Whether you are a new pet parent or have had your pup for a while, you've likely seen your dog in a few different sleeping positions. Some may look extremely uncomfortable to us, but dogs' bodies are shaped differently, so odd-looking poses can actually feel comfier than they look! Keep reading to find out what your dog’s sleeping position means:
What Does It Mean When Your Dog Sleeps on Their Side?
If your dog is a side sleeper, that means they are incredibly comfortable with their surroundings both physically and mentally. When dogs sleep on their side, they expose vulnerable body parts like their tummy and neck, which they instinctively try to protect. Therefore if they are on their side, that means they trust you to keep them safe.
Fun fact: If they are in this position, they are also likely in a deep sleep!
What Does It Mean When Your Dog Sleeps Curled in a Ball?
If dogs are cold, they will want to curl up in a ball to conserve body heat and stay warm while they sleep. Therefore being curled up serves two major functions for dogs. Number one is to stay warm, and number two is to feel comfortable. If you found your dog at a shelter, you likely saw a few dogs in this position since the floors are often cooler at shelters. Dogs will also curl up to protect their stomach, an inherent trait that comes from wanting to hide and stay safe in the wild. If your dog sleeps in this position, don't fret! They might just need a better dog bed. We recommend dog beds with thick pillows because they retain heat and therefore negate any need to curl up.
What Does It Mean When Your Dog Sleeps on Their Back?
Though rare, and quite humorous, you may occasionally see your dog sleeping on their back with their paws in the sky. Dogs sleeping upside down once again means that they feel safe enough to expose their tummy. It also means they are likely trying to find a way to cool down. Exposing their tummy and armpits to the air can help dogs regulate their temperature and cool off if they feel warm. If your dog was awake when they got into this position next to you, they might have simply fallen asleep while waiting for some belly rubs!
What Does It Mean When Your Dog Sleeps on Their Stomach?
Ah, the good old superman position, otherwise called a 'full sploot'! This is when your dog sleeps with their stomach on the ground and their legs are flung straight out in front and behind themselves. While you might think this is uncomfortable for them, we can assure you they are totally fine! While scientists are not entirely sure what this position means for dogs, they believe it has to do with dogs wanting to cool down.
Tip: Since most dog bellies have some of the shortest and thinnest hair, putting their stomach against a cool floor on a hot day can be the most effective way to cool them off.
If your dog is tummy down with their legs tucked under them, then they are in a position called the 'lions pose', which looks like the Sphinx. This pose puts them in the perfect place to pop back up when they want to. Generally, if your dog is in the 'lion pose', they are just napping and preparing for a sudden wake-up, such as an owner coming home or a friend who is ready to play!
What Does It Mean If Your Dog Sleeps Under Blankets?
Some pooches might find it comfortable to be under a blanket when they sleep because blankets feel like a warm hug. After all, who doesn't love a good hug! Feel free to see if your dog also shares a love for your favorite blanket. If you are going to tuck your buddy under the covers, avoid heavy-duty blankets so that your dog can quickly get fresh air.
What Does It Mean if Your Dog Sleeps on You?
Yes, you read that right! If your dog tries to sleep on top of you at night, you may have a cuddler on your hands. Many dogs cuddle because that is what they are used to as puppies, since many litters will sleep in puppy piles. We wish we could say they do this to be cute, but cuddling really helps them stay warm, and becomes a natural comfort to dogs even after they have outgrown their litter. The other good news about your pet cuddling, whether it be with you or another pet, is that it means they see their cuddle buddy as their family. If you aren't a huge cuddler yourself, you can find a large stuffed animal or heated dog bed to help your dog find similar comfort.
Written By: Emily Balogh