Sleep Patterns in Healthy Adult Dogs – what does recent studies shows?
Having dogs for a company is no longer a surprise as they are always considered an excellent way of overcoming loneliness. Dogs are a good addition to a family or if an individual lives far away from their own home, they can adopt a furry best friend to fill in that space they often might feel in times homesickness occurs. However, much like humans, dogs also experience conditions such as chronic pain and cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive dysfunction or also known as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects geriatric dogs and cats. The condition is due to an age-related decline in cognitive abilities which sufficiently affects their functioning. While the most common chronic pain for dogs is osteoarthritis, also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), it is caused by the deterioration of cartilage which worsens the inflammation of the joint.
Margaret Gruen, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at NC State, says that there is a 20-year old study that covered different types of dogs, including those that were not familiar with a home environment. But unfortunately, the study hardly captured any data in relevance to a dog’s living and sleeping cycle. So the professor decided to add more to the recent study. They followed 42 healthy adult dogs, that comprises 21 male and 21 female whose ages ranged from 2 to 8 years old. The dogs had to wear activity monitors on their collars for two weeks, and the owners filled out a questionnaire in regards to their pet’s sleep patterns. The experiment showed that dogs were more active during the weekends compared to weekdays. Then the majority of the dogs had 2 activity peaks during the day, a shorter window from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m, followed by a midday cessation and a longer active period from about 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Most of the owners that participated worked outside their homes and as it turns out, dogs become energetic with human interactions. Which frankly doesn’t come as a shock knowing that dogs are always willing to wait an entire day for their owners to arrive so they can play. Seeing as they are more active during the weekends and have 2 activity peaks in the day, it is a perfect opportunity to take your pets outside and engage in active playtime. You can enjoy an endless game of playing fetch to not only keep up with their dynamic energy but also as a form of exercise.
The study also reveals that a dog’s weight and sex contribute to their active periods. Light-weighted dogs become active for a while just after midnight, whereas female dogs have a more active peak than male dogs at night.
Being educated in a dog’s sleeping patterns gives a high chance of easily identifying whether or not they have chronic pain and cognitive dysfunction. People’s lack of enlightenment of the latter may cause situations they wanted to avoid in the first place. This study brings hope of further helping our favorite pet best friend to provide them an even better life. As for now, you may do so by giving them a nice cozy space to rest and spoil them with all your love and tender care. Because may age as time passes by, but their loving affections towards humans will never diminish.