Dogs, you might have noticed, like to snooze! There are few things cuter than dogs sleeping. Indeed, a healthy adult dog spends on average between 12 and 14 hours of every day having a sleep. Puppies, senior dogs and those suffering from health problems often need even more rest.
In terms of dogs sleeping, the position they adopt means something. Dogs choose all sorts of sleeping positions, especially when they are sharing a space with their pups. There are the back loungers, the spread-outers, and the curled-up cutenesses. Each position means something, but what?
Here are six common dog sleeping positions and some of the science that lies behind them.
The Side Sleeper
The most common sleep posture that dogs use is lying on one side or the other with legs extended.
It indicates that the dog is relaxed and comfortable and demonstrates that the dog trusts his surroundings.
Dogs often begin dozing with head on top of paws and then slump onto one side once deep sleep comes over the animal. As soon as dogs start to dream, their muscles relax and they roll into the normal side sleeping position.
When dogs sleep on their sides it’s because they like the space to stretch out. To help them, look for a large dog bed, such as the Ellie-Bo XXL for comfort and plenty of room.
The Sleeping Lion
When you see your dog sleeping with his head on top of his paws, the chances are he’s just having a rest, according to Dr Stanley Coren, of the Psychology Department at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is also the author of many books, including Do Dogs Dream? Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know.
Coren says when you see a dog with paws stretched forward and head resting on paws like the statue of a reclining lion the dog is probably just having a doze and not in deep slumber.
Many canines commonly curl up into a little ball, according to Dr Katherine Houpt from Cornell University’s veterinary medicine college. Houpt studied how dogs in shelters sleep and discovered that almost all slept undisturbed curled up in balls.
She believes they do this to make themselves as small as possible. It also helps them regulate their body temperature. Houpt says when dogs are warm, they like to stretch out on cool surfaces, but the majority of the time, they prefer to curl up. She thinks this is because it makes them feel less vulnerable.
If a dog prefers to curl up when sleeping a suitable bed maybe something like the Mora Pets Self Heating Pet Pads. This bed is designed to keep pups comfy and snug. The dog’s body is what warms the bed. No electricity is needed so it’s very safe for overnight and even outdoor use.
Some dogs like to stretch out with their legs to the front of their heads and kicked back behind them. It is sometimes called the “Superman position”. Nobody is sure why they do this but Drs Coren and Houpt have their theories.
Coren thinks the position relates to temperature because most dogs’ underside fur is not as insulating as the rest of the body’s fur. Lying with limbs outstretched and belly on the floor is often in response to a warm environment. It often happens where the surface on which the dog is lying is comparatively cooler than the air around.
Houpt says she has seen smaller dogs and puppies – like Chihuahuas and Terriers – stretch their back legs behind them She believes there may be some mechanical reason why heavier dogs find it harder to take up the Superman position.
If you feel your dog is getting too hot in contact with the floor then an elevated dog bed, like the AMhuui Elevated Dog Bed, may help to keep your pet cool.
The Cuddle Bug
When your dog constantly snuggles up against you, or find the dog nuzzled up next to another dog the simple explanation (see picture at the top), according to Coren, is that this is a holdover from puppy days.
Again, it has to do with temperature, as puppies often have difficulties regulating their own body heat.
As dogs mature, sleeping snuggled up is an extension of a learned feeling of comfort left over from puppyhood.
A cozy pet bed like the Furhaven Orthopedic Round Pet Dog Bed is designed to encourage burrowing. Alternatively, a heated dog bed like the K&H Pet Products self-warming lounge sleeper dog bed would help keep your dog warm.
The Dead Bug
When your dog tends to sleep with all limbs stuck up in the air, it could be a sign of submission and vulnerability but it could also show off a laid back independent air because the dogs feel secure in their surroundings.
If it is because the dog is overheating, it’s the best way to cool off. When both paws are draped across the chest, it’s a “leave me alone” sign.
When your dogs are not sleeping they need some exercise. To find out how Cats, Dogs & Peace of Mind can help you walk your dogs please get in touch.
Pictures from Pixabay