Sweet Doggy Dreams
October 30, 2017
Have you ever noticed how much your dog sleeps? If you’re like most dog owners, you might become jealous of their relaxed life and wish you could join them for a snooze! On average, dogs spend 50% of their day sleeping and another 30% lying around. And that’s only adult dogs! Puppies and elderly dogs spend as much as 18-20 hours asleep. The position a dog sleeps in can tell us a lot about how their ancestors lived, including the environments they inhabited and the methods they used to stay safe:
Curled into a ball
Does your furry friend curl up into a lump half his size when he’s asleep? This sleeping position was often used by dogs in colder climates to keep warm when temperatures plummeted at night. These wild dogs would build nests or dig into the ground to create sleeping spots and then curl up within them. This position not only kept them warm, but protected their vulnerable bellies from predators. If your dog sleeps in a ball, he may be channeling his ancestors!
Does your pup go belly up to fall into dreamland? Dogs that sleep on their backs are showing how relaxed they are in their space. Evolutionarily, revealing their bellies was used as a sign of deference by dogs and as a way to show their comfort in a pack. If your pup not only shows you his tummy to be rubbed but falls asleep with his belly up, that means he trusts you completely and knows that he is in no danger. Sleeping in this position is also a way that dogs cool down in the summer months, since the fur on a dog’s stomach is thinner than the fur on his back.
Does your dog fall asleep on his stomach with his paws all stretched out like the Man of Steel? This position is most popular with puppies and very active dogs and is often the position you find these dogs in during short naps. Sleeping in this position allows a dog to pop up back into play faster. This position also stops most pets from falling into REM sleep, which keeps them alert and ready for anything that comes their way, be it a predator or their owner with treats in hand!
On their side
If you find your dog sleeping on his side, it usually means he’s ready to hunker down for some serious rest. This sleeping position is the most restful for most breads and it is the one that most promotes REM sleep. You’ll often see dogs in this position twitching, “running,” or “paddling” as they act out their dreams. If your pup is in this position, leave him be—he’ll likely wake up happy, refreshed, and ready play.