Your dog may very well be the most cuddly creature on earth. You probably don’t mind having your dog sleeping in bed with you. It’s a sign of pure love and affection. It’s also an excellent opportunity to pay close attention to all the ways your dog can communicate with you through body language. Understanding your dog’s body language doesn’t just bring you closer together; it also helps you assess their health and well being. Here are nine different ways you can interpret your dog’s sleeping habits.
Sleeping with your dog is a big deal; it means you are part of the pack. Even though you are the one in charge (hopefully), it’s a leap of faith for your dog to choose to sleep with you. You are, after all, human. So when your dog snuggles right up against your body and spoons, it’s a sign of pure comfort and ease. It’s your pup’s way of showing that they completely trust and love you.
Running in Place
Sleeping with dogs can also be a bit funny, especially when your dog starts to run in one place in bed. There’s a pretty good chance that your dog is in a deep sleep dreaming about running through the park or chasing a ball that you just threw. In any event, your dog is doing what dogs love to do: run like the wind. Dogs who are dreaming are always quick to wake with just a gentle nudge. If any movement during sleep raises your concerns then be sure to consult your veterinarian.
There’s a good chance you’ve seen your dog sleeping with all four paws in the air. You can probably guess that this means your pooch is completely relaxed and at ease. Nice job! You’ve created an environment where your dog knows that they are safe. When dogs are out in the wild, this is never the case, and they must catch their z’s while in a position that will allow them to react very quickly to any unexpected situation. Isn’t it nice to know that your puppy can enjoy all the creature comforts of your home?
Flat as a Pancake
You may notice your dog sleeping in this position quite often when the temperature is hot. Your dog is trying to cool off, and one of the easiest ways to do that while sleeping is to sprawl out, with his belly to the ground or floor. This is just one reason why it’s a good idea to make sure that your dog is protected against the threat of fleas and ticks, because when your dog lays down in the grass his body is completely fair game for these nasty little parasites that can then spread throughout the whole home.
When dogs are relaxed and comfortable, they will lie on their side, with their legs outstretched. It’s fine when they do this lying on the floor, but it can be a whole other story when they are in bed with you. If you’re lucky, they’ll kick their feet out to the side opposite your body, but if you’re not so fortunate, then they stick their legs right into your rib cage. It doesn’t always feel so great, but at least you will know that your pooch is happy!
If there’s any “natural” position for your dog to sleep in, nose-to-tail is the one. When your dog curls up in a ball this way, he or she is trying to stay safe and protected. Dogs who sleep outside usually sleep in this position to protect themselves and stay warm.
So you invited your pooch into bed, and now there’s just another snorer in the room? Oh dear! Some dogs are natural snorers while others may snore from the effects of allergies, health conditions, or excess weight. Talk to your veterinarian if you are concerned that your little snorer needs help.
People talk in their sleep, and dogs bark in their sleep. Your dog is in a deep sleep, dreaming about…something. Maybe your dog is dreaming about all the fun you had together today!
As long as your dog is crying or whimpering while sleeping, this is usually not a cause for worry. Just as the case with barking, your dog is somewhere off in dreamland, reacting to whatever is happening in that dream. But if it’s the middle of the night and your dog is awake crying, well, that may require your attention. There could be many reasons why your dog wakes up in the middle of the night and needs attention. For instance, a dog who typically sleeps through the night but suddenly starts waking up to drink water or go outside may be showing early signs of a health problem. If your dog’s habits suddenly change, consult your veterinarian to be sure that everything is okay.
You will certainly draw your own conclusions and interpretations about what your dog’s body language means just by ongoing observation. Sleeping with your dog offers you the chance to deepen the bond between you. After all, it’s just as much a treat for you to cuddle with your dog as it is for your dog to cuddle with you. For happy nights, keep your pooch up-to-date on vaccinations and flea and tick protection, to keep these unwanted creatures out of your bed!