A., Roquel, P., & Durr, S. (2021). If they could choose: How would dogs spend their days? Activity patterns in four populations of domestic dogs. Applied Animal Behavior Science, 243(Oct).

Tooley C, Heath SE. (2022). Sleep Characteristics in Dogs; Effect on Caregiver-Reported Problem Behaviours. Animals, 12(14):1753.

Fi Team. (2022). Survey: 75% of pet parent employees choose dogs in the office over unlimited vacation. Fi Blog.