Every dog sleeps, but not one sleep fits all.
Have you ever noticed your dog sleeping in different positions or the same position everyday? Do you think they like a specific position more than another or tend to move around multiple times during sleep? I would like to share some knowledge about why dogs sleep in the positions that they do because there are actual reasons and meanings for different sleeping positions!
Dogs sleep in many different ways and some dogs sleep more than others based on size, breed and age. On average, dogs tend to sleep 12 to 14 hours while big dogs tend to sleep longer than small dogs and puppies will sleep on an average of 18 to 20 hours. Dogs do not usually sleep for long periods of time, most will wake and then go back to sleep off and on to interact in their environment due to what is going on around them with sounds, smells, change in temperature, etc. The more quiet and calm the environment the more likely they will utilize this time and sleep longer and deeper. The more activity the shorter their sleep time frames will be. Sleep is very important to the dogs health and happiness and providing them with a relaxed, comfortable and quiet space to get good rest is just as important for them as it is for us! In addition, being aware of their sleeping positions and habits can tell you more than just how comfortable they are, these sleeping positions can also give clues to their health!
Dogs that sleep laying on their side, legs out and belly somewhat visible feel safe and are very comfortable. This is a vulnerable position as their belly and vital organs are not protected so this is a good clue that your dog is very relaxed. This position allows good deep sleep know as REM (Rapid eye movement.) Dreaming takes place during REM sleep which means you may experience your dog’s body looking like its running while sleeping or they may vocalize in one shape or form as good snoozes can bring on vivid dreams.
Another common position, curling up into a ball. This keeps a dog warm and protected as they have their belly and vital organs covered. They are also better prepared to get on their feet if needed as their legs are right underneath them. You will see less movement/dreaming in this position as they are less likely to go into deep REM sleep. This position doesn’t mean that they are uncomfortable with their surroundings it just means they prefer this position possibly because they feel they may need to be on alert at any given time and or to conserve warmth during colder temperatures.
Dogs who sleep on their back with their belly fully exposed feel extremely safe and at ease due to, as mentioned above, the exposure of a very vulnerable area. This position can often be because they are hot. This positioning releases a great deal of heat from the body as their fur is thinner on their belly and their paws and belly hold the sweat glands. A dog can not get on their feet quickly in this type of sprawl and therefore they have given you a clue that they are feeling like they just don’t have a care in the world!
Have you ever seen a dog sleeping in the “superman” position. Belly on the floor, arms and legs sprawled out kind of like frog legs. This positions allows dogs to spring into action by popping back up on their feet quickly. Dogs will often take short naps during the day and frequently pop up to check on the sounds or activities through out their day. Dogs like to be ready for anything and some pups just can’t miss out on any fun and will lay in this position to make sure none of these fun moments pass them by. More high energy dogs tend to sleep in this position so they are ready for action!
Pay attention to how your dog sleeps (certain positions) and if they sleep more frequently and or for longer periods of time then normal. The above information that we have shared is interesting but it can also give you important clues into your dogs health that you may not have realized when your dog was awake and mobile. If they have a hard time getting into a sleeping position it could be that they are dealing with arthritis or, if your dog is having a hard time getting up you could be seeing arthritis, injury and orthopedic support bedding may be needed.
Sleep positions can also give us more serious health clues, if your dog is twitching in their sleep and you believe it to be a dream but the twitching doesn’t stop and gets excessive you may be seeing a seizure. If your dog does not respond to their name being called and continues to twitch or shake and or goes stiff, seek out veterinarian assistance right away!
Sleeping positions offer us a great deal of knowledge about personality, emotional state of mind, and health information. All of this is important insight into to better understanding our dogs, their sleep, and some of their health care needs.
To read more on bonding sleeping positions please click the link below!
Information also from the link below!