Watching a dog sleep can be a really enjoyable experience.
If they’re sleeping peacefully, it warms our heart because we see them calm, comfortable, and content.
Sometimes, though, watching a dog sleep is like watching a comedy routine.
The snoring, funny faces, and involuntary movement of their legs are pretty funny to observe.
While observing these behaviors, have you ever wondered if they’re normal or even healthy? What if your dog starts doing something they’ve never done before? Should you be concerned?
We get these types of questions all the time at our local veterinarian office. And we’re happy to answer them. Here, we’ll explain which sleeping behaviors are normal and which ones should move you to bring your pet to your vet.
Your Local Veterinarian Answers Your Top Questions About the Ways Dogs Sleep
Here are some of the most common questions we hear when pet parents come into our animal clinic. We hope the answers to them will help you understand your dog better.
1. Why Does My Dog Sleep In That Position?
One of the most common questions is: Why does my dog sleep like that?
Dogs have a variety of sleep positions. These include:
- Curled up