If you have a dog at home, you may have noticed that dogs tend to sleep much more than humans. Note that larger breeds of dogs need longer naps than others, and if you have a puppy, they can snooze for up to 19 hours a day while they develop and grow, so don't panic if your little furball doesn't answer when you call them, they're probably napping!
If not, did you know that your dog's sleeping position can say a lot about his health and happiness? And her sleeping position can change depending on the area of the house she's in, the person or object she's sleeping next to, or simply her mood.
Our four-legged friends have such curious personalities that it makes sense that they show up when they sleep too... Why do our dogs sleep in such strange positions?
Find out below what the positions your dog sleeps in mean...
Why does my dog sleep on his side?
This is the most common position dogs adopt when they sleep: on their side with their legs stretched out. If your dog sleeps in this position, he is comfortable in his crate, relaxed and happy! This position also indicates a deeper stage of sleep and it's often when they lie this way that they are most likely to have dreams. If your dog likes to sleep in this position, make sure he has enough room to lie down and that his bed is not too small.
Why does my dog sleep on his paws?
If your dog sleeps on his stomach with his chin on his paws, it's usually just a nap, not a real sleep. He will probably change position to a deeper sleep state or get up when he is ready to run around again ;)
Why does my dog sleep on his stomach?
This is a position where your dog's chin is resting on the floor and his arms and legs are extended, a sort of plank. This position is most often adopted by puppies or very energetic dogs who need to take more frequent naps. But don't be fooled, it's just a matter of regaining strength and they'll be on their feet and ready to run around again!
Why does my dog sleep curled up in a ball?
When your dog curls up in a ball, nose to tail, he makes himself as small as possible, which helps him to warm up. It's also a protective position because his back and head cover his vital organs.
This sleeping position doesn't allow for much movement and can mean a number of things: he's not very comfortable in his environment or he's just trying to keep warm (so you'll see this position more often during the colder months of the year).
Why does my dog sleep on his back with his paws up?
The opposite of the curled up position, an exposed belly means your dog needs to cool off. So you'll probably see this position during the warmer months or if the heat is on.
The fur is thinner on the belly, and your dog's paws are where their sweat glands are, so when they expose these areas, they can cool down more easily. In this position, they expose the most vulnerable areas of their body.
Why does my dog snuggle with me?
Does your dog like to snuggle with you? In addition to being a sign of affection and trust, this position gives him a sense of comfort, security and warmth, just like a hug! Puppies do this with their mothers because they have a harder time regulating their body heat when they are very small. This behavior tends to continue as they grow, because they enjoy it and it's a way to bond.
Why does my dog moves in his sleep?
Movement in your dog's sleep is usually a sign that he is dreaming. He is in a deep sleep and should not be disturbed. Tail wags, ticks, pawing and growling are common behaviors. However, a tic can be a sign of excessive cooling. If you are cold or your home is a bit chilly, it may be helpful to give him a blanket if you see this. If the twitching is ever excessive or seems abnormal to you, it may indicate a possible heart attack. Try to wake him up by name and if he doesn't respond and continues to shake, starts to stiffen or squirm excessively, call an emergency vet.
If their movements during sleep are more aggressive, if they seem agitated, or if they bark while sleeping, it may indicate a nightmare. In fact, just like us, dogs can have bad dreams, just like us! If he doesn't wake up on his own and seems distressed, as you would with a child, offer him a soothing pat and gently call his name to let him know you're there. He will either wake up or stay asleep and calm down.