Sometimes it feels like dogs are constantly sleeping. Maltese are no different than other dogs. However, many Maltese owners don’t know how much sleep their dog really needs. But how much sleep does a Maltese need anyway?
A Maltese should get between 12 and 16 hours of sleep a day. However, sometimes 10 hours of sleep is enough for a Maltese. For Maltese puppies, sleep time can even increase to 18 to 20 hours a day. How much your Maltese dog sleeps also depends on how active he is that day. The more active he is, the more sleep he needs.
Maltese, like all other dogs, need a lot of sleep. As puppies, they even need much more sleep than when they are already adults. It can worry an inexperienced Maltese owner when they sleep so much. However, it is quite normal.
Let’s take a closer look at how much sleep Maltese need as adults and as puppies. We’ll also explain why Maltese and other dogs need so much sleep.
In addition, we’ll tell you what the best place for your Maltese to sleep is and whether he might be getting too much or too little sleep. We also give you some advice on what to do if your Maltese isn’t sleeping well and isn’t getting enough sleep.
Table of Contents
How Much Sleep Does a Maltese Need?
Maltese sleep between 12 and 16 hours per day. However, this is no different for other dog breeds. Dogs simply need more sleep than humans.
At the same time, their sleep behavior is very different from that of humans. While we humans usually have a fixed sleep rhythm with a long sleep phase at night, Maltese do not have a fixed sleep rhythm.
They sleep when your body tells them they need sleep. When they do, they tend to get lots of short power naps. A long, extended sleep period at a fixed time tends not to be in their nature.
How much sleep your Maltese needs depends on several factors. The sleep requirement differs from Maltese to Maltese, some generally need more sleep, others less.
But the amount of exercise your Maltese gets in a day also affects how long he sleeps. If your Maltese is very active in a day, he will most likely sleep more as well.
And age also plays a role. Older Maltese tend to sleep longer than younger adult Maltese. This is simply because they need more time to recover from the day’s activities.
I have deliberately spoken of young adult Maltese, because for Maltese puppies again different rules apply.
How Much Sleep Does a Maltese Puppy Need?
If you thought that 12 to 16 hours of sleep per day is a lot for an adult Maltese, you will be surprised to learn that Maltese puppies even exceed this.
Maltese puppies usually need even 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day. This sounds like a really lot, but they need it for their development.
Puppies learn a lot in a very short time, they are always exposed to new and exciting impressions. To process these and also to recover from physical development, they need sleep. Lots of sleep.
You should not worry if your new Maltese puppy spends the first weeks or even months of his life with you mainly sleeping. This is perfectly normal and even necessary for healthy development.
Let your Maltese puppy sleep when he falls asleep. It is not healthy for him if you wake him up because you think he should eat or drink something or go potty.
Above all, don’t wake him up because you are desperate to cuddle or play with him now. Of course, both are also very important for his development, but only when your puppy is awake. Waking him up especially for this is not a good idea.
Why Is My Maltese Sleeping so Much?
It’s not entirely clear why dogs need so much sleep. One theory is that dogs only enter the REM sleep cycle for about ten percent of their sleep time.
Therefore, they get less rest during sleep in the same period than humans, for example. By sleeping longer, they can achieve the same rest that we humans achieve in our average 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
So the longer duration of sleep in Maltese depends on the type of sleep they get. They do not sleep as deeply and soundly as humans, which makes sleep less restful.
Therefore, to truly recover, they need more time sleeping. And they also get the sleep they need. Their body tells them when to sleep, whether it’s during the day or at night.
Where Should My Maltese Sleep?
It does not matter much whether you let your Maltese sleep in your bed, on the sofa, or in a special dog bed. The most important thing is that he sleeps near you.
Maltese, like all dogs, are pack animals. It is their natural behavior to sleep together with their pack. Only then can your Maltese really sleep in peace and relaxation.
Of course, there are cases when this is not possible. Your Maltese might snore or otherwise keep you from sleeping. Then it is also an understandable point of view if you do not want him to sleep near you.
But you should not refuse on principle or because you have heard that it is better for your Maltese to sleep alone. Because this is not true. It does not correspond to their natural behavior.
If you want to let your Maltese sleep in your bed, you should assign him a fixed sleeping place from the beginning. This can be at the foot of your bed, for example. Be consistent, because it is very difficult to convince your Maltese to change the sleeping place once he gets used to it.
For this reason, you should not let him sleep in the bed temporarily. If you do not intend to let him sleep in the bed permanently, you should not even start. Your Maltese will resist very much if you want to change his sleeping place later.
