Why do Greyhounds sleep too much?

Let sleeping dogs lie. If there was a literal embodiment of this phrase, the greyhound would be its mascot. Greyhounds are notoriously known for their love for their sleep, not just with closed eyes but also with their eyes wide open. Some even whimper or bark in their sleep, while others remain perfectly still.

Is my greyhound lazy?

No, contrary to common belief, greyhounds love to play. They will bow and vocalize to let you know they are ready for playtime. However, after these sudden bursts of energy, greyhounds need to sleep to re-energize.

Here are some reasons why greyhounds love to sleep:

1. With the lifestyle we offer our dogs, there isn’t much else to do.

Greyhounds are genetically built for speed, and as pets, they don’t get to run much. They have less stimulation and stressors in their environment. Hence they have no reason to be active.

2. It helps with learning and memory retention.

Hounds consolidate what they learn better when they take a nap. When a dog learns a task, it affects their brain activity during sleep. They then performed the task better.

3. Interrupted sleep cycles

Even though greyhounds nap a lot, they also wake up more often. Hounds tend to sleep in lots of small bursts throughout the day and night. Dogs spend about 10% of their sleep in the REM state; therefore, they cumulatively need to sleep more to accumulate restorative rest in the REM state.

4. Allows the body to repair itself.

Sleep provides an excellent way for a greyhound’s body to repair itself and reinforce its immune system. A greyhound deprived of sleep has a weak immune system and is prone to illness.

How long should my greyhound sleep?

Greyhounds are known for eye-raising sleeping patterns that are sometimes simply enviable. Hounds can spend up to 18 hours sleeping in a day.

These are some of the best conditions to help your greyhound enjoy a great night’s sleep:

1. Set up a routine.

Keeping a regular schedule throughout the day helps your dog recognize when it’s time for bed. For example, take your hound for a walk around the same time every day and feed them a few hours before bedtime. An early dinner helps your Greyhound digest their food comfortably before sleeping. Keep the hour before bedtime as relaxed and laid back as possible. It is vital to ensure your dog goes outside for a toilet break before going to bed so that he doesn’t have to go in the middle of the night.

2. Invest in a good dog bed.

Due to a greyhound’s unique structure and height, choosing the best bed is crucial for your dog’s overall health, not just currently but also in the long run.

Here’s what to look for in a greyhound’s bed:

  • The right size for your hound

There is nothing wrong with getting your greyhound an enormous bed, but make sure it isn’t too small. Your greyhound should have enough space on the bed to accommodate their entire body and have a little extra to spin around.

  • Durability

Your dog will use his bed a lot; to sleep in at night and rest during the day. This kind of frequent use may cause tearing at the seams, thinning of fabric, and even holes forming. If holes do form and your dog is able to access the filter material, it may cause critical health issues. Therefore, it is essential to select a bed that is of high-quality fabric and stitching that can withstand daily wear and tear.

  • Removable and washable cover

Greyhounds are considered fairly clean dogs and aren’t likely to splash about in the mud or dirt. However, dirt is bound to accumulate over time from saliva, hair from the dog’s coat, and urine droplets. You need to get a bed with a removable cover that you can easily keep clean. You may also opt for a washable machine option if you mind washing the cover by hand.

  • Has a non-skid bottom.

For a dog bed that you intend to keep on tiles, hardwood, or linoleum, a non-skid bottom is definitely necessary. If you intend to keep it on a carpeted floor, you don’t need to worry about the bottom fabric. Non-skid bottoms are especially great for those owners who also intend to put the bed in a crate. Most crates have a smooth plastic tray that allows beds with fabric at the bottom to slide around.

  • A manufacturer’s warranty

A good dog bed is bound to last for years before you need a replacement; however, manufacturing defects can occur. Dog beds aren’t exactly cheap; hence it is good to get one with a manufacturer’s warranty. A warranty should cover for damages such as discoloration and torn stitching.

  • Memory foam core

Greyhounds are sighthounds and prone to a lot of running. It is, therefore, crucial to take good care of their joints. Excellent care of your greyhound’s joints will ensure they remain active even as they age. Find a dog bed with a single sheet of memory core.

  • Bolsters are a great addition.

Some greyhounds suffer from anxiety and would thrive in a bed that provides a lot of body contact. The contact helps them feel safer as they doze off. Adding a pillow and a blanket to the bed helps create a nest-like sleeping place. However, a bed with bolsters is a better option.

The Best Beds for your Greyhound

Brindle soft memory foam dog bed

The Brindle dog bed is a 3-inch shredded memory foam bed designed to last long, easy to care for, and provide comfort. The shredded foam allows for great airflow and breathability while conforming to your dog’s weight and pressure. The cover is zippered to come off and clean it easily. The cover can also be machine washed, making it convenient for most pet owners. The cover is made of soft, durable fabric that is versatile, easy to maintain, and cozy. The bed comes in various styles and sizes, giving you a wide range to choose from.

