If your German Shepherd has been sleeping a lot then you are probably wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be sleeping so much and what you should do.

So, why does my German Shepherd sleep so much? An adult German Shepherd will naturally sleep for 12 hours per day, puppies and older German Shepherds will sleep for even longer (source).

There are actually a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be sleeping so much. Depending on the cause there are also a number of things that you can do about it.

Why your German Shepherd sleeps so much

Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd sleeps so much will likely come with a number of clues.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might sleep so much and the signs to look for.

Nature

It is natural for a German Shepherd to sleep for between 12 and 14 hours per day (source).

During sleep, a German Shepherd’s brain, central nervous system, immune system and muscles develop. Since German Shepherds use up a lot of energy it is necessary for them to get a lot of sleep so that they are able to direct their energy towards growing and repairing the muscles.

This means that, if you are concerned about why your German Shepherd sleeps so much, then don’t be since it is natural for them to sleep a lot.

With that being said, if your German Shepherd sleeps for more than 14 hours per day and it is lethargic when it is awake then it may be cause for concern and it would help to take it to a vet. That is unless it is a puppy or it is old in which case it would be normal for them to sleep for more than 14 hours per day.

Heat

Heat can also contribute to a German Shepherd becoming sleepy.

German Shepherds are designed to thrive in colder environments which is why they have double coats. As a result of this, when the weather starts to heat up, it can cause them to be more sleepy.

Heat would be much more likely to be the reason that your GSD has been sleeping a lot if it suddenly started to sleep a lot more when the weather became hotter.

If that is the case, it would help to make sure that it has access to shade, cool areas and water throughout the day. It would also help to avoid letting it out in direct sunlight when the sun is directly overhead.

Illness

Illness can also cause a German Shepherd to be more sleepy.

This would be more likely to be the reason if your German Shepherd suddenly started to sleep a lot more than it used to. It would also be more likely if its behavior changed suddenly or if it became lethargic as well.

If you think that it might be sleeping too much due to illness then the best option for you would be to have it checked up on by a vet.

Boredom

Boredom could also be the reason that your German Shepherd has been sleeping a lot.

German Shepherds are meant to be working dogs which means that they are designed to be very active when they are awake. Generally, it is recommended that a German Shepherd should get an hour of exercise per day.

If your German Shepherd is not currently getting that much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does.

However, if it is a puppy then it is recommended that you limit the amount of exercise that it gets to 5 minutes per month of age each day. This is because too much exercise might damage their joints.

Related post: Ways to exercise your German Shepherd.

Diet

A poor diet could also be why your German Shepherd sleeps a lot.

This would be especially likely if it started to sleep more at around the same time that you changed its diet.

You can look at this website to see what you should and should not be feeding your German Shepherd.

If you are unsure of what food to get for your German Shepherd, consider getting dog food designed specifically for German Shepherds. You can get a GSD specific dog food on Amazon here and one for GSD puppies on Chewy here

If it is young or old

As mentioned above, the age of your German Shepherd will have an impact on how much it will naturally sleep.

German Shepherd puppies need to sleep a lot since it is when they are sleeping that they grow and they grow fast. This is why it is normal for a German Shepherd puppy to sleep for between 15 and 20 hours per day (source).

On the other hand, when a German Shepherd gets older it will sleep a lot then as well. This is because they tire out more easily.

Things to consider

Before trying to get your German Shepherd to sleep less it would help to consider a number of things.

If it suddenly started to sleep more

If your German Shepherd has always slept a lot but it is lively when it is awake then it is likely that it sleeps a lot naturally.

Whereas, if it has suddenly started to sleep a lot more than it usually does then it would be more likely that there is something wrong. The list mentioned above could all be reasons that your German Shepherd suddenly started sleeping a lot.

It would help to consider what else changed at around the same time that it started to sleep more than usual.

If it has also become lethargic when it is awake or its behavior has changed then it would likely be worthwhile for you to take it to the vet.

When your German Shepherd sleeps a lot

It would also help to consider when it seems to sleep a lot.

For example, if you notice that it only seems to sleep a lot when it is hot outside then it would likely be because of the heat.

Whereas, if you notice that it sleeps shortly after feeding it then its diet might have something to do with it.

What to do about your German Shepherd sleeping so much

Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about your German Shepherd sleeping so much.

Allow it to

As mentioned above, it is natural for a German Shepherd to be sleeping a lot.

With that being the case, one of the best things that you will be able to do is to allow it to continue to sleep as much as it needs to.

Make sure that it is able to sleep comfortably

Seeing as they are meant to be sleeping a lot, it would help if you can make its sleeping environment as comfortable as possible.

You can do this by ensuring that it is not too hot where it sleeps, it is comfortable for it and that it has access to water when it wants it.

Make sure that its diet is right

Seeing as its diet could be contributing to it sleeping so much it would help to ensure that it is getting the right diet.

You can look at this website to see what you should and should not be feeding your German Shepherd.

Keep it cool

Seeing as its diet could be contributing to it sleeping so much it would help to ensure that it is getting the right diet.

You can look at this website to see what you should and should not be feeding your German Shepherd.

Take it to a vet

If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd is sleeping so much or you think that there might be something wrong then the best option for you would be to have a vet look at it.

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