Why Do Shih Tzus Sleep So Much: 10 Reasons To Note

Categorized as Dog Health
Why Do Shih Tzus Sleep So Much
Why Do Shih Tzus Sleep So Much

Shih Tzu owners always ask why do Shih Tzus sleep so much, which is what we are going to discuss in this post.

Sleeping helps Shih Tzus in so many ways, which we will outline the benefits of sleeping to Shih Tzus.

However, there is what we know as normal sleeping and abnormal sleeping. When a Shih is sleeping more than usual, it’s now abnormal.

Shih Tzus are prone to some sleeping disorders which are as follows:

  • Narcolepsy
  • REM behavior disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive Snoring
  • Sleep Apnea

Before we continue, let me quickly answer your question about why do Shih Tzus sleep so much.

Why do Shih Tzus sleep so much

Shih Tzus sleep a lot because it helps their bodies and minds work at their best, allowing them to absorb and store memories and learn new skills and phrases. Senior Shih Tzus require more sleep hours for their physical and emotional wellbeing.

How long should Shih Tzus sleep

In the absence of any form of sleeping disorders, stress, anxiety, too much energy a healthy Shih Tzu on average should sleep for about 12 and 14 hours per day.

Shih Tzus have a small nose and could have breathing difficulties if over-exercised, therefore Shih Tzus should not be involved in heavy physical activities.

Excessive exercise and involvement in physical activities could lead to heat exhaustion, which may cause difficulty breathing.

Let us look at some benefits of sleeping to Shih Tzus before we continue to reasons why Shih Tzus may sleep too much.

Read more: 10 Most Common Shih Tzu Old Age Problems & Helpful Tips.

What Shih Tzus benefit from sleeping

Here are some common reasons why sleeping is beneficial to Shih Tzus:

  • In Shih Tzus, sleeping enables for healthy and ongoing growth.
  • In Shih Tzus, regular sleeping reduces brain deterioration.
  • Shih Tzus’ immune systems are boosted by sleeping.
  • Shih Tzus benefit from sleep because it helps them form new brain connections.
  • Shih Tzus’ brains are kept nimble by proper sleeping with disturbances.
  • Shih Tzus’ learning ability improves while they sleep.
  • The Shih Tzu body conserves and restores energy during sleeping.
  • In Shih Tzus, sleeping supports a healthy heart.
  • In Shih Tzus, sleeping decreases stress.
  • In Shih Tzus, sleeping increases comfort.
  • In Shih Tzus, sleeping helps to alleviate depression.

Reasons Why Shih Tzus Sleep So Much

Here are some common reasons why your Shih Tzus may sleep a lot:


If you are a Shih Tzu lover or owner, you can agree with me that one of the biggest problem Shih Tzus have is separation anxiety.

This is why you shouldn’t get a Shih if you have a 9 to 5 job because Shih Tzus were selectively bred to be by their owner’s side all day long.

Anxiety can affect how long your Shih Tzu sleeps, either by increasing the time your Shih Tzu sleeps or not allowing your Shih Tzu.

Therefore, your Shih Tzu not sleeping due to anxiety is a two-way issue. There is a lot of anxiety that is associated with Shih Tzus which includes the following:

  • Separation Anxiety (Common)
  • Noise Anxiety
  • Travel Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety
  • Environmental Anxiety
  • Fear Anxiety
  • Hunger Anxiety

Here are some common ways you can help a Shih Tzu with separation anxiety:

  • Create and keep to a regular regimen for your Shih Tzu.
  • Increase the amount of time you spend with your Shih Tzu exercising and playing.
  • Create a stress-free atmosphere for your Shih Tzu.
  • You should desensitize your Shih Tzu.
  • The conditioning of your Shih Tzu should be reversed.
  • For your Shih Tzu, more food and engaging toys are a wonderful purchase.
  • Purchase anti-anxiety medication for your Shih Tzu.
  • Get a buddy for your Shih Tzu.
  • Seek the advice of a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.
  • Hire a Shih Tzu pet sitter if you are regularly gone.
  • To encourage their mental stimulation impulses, hide food in toys that require them to work for it.
  • Even if you’re at home, start by spending less time alone.

Read more about Shih Tzus anxiety symptoms.


