5 Reasons Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep So Much

Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep So Much? Photo of a Chihuahua puppy sleeping.

If you have an adorable and sassy Chihuahua, you probably already know that they sleep a lot. Wondering why do Chihuahuas sleep so much? And how much is too much? Below is all that you need to know!

The main reason that Chihuahuas sleep so much is because they tire very easily! They are naturally high-energy dogs, meaning they use a lot more energy when they are conscious than many other dog breeds.

So, they must rest and recharge more frequently and for longer than typical lower-energy dogs. Sometimes excessive sleeping could be a sign of another issue, however. These include boredom, a physical or mental illness, or age!

Below, we’ve talked about each of these issues and when to be concerned.

Reasons for a Chihuahua to sleep so much

Let’s do a deep dive into the most common reasons for Chihuahuas sleeping as much as they do, all of which were introduced above. These include:

  1. Daily fatigue
  2. Boredom
  3. Physical illness
  4. Mental illness
  5. Age or Development

1. Daily fatigue

As already mentioned, daily fatigue means that your dog will sleep a lot. This is considered normal, and you won’t need to be concerned.

We mention this because many first-time Chihuahua dog parents are very concerned about their furry friend’s need to sleep practically all day and night.

Since other dog breeds don’t often sleep nearly as much, this perceived lethargy is concerning.

The thing to remember is that Chihuahuas are very hyperactive, high-energy dogs. This is both physical and mental.

You know how classic dogs get a case of the zoomies? That zoomie stage is most often followed by an immediate need to nap. Well, a Chihuahua is constantly in “zoomie mode.” There is a low, laid-back version. It’s either full-speed or sleep.

It makes a lot more sense now, right? While an experienced Chihuahua owner will understand this, it’s a huge shift to a new Chihuahua dog parent with other breeds!

Take a breath; everything is fine.

2. Boredom

Another common reason for your Chihuahua to sleep a lot is that they are bored. Since they are so high-energy, this means that they have a high attention need, too.

If they don’t get enough physical exercise and mental stimulation, they are bored, like, instantly. This boredom will lead them to sleep since there’s nothing else to do.

You know how humans eat when they’re bored? Well, dogs sleep. 

If your Chihuahua is sleeping a lot and you want to make sure they’re okay, try adding more playtime and social interaction. If this helps, it could be as simple as that!

Chihuahuas are great candidates for puzzle mats and more, so go ahead and get them those stimulating toys to help keep boredom at bay!

3. Physical illness

A Chihuahua that isn’t feeling their best physically will sleep more. A sick dog or a dog in pain will need more rest while their body gets to work on repairing any kind of injury or illness.

Since this energy is being spent on repairing and healing, they need to sleep more before getting up and getting back to enjoying life again.

Most times, pet parents will see other signs of an illness or injury. For example, an increased appetite, or maybe increased thirst or signs of a fever. Like humans, dogs need to “take it easy” while they rest and recover.

4. Mental illness

Mental issues will impact a dog’s sleep need as much as physical ones. We talked about boredom separately, but that would technically fall in this category!

Depression or loneliness/isolation are mental illnesses common with Chihuahuas who live in households with classic 9-5 jobs.

These social animals will require your full attention when you return home and lots of snuggle time to help them feel connected to their “pack.” You can also consider a furry friend companion to help ease those hours if you wish.

5. Age or development

Either as puppies that are still growing and developing or as seniors who suddenly need to help care for their aging and failing bodies, age factors into sleep needs!

In both of these stages, their sleep need will be increased. This is considered normal and nothing to be concerned about. 

You can help fuel their energy in these stages by feeding them a proper nutrient-rich diet. Chihuahua puppies and seniors both have specialized diets for just this reason. The rest is just up to them and their hard-working bodies!

How long do Chihuahuas sleep per day?

Let’s take a look at the actual numbers per day. Since most of us don’t exactly keep track of the number of hours our dogs sleep per day, you might be curious about how long Chihuahuas sleep in the run of 24 hours!

Healthy Chihuahuas can sleep for 12-18 hours per day! For healthy adult Chihuahuas, 12-15 hours per day is average. But Chihuahua puppies, senior dogs, and those with health conditions can require up to 18 hours. Yes, seriously. That’s a lot, right? 