The ideal sleeping place for your Maltese is the place where he feels most comfortable. However, you should assign him his sleeping place and not let him decide for himself. Because the dog who gets to choose the best sleeping place is the pack leader. And this will also affect his other behavior.
So assign him his sleeping place. But you can consider its wishes thereby calmly. And you should let him sleep near his family.
Puppies need a lot of physical contact. This contact cuddling is very important for the puppies. if it is okay for you, you can take your Maltese puppy to the sofa for cuddling on your arm.
There he feels safe and will probably fall asleep with a good feeling. Of course, this doesn’t mean he has to spend the whole night cuddling on top of you, but the odd power nap session on your arm or lap will do him a world of good.
However, even with a puppy, remember that it’s hard to change a once-loved sleeping spot later. Choose the right sleeping place for him right away, which he can use permanently.
Is My Maltese Sleeping Too Much?
If you feel that your Maltese is sleeping too much, always remember that 12, 14, and even 15 or 16 hours of sleep are perfectly normal.
However, if your Maltese really sleeps more than he should, this can have several causes. One possible cause is that he is sick.
This can be the case especially if your Maltese suddenly sleeps more than usual. if there are then any other signs of illness, you should take him to the vet.
Such signs may be that he is more lethargic than usual, refuses his food, or shows more aggressive behavior. Also, if you notice any external changes, this may indicate a disease.
Another possible reason could be that your Maltese is getting older. At the latest at the age of 10 years, but sometimes already at the age of 8 or 9 years, your Maltese slowly becomes a senior.
Maltese do live longer on average than many other dog breeds, but that does not protect them from aging. And in old age, dogs simply need more sleep. This is mainly because they need more time to recover from the day’s activities.
So it could simply be that your Maltese has reached an age where it is no longer so easy for him to regenerate. Then he needs more sleep to regain his strength.
Is My Maltese Sleeping Too Little?
It can also happen that your Maltese sleeps too little. Or at least you have the feeling that he sleeps too little.
This is usually a sign that your Maltese is not getting enough activity. Maltese are very intelligent dogs that need mental activity as well as physical activity.
If your Maltese is not sleeping as much as he should, he may just not be worn out enough. maybe he is bored, not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation.
Try to take him outside more often, take walks in the woods or park, play with him in the backyard. Provide ways for him to get rid of his energy.
If your Maltese is kept well occupied during the day, he will usually get enough sleep. However, if he is still not sleeping enough, you should take him to the vet in this case as well. He can find out if something is wrong with him.
How to Get My Maltese to Sleep at Night
If your Maltese doesn’t want to sleep at night, there are a few things you can do to improve the situation. We have already addressed some of these points above, but we would like to summarize them again here.
- Provide your Maltese with enough activity: Maltese need both physical and mental activity. Make sure your Maltese is busy. if he is bored during the day, he will not get a good night’s sleep.
- Establish a sleep routine: While we have already mentioned that dogs sleep when they are ready to sleep. However, it is still a helpful idea to establish a sleep routine for the nights. Your Maltese needs to know when it’s time to play and when it’s time to sleep.
- Let him go to the bathroom beforehand: It should also become a part of the sleep routine to have your Maltese go to the bathroom beforehand. Let him out for a little while so he can do his business. This is not only a sign to him that bedtime is coming, but it also helps him fall asleep without pressure.
- Let him sleep close to you: Maltese are pack animals. They love to be near their family. Your Maltese will sleep better if he knows his family is nearby. Put his dog bed in the bedroom or at least near the bedroom door if you don’t want to keep him in the bedroom.
- Pay attention to dinner: Your Maltese should not eat right before bedtime. Give him the last meal of the day at least an hour before bedtime. This way, digestion will not prevent him from falling asleep.
- Play quiet music: some quiet music at bedtime can also become a part of the sleep routine. It is another sign that now is the time to sleep.
Conclusion: How Much Sleep Does a Maltese Need?
Maltese sleep between 12 and 16 hours per day. As puppies, they even sleep up to 20 hours per day. Also in old age Maltese sleep again a little more than usual.
It is perfectly normal for a Maltese to sleep a lot. All dogs do, some a little more, some a little less.
If you feel that your Maltese is sleeping too much or too little, you should first check his daily routine. Maybe he just needs more activity.
If in doubt, however, you should consult a veterinarian.
If your Maltese is not sleeping properly at night, we have put together some tips that should help him find sleep at night. Try these tips and your Maltese will surely sleep better than before.