Depression also comes in two ways, you can see it as a reason why your Shih Tzu is sleeping too much, you can also see it as a reason your Shih Tzu is not getting enough sleep.

Whichever way you see it, one thing is very sure which is that depression affects how a Shih Tzu sleeps.

There are a number of things that can cause depression in Shih Tzus:

  • Constant change of Shih Tzu’s daily routine.
  • Changing your Shih Tzu’s food regularly.
  • Excessive stress.
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom
  • Physical Illness
  • Trauma
  • Loss of an owner
  • Chronic pain, etc

All the above listed can affect the way your Shih Tzu sleeps.


The age of a Shih Tzu plays an important role in the way such Shih Tzu sleeping, these have to do with how active the dog is.

As dogs get older, their activity level reduces, which means they will have to sleep more to have a happy life.

Therefore, as your Shih Tzu gets older, she’ll probably slow down and take more naps in a bright location around the house.

On the other hand, a newborn puppy sleeps more because they need sleep for proper growth.

So, if your Shih Tzu is sleeping too much you should consider age as a factor that can influence how long the sleep.

Excessive physical activity

When a Shih Tzu over engage in physical activities the Shih Tzu gets burned out, which can lead to stress.

When Shih Tzus are involved in too much exercise, they will sleep longer than usual.

So, if you find out that your Shih Tzu is oversleeping, you should consider the physical activities of the Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzus are prone to heat exhaustion, and too much physical activity can trigger off heatstroke.

You should always monitor all physical activities your Shih Tzu is involved in to avoid unnecessary health challenges.


As funny as it may sound if you overfeed your Shih Tzu, they will sleep longer than expected because they will become lazy to do anything.

So if your Shih Tzu is sleeping longer than usual, be sure to check if you are overfeeding.

Talk to your veterinarian for a feeding chart and stick to it as overfeeding comes with lots of health challenges.

Boredom and Loneliness

Loneliness and boredom also come in two faces, this means in some cases a bored Shih Tzu will likely sleep more.

On the other hand, some bored Shih will not get enough sleep due to stress, from being bored, they can even lead to Shih Tzu crying.

Boredom and loneliness are two of the most common reasons for Shih Tzu’s behavior problems, which can lead to your Shih Tzu digging its bed.

When your Shih Tzu is sleeping too much, it could be that the Shih Tzu is bored and has nothing to do rather than sleeping.

Lack of mental stimulation

Lack of mental stimulation does not only encourage behavior problems, but also encourages laziness in Shih Tzus.

Therefore, when your Shih Tzu is not mentally stimulated, it’s either your Shih Tzu is destroying or it’s somewhere sleeping.

Allergies and medication effects

Food allergies are common, and the problem may be remedied by playing an elimination game with your dog’s diet.

However, certain products, such as shampoo or flea powders, may cause an allergic reaction in your dog.

Some Shih Tzus are sensitive to airborne allergens such as pollen or dust, however, this is a rare occurrence.

Allergies and medication effects can affect your Shih Tzu sleeping cycle, either extending it or reducing it.

Arthritis or other chronic pain

Arthritis affects dogs and could cause chronic pain to dogs, especially small breeds of dogs.

Chronic pains can increase or reduce how long your Shih Tzu sleeps. A Shih Tzu that has arthritis can stay in one spot and sleep all day.

Health challenges

The Shih Tzu has a number of health issues that are typical in small dogs, as well as a few unique ones.

These few health issues that Shih Tzus have can and will have an impact on their sleeping rate or cycle.

Obesity in Shih Tzus can be a serious health issue.

It’s a severe condition that can lead to or exacerbate joint issues, as well as metabolic breakdown, all of which can disrupt the Shih Tzu’s sleeping pattern.

How much do Shih Tzus sleep

For their physical and mental well-being, Shih Tzus require longer sleep hours, therefore, in the absence of any sleeping disorders, stress, anxiety, or excessive energy, a healthy Shih Tzu should sleep for between 12 and 14 hours each day on average.

Your Shih Tzu will definitely slow down as she gets older and take more naps in a sunny spot around the house.

I hope your question about why do Shih Tzus sleep so much was explained!!!

By Samuel Akira

Samuel Akira has 12 years of experience with dogs his a major author in Pet Creeks and currently living and taking care of 2 different breeds of dogs, Samuel Akira is here to write and share his years of experience with dogs.