PetFusion Ultimate Dog bed

This dog bed is made of solid memory foam and comes with a waterproof liner to keep the bed from getting unnecessarily wet. It has generously filled bolsters that offer great support and nestling opportunities. Both the foam and bolsters are conveniently enclosed in a removable cover that can be easily machine cleaned. Its fabric is breathable and safe for skin contact. It comes in a variety of sizes; therefore, it will conveniently match your dog breed. The bottom is non-skid, making it convenient to place even on tiled and hardwood floors.

The bed comes with a 36-month warranty that caters for any manufacturer defect.

Big barker orthopedic dog bed

Big Barker is famously known for its dog beds because they are specifically designed for large breeds. Its dog beds are durable and meet CertiPUR-US standards. The brand boasts of a 10-year “won’t flatten” promise. The beds are known to retain 90 % of their original shape and support for up to 10 years, and if not, they offer a warranty that will replace it.

Due to its unrivaled support, the big Barker dog beds are especially for larger dog breeds that are prone to joint problems, arthritis, and hip dysplasia. Its 3-stage foam construction keeps sensitive joints enveloped in comfort. Its covers are removable and machine washable. It is also available in varying sizes ranging from large to extra-large to giant and colors. The bed is worth a pretty penny but definitely worth each one.

Frisco Plus orthopedic front bolster dog bed

The Frisco orthopedic bed is a unique 3-inch slab foam bed with a 1- inch memory foam inserted in for both durability and comfort. This bed has a sofa design with an in-built entry dip and easy to climb on design. It has a wrap-around bolster that provides extra comfort and a sense of security so that your dog can happily snooze off. The bed has a removable cover that is machine washable and easy to care for. Its textured fabric cover is not only stylish but also warm and comfortable.

FurHaven Ultra Plush Luxe Lounger Dog bed

The FurHaven dog bed is ergonomically designed to provide your hound with therapeutic neck and back support due to its unique contouring. It is also fitted with bolsters for extra support and an added sense of security. The foam used for these beds is an orthopedic medical grade that is firm yet soft for restorative rest. The dog bed has a removable machine washable cover that is easy to maintain. It is available in a variety of colors and sizes.

K9 Ballistics Tough Nestling Dog Bed

The K9 dog bed is great for diggers, nestling dogs, and scratchers. It is an indestructible bed that is chew resistant. The fabric is strengthened with a ballistic nylon that resists dirt, moisture, grime, and hair. The bed can be handily cleaned with a damp cloth, or you may opt to put it on a cold cycle in the machine and then air dry it.

The bed is constructed using CertiPUR-USA certified shredded foam with sewn-in chambers to prevent clamping or shifting. This design feature offers proper support and a balanced weight distribution ratio that keeps your hound comfortable. The bed also has a water-resistant liner that prevents any moisture from seeping in. It comes in convenient sizes for a greyhound.

3. Ensure your Greyhound’s bed is warm.

Greyhounds have thin coats and very little body fat. Ideally, it helps them cool down fast after a run, but it also means they are vulnerable to cold weather. A greyhound’s body tends to work harder over the winter season to keep them warm. This may affect their diet and energy levels. For greyhounds, feeling or being cold is not only uncomfortable, but they also lose energy faster. They now need to fuel their energy levels and have residual energy to create warmth to function normally.

Ensure your greyhound’s bed has an extra throw despite how deceivingly warm the bed may seem. Choose a bed with soft fabric that can easily retain and maintain warmth.

4. Keep your dog’s bed away from the flow of traffic.

Put your greyhound’s bed somewhere where your dog can interact with the family but away from the flow of traffic. Ensure your children know that this place is out of bounds, especially when your greyhound is asleep.

5. Allow your dog to spend the night close by.

Your greyhound may not necessarily sleep in the bed with you or in the same room but allow them to sleep close by. This allows your greyhound to feel safe and develop confidence.

Oversleeping Greyhound: When should I seek a vet?

As we have observed, it is normal for your hound to sleep for most of the day. A great way to establish that your dog is sleeping too much is by first knowing what’s normal for your hound then spotting the change. However, excessive sleep can be a sign of health issues with your hound.

Here are telltale signs that you should consult a vet’s opinion:

  • When your greyhound’s sleeping patterns change
  • When your hound sleeps even though there is something better to do, especially one that usually grabs their attention.
  • When it is hard for your dog to wake up in the morning
  • When their sleeping pattern affects their feeding times.
  • When your dog suddenly falls asleep in the middle of playing
  • When your dog wakes up scared or frightened
  • When the increase in sleep is accompanied by other behavioral changes such as increased aggression, staring at walls, drooling, pacing
  • When the increase in sleep is accompanied by other physical symptoms such as limping or lameness, unwillingness to walk, jump or urinate and an increase in eating or defection.

Factors that may affect Greyhound sleep

If you spot any unusual behavior in your dog’s sleeping habits, you should take them to a vet. It recommended that the owner try not to manage or diagnose sleeping problems on their own.

