If your Labrador puppy has been sleeping a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you why it might be doing it and if it should be a cause for concern.
So, why does my Labrador puppy sleep a lot? Labrador puppies naturally sleep for between 15 and 20 hours per day. This is because they are growing fast and they grow during their sleep.
While it is true that Labrador puppies will sleep a lot naturally, it is still possible that yours has been doing it for a different reason. However, there are a number of things that you can consider to help figure out whether or not it is sleeping normally or if it is due to something else.
It is natural for a Labrador puppy to sleep for between 15 and 20 hours per day (source).
During sleep, a Labrador puppy’s brain, central nervous system, immune system and muscles develop. Since Labrador puppies grow quickly it is necessary for them to get a lot of sleep so that they are able to direct their energy towards growing.
This means that, if you are concerned about why your Labrador puppy sleeps so much, then don’t be since it is natural for them to sleep a lot at a young age.
With that being said, if your Labrador puppy sleeps for more than 20 hours per day and it is lethargic when it is awake then it may be cause for concern and it would be important to take it to a vet.
Other reasons why your Labrador puppy might be sleeping a lot
Even though it is normal for a Labrador puppy to sleep a lot, it could still be the case that there are other reasons for it sleeping a lot.
Additionally, if it is more than 16 weeks old, it should be starting to sleep much less than it used to. If it is still sleeping for more than 14 hours per day then it could be that there is something else contributing to it. If it is also lethargic when awake, it would help to take it to a vet.
Below, I will mention a number of possible reasons why your Labrador puppy has been sleeping a lot and what would make them more likely.
The cause could be due to the weather becoming hotter. This would be more likely if it becomes more tired at midday when it is hot outside and if it can get hot indoors.
In this case, it would help to make sure that it has access to lots of shade, water and a cool room. It would also help to avoid taking it out in the sun when it is directly overhead and it would help to exercise it when it is less hot in the morning or evening.
It might also be the case that an illness or medical condition has been causing it to sleep a lot. This would be more likely if it has started sleeping more suddenly, if it is fatigued when it is awake and if it has been showing other signs of being ill such as vomiting.
If it does seem like illness could be the cause then it would be the best option to take it to a vet.
It might be the case that it has been sleeping more than usual due to being bored.
Labradors can be very active as puppies. If they do not have things to stimulate them in their environment then it can cause them to become bored.
Labrador adults require a lot of exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day. However, the amount that you should be exercising your Labrador puppy will be a lot less since their joints are not fully developed yet.
Instead, you can give it exercise, while it is young, by training it to behave the way that you want it to when it is older. It is important to take the time to train it while it is young since it will be easier to change its habits and you will be able to avoid behavioral issues when it gets older.
With that being said, you can still give it exercise and it is recommended to give it 5 minutes of exercise per month of age two times per day (source).
Another possibility is that an issue with its diet has been causing it to become fatigued. This would be even more likely if it suddenly started sleeping more when you changed its diet.
You can look at this website to see what you should and should not be feeding your Labrador puppy. It would also help to talk to your vet about what you have been feeding it.
Too much exercise
It might be the case that your Labrador puppy has been getting a lot of exercise and it has been wearing it out.
It is normal for Labrador puppies to be highly active when they are awake and then to fall asleep shortly after being highly active.
However, depending on its age, there is a recommended amount that you should be exercising it yourself. According to the Kennel Club, a good rule of thumb is to give your Labrador puppy 5 minutes of exercise two times per day for every month of age. So, if it is 3 months old, it would be recommended to limit its exercise to 15 minutes twice daily.
Consider if it suddenly started sleeping a lot more
If it has suddenly started sleeping a lot more, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it did then it could be the case that an event-triggered it to start doing it. Possible things that might have happened could include:
- A change in its diet
- The weather becoming hotter
- It got an illness
However, if it has started sleeping a lot suddenly, it would be recommended to take it to a vet for expert help.
When to be concerned
While it is normal for a Labrador puppy to sleep a lot, there are some situations where you should be concerned and take it to a vet.
Examples would include:
- If it started sleeping more suddenly without any apparent cause
- It is lethargic when awake
- It has been showing signs of illness
What to do about your Labrador puppy sleeping a lot
Below are some options you have when dealing with your Labrador puppy sleeping a lot.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been sleeping a lot, it has been showing signs of illness or it is concerning you then the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice and to rule out the possibility of illness or medical causes.
Allow it to sleep as much as it needs to
It might be tempting for you to try and get it to stay awake more. However, you should allow it to sleep as much as it wants to. When Labradors are puppies, they are growing rapidly and most of the growth occurs when they are asleep.
Make its sleeping environment comfortable
It would also help to ensure that it is able to sleep easily. This means that you should ensure that its sleeping environment is reasonably cool, dry and not too bright especially at night.
Ensure that its diet is right
As mentioned above, it might be the case that there is a problem with its diet. You can look at this website to see what you should and should not be feeding your Labrador puppy. It would also help to ask your vet if you have been feeding it correctly.
Give it access to cool and shaded areas
If the weather is hot outside then it would be important to give it lots of access to cool and shaded areas so that it can stay out of the sun. It would also help to exercise it when the sun is not directly overhead.