But is it normal for a Chihuahua to sleep all the time?

If you’re a bit worried that 18 hours per day is too much for your Chihuahua, you aren’t alone. To us humans, who require only 7-8 hours, that’s a lot!

However, as mentioned, Chihuahuas use a lot more energy than we do, so they use more energy in less time than us and need to recover and rest faster and more often.

Compared to us humans, it will feel like Chihuahuas do sleep practically all the time. But this is considered normal and healthy for your dog. Ask your breeder or vet for a professional opinion!

How much sleep does a Chihuahua need?

The best way to tackle your dog’s sleeping needs is going to be breaking it up into age groups, as introduced above. Here is your detailed guide:

  • Chihuahua puppies: up to 18 hours
  • Adults Chihuahuas: 12-15 hours
  • Senior Chihuahuas: 16-18 hours+

Remember that sleeping is your dog’s opportunity to rest and restore their energy for more shenanigans. When they are busy developing and growing, or in their golden years, this time will be much higher.

It simply takes them longer to get their energy back when splitting it between development/caring for an aging body and their expected energy output.

Is my Chihuahua sleeping too much?

If you’re still feeling concerned, it’s perfectly fine. You’re an attentive pet parent, after all, and you want to ensure that your Chihuahua is healthy!

If you’ve done the math and you still think that your dog is getting a suspiciously high amount of shut-eye, the best thing you can do is take a step back and look at the big picture.

When looking at your Chihuahua’s daily life, think about their recent behavior. Are they suddenly sleeping more than usual? Are there other behavior changes that could indicate something is going on? Some examples of this include changing their appetite or thirst, bathroom habits, and general health levels.

If you notice other changes in their health and behavior. In that case, those could indicate a problem combined with their sudden increase in sleep needs.

If, when you take that step back to see the whole picture, nothing seems out of the ordinary, that’s okay. Just keep an eye on your dog’s sleeping habits for a week and make sure they stay consistent.

If they are steadily increasing, the best thing is to bring them to the vet for a check-up. Better safe than sorry, right?

How to improve your Chihuahua’s sleep

If you want to ensure that your adorable, sweet Chihuahua gets the right amount of sleep, the best thing that you can do is focus on these main areas:

  • Create a quiet, dedicated sleeping area;
  • Help them get comfortable and stay warm;
  • Don’t try to make them a sleep schedule.

Create a quiet, dedicated sleeping area

This area should be accessible to them at all times, and it should be out of the noisy living areas. Many people will use a small or medium-sized dog kennel for this.

It is large for your Chihuahua but is easy to cover with a blanket and move around as needed. Consider this your dog’s sleeping bedroom. All other pets should be kept out of this, if possible.

Help them get comfortable and stay warm

Tiny Chihuahuas need to be kept warm when they sleep, which can be hard on the floor. Get them a warm bed in their dedicated sleeping spot and throw in some pillows and blankets.

Your dog will arrange them just right so that they can snuggle in and stay warm as they snooze. This will also help them get down into their REM sleep cycle, which is essential!

Don’t try to make them a sleep schedule

We all want to snuggle and play with our dogs when they are sleeping — they’re so cute, after all. However, resist as much as you can! Your dog will sleep as needed when needed.

Don’t try to adjust them to your sleep and work schedule. Firstly, it won’t work, and it can cause health issues. Just allow them to sleep as they need to!

There will be plenty of time to snuggle and play when they’re awake! Plus, the last thing you need is a cranky Chihuahua…

On a final note

Chihuahuas require a surprisingly high amount of sleep, which is often concerning to many pet parents at first! This will help you understand when to worry and what else to watch for with your Chihuahua’s health front of mind!

High-energy, tiny Chihuahuas require a lot of sleep because they tire quickly and easily. Many can sleep for 15 hours a day, which is typical for Chihuahuas.

Other reasons for a lot of sleep include boredom, health issue, and age. You’ll want to know what to look for as possible signs of a health problem and when you should get a professional opinion!

Photo of author
Dog Advisory Council

A team whose main goal is to serve knowledge about the canine world. Together since 2012, we thrive to transform and inform, so each dog can live a happy and fulfilling life. Read more about us.