3 min read

Can Dogs Sleep at Doggy Daycare?


Written by Aurus Sy

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/09/2022, edited: 02/09/2022

Many pet parents choose to send their pups to doggy daycare so that their four-legged kids can stay mentally and physically active while they’re out during the day. Not only does staying home alone for hours get boring for your canine companion, but it can also lead to stress and destructive behavior. At doggy daycare, your pooch gets to play with other dogs and blow off steam. But could they be getting too much of a good thing if they’re running around for eight hours straight? 

A quick nap may be just the thing to help dogs recuperate and get back to their favorite activity- playing! But you may be wondering why your dog would need to sleep at doggy daycare. After all, the point of sending them to one is to tire them out, right? In order to answer these questions and better understand your pup’s needs, let’s first take a look at canine sleep patterns.

Understanding your dog’s sleep patterns

Adult canines typically sleep between 12 and 14 hours each day, while puppies and seniors catch even more Z’s. Of course, the amount of sleep a dog needs also depends on their breed, health, and personality.

Dogs are also polyphasic sleepers, which means that unlike humans who generally sleep once a day at night, they doze frequently throughout the day to collect their 12 to 14 hours of daily sleep. While we sleep for 7 to 9 hours at one time, your furry friend snoozes for only about 45 minutes at a time. 

Additionally, dogs spend just 10% of their sleeping time in the REM phase due to their irregular sleep patterns. This explains how they’re able to wake up quickly and jump to alertness, as well as why they need more hours of sleep in total.

wrinkled faced dog sleeping on floor with tongue hanging out - doggy daycare

How important is rest for dogs who go to daycare?

A lack of sleep can negatively impact your dog’s well-being. If your pup isn’t getting enough sleep, you may see an increase in stress, anxiety, or aggression. Sleep deprivation in dogs can also lead to restlessness, lack of concentration, poor motor behavior, and even chronic disease. 

Here are even more reasons why dogs need rest breaks at daycare: 

  • Sleep supports a dog’s brain function, immune system, and ability to learn and retain memories.
  • Too much exercise can over-exhaust a dog and weaken their immune system, making them more susceptible to illness. 
  • Like humans, dogs have a personal threshold for social activity. Exceeding this tolerance level can make them feel overstimulated and overwhelmed. 
  • Overstimulation can lead to reduced impulse control and unhealthy behaviors. An overstimulated dog may ignore their playmates’ body language or be less likely to listen to commands.
  • Rest breaks teach dogs to transition between periods of activity and downtime, helping them to develop self-regulating skills and become more well-rounded.  
  • Rest breaks at daycare also help dogs learn how to be comfortable in busy, exciting environments. 
  • Being in a relaxed state allows a dog to create positive associations with the other dogs and doggy daycare as a whole.
tan and dark brown dog sleeping in open kennel

Can your dog sleep at doggy daycare?

No bones about it, rest makes the daycare experience more enjoyable for your pup! So, can dogs sleep at doggy daycare? It depends on the facility’s rules, but generally, yes.

Many facilities include structured rest time into their furry clients’ day and even have designated areas for snoozing. Some places have nap rooms for their dogs, while others provide individual enclosures where the pups can enjoy a bit of “me time” to balance out all the social activity. 

When choosing a doggy daycare, one of the most important questions to ask is where and how often the dogs sleep. Of course, it’s recommended to choose a facility that includes nap time in the dogs’ daily routine and has a dedicated resting area. Even better if the staff make it a point to pay attention to each pup’s personality and behavior, and take them aside to decompress when needed.

If your current daycare facility doesn’t enforce naps, then it may be time to find a new one. You may also want to consider alternatives to doggy daycare such as drop-in visits. When you book a drop-in with Wag!, a local Pet Caregiver will check in on your pup to ensure that they get the care and attention they need while you’re out.

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