If you’re one of the millions of Americans that own a dog, you’ve probably noticed that your furry friend has certain sleeping behaviors, just like you! And as it turns out, their sleep position can tell you quite a bit about their mood and personality.
Dogs who sleep on their side are comfortable with their surroundings. For dogs, this position is considered vulnerable because it exposes the vital organs. So if your pup chooses this laid-back stance, you can trust that they feel safe in their environment, and with you. A senior dog may also feel more comfortable on its side to relieve joint pain.
Similar to side sleeping, back sleeping is another position that only the most relaxed dogs will assume. Most won’t sleep this way if they don’t feel completely comfortable and laid-back in their surroundings. Additionally, exposing the belly where fur tends to be thinner can help cool down their bodies in warmer temperatures.
3. Sprawled out
In this Superman-like pose, the dog is sleeping on their stomach with all fours stretched outward. Typically, energetic dogs and puppies will take power naps like this so they’re ready to spring into action as soon as they’ve recharged. And on a hot day, lying belly down on a cool surface like tile or hardwood can help them cool off.
4. Curled up
Sleeping in a ball with tail to nose is known to conserve heat and help dogs regulate their body temperatures. It also offers a sense of security by protecting the abdomen. More common among smaller breeds, this position might indicate that your pup feels apprehensive or a little chilly.
5. Lion pose
Typically when a dog is just resting or sleeping lightly, they’ll assume the lion pose with their paws beneath their head and legs tucked underneath or off to the side. If you observe your pup in this pose, they’re likely waiting for some kind of entertainment (or an intruder) to come along and want to remain ready to hop up when it does.
Where should my dog sleep?
No matter their preferred position, canines both young and old can benefit from a supportive and comfortable place to sleep. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs need anywhere between 12 - 18 hours of sleep every day for optimal health. Chances are you’ve seen your pooch passed out on the floor before, but spending multiple hours lying on a hard ground can inhibit them from getting quality rest.
When it comes to sleeping quarters, dogs need a place that’s cozy, clean, familiar, and most importantly, their own. Instinctively, dogs seek out enclosed areas where they can go to feel protected and sheltered. Providing a crate, or “home away from home” that your dog can retreat to for rest and relaxation is a great way to section off a sleeping space for them. Having this sanctuary will also help train your pup where to snooze and where not to do their business. And as an added bonus, keeping your furry friend off of your bed helps both of you get more peaceful, undisturbed rest.
For comfortable sleep, pets (just like humans) need a sleep surface that conforms to the body and takes pressure off of joints. And the right bed can support your dog and also hold up when accidents happen. Whether you choose a crate or simply a cozy corner, we highly recommend adding one to your dog’s sleeping area. To ensure the best sleep, look for a memory foam dog bed that’s thick, supportive, and large enough for your particular breed to stretch out.