Sleep startle or sleep aggression

Sleep startle is a common problem that affects greyhound’s, especially retired racers. It occurs when your hound has woken abruptly from their sleep. It is not uncommon for your resting greyhound to growl or even bite when suddenly woken up for interaction, such as petting or treats. This is especially prevalent in newly adopted hounds that haven’t formed a bond of trust with their owners yet.

If you aren’t sure what sleep aggression is, here is a checklist:

  • Snapping and growling only when your greyhound is asleep or when they are woken by touch.
  • Your greyhound has their eyes open and looks awake, but the sense of touch sets them off.
  • Growling and snapping don’t usually happen when you walk towards their bed or when their head is off the bed.

How to handle sleep aggression

  1. Teach your greyhound a definite “off” cue, especially if they are used to sleeping on your bed or sofa. Make it a game and invite them “on” then reward them, then tell them “off” and reward them until your dog can follow the command through. This command helps easily get your dog off the bed before you go to sleep.
  2. Let your dog sleep in a separate room or a crate. The crate creates a barrier that makes your hound feel comfortable and if you opt for a different room, leave the door open. This arrangement ensures that you are less likely to bump into their bed and risk startling them.
  3. If anyone needs to pat or pet the dog, they should call the greyhound from their bed towards them.
  4. Before approaching your sleeping greyhounds, call their name or make a noise until their head comes up. This approach is excellent because greyhounds are known to also sleep with their eyes open; therefore, it really isn’t a sure way of determining whether they are awake. If they do not respond, let them rest.
  5. Make sure the children and guests do not approach your hound when on their bed.

REM Behavior Disorder

Have you noticed your greyhound chasing a squirrel in his sleep? Former greyhound racers are prone to track dreams. Your dog may have what is referred to as REM behavior disorder. The disorder causes physical activity in your dog’s sleep. Hounds may even vocalize and move their paws when dreaming. For some dog’s it can become aggressive or violent by growling, snapping, or biting.


There is medication that reduces physical activity during sleep, known as clonazepam. A vet should prescribe the medication after a consultation.

During such an instance, call your greyhound’s name and ensure they open their eyes and acknowledge your presence.

What do I feed my greyhound before bed?

The thumb rule is that you should feed your dog a few hours before bedtime. An early dinner provides ample time for digestion to occur hence avoiding gastric torsion or bloating.

On the other hand, treatments are used as a way to communicate with your dog, make him understand something, and convey a message. Treats should be given with moderation as they can lead to obesity, nutritionally balanced, and adapted for your greyhound. Do not give your greyhound treats for no reason. Treats are educational tools; your greyhound should earn them. Treats should be associated with exercise, learning, or a game.

Giving your dog treats before bedtime should be bound to the above recommendation. Some great evening treats include:

  • Fruits – Fruits are healthy and great for your dog. Fruity treats include apples, bananas, oranges, and watermelons. Remember to remove the seeds before giving them to your dog.
  • Vegetables – Veggies are also good for your hound, and they make great treats. Examples of healthy veggies for your hound are green beans, carrot sticks, cooked potatoes, zucchini, and cucumber slices.

There are foods, however, that you should not feed your greyhound. We have a piece that divulges on the foods which you should avoid feeding your hound.

Is CBD ideal for Greyhound sleep?

CBD is a non-psychoactive substance which, when derived with oil, is safe for your greyhound. In the US, CBD oil is being used as an all-natural treatment for many dog ailments. Such problems include separation anxiety, travel anxiety, and noise anxiety for greyhounds.

It helps promote a sense of calmness in your hound.

What dosage should I give my Greyhound?

CBD dosing isn’t exactly a science; however, it is important to find the amount that works best for your greyhound. Always start with a small dosage. Adverse reaction to CBD is rare; however, the carrier oil may cause a stomach upset if taken too much too soon. A recommended greyhound dosage is as illustrated below:

  • A 10-pound greyhound should take 1 mg- 5 mg
  • A 20-pound greyhound should take 2 mg-10 mg
  • A 30-pound greyhound should take 3 mg- 15 mg

Which is the best way to give my Greyhound CBD oil?

If your greyhound isn’t fussy, you can consider putting the CBD oil directly into their mouth using a dropper. This method allows for fast sublingual absorption through both the gums and tongue. If your hound doesn’t allow you to put the oil in their mouth directly, you can opt to place it in their food or favorite treat. You may also opt for bacon flavored CBD soft chews or treats.

How long does it take to see any results?

Since your greyhound is taking the CBD oil due to anxiety-related issues, you will see the results in 30- 60 minutes.

Clearly, sleeping is one of your greyhound’s most relished pass times. As a greyhound owner, it is crucial to understand your hound’s upbringing and sleeping habits so that you can easily notice inconsistencies, know what to expect, and learn how to handle the challenges, if any. The trick is looking out for any change in sleeping patterns and knowing when to seek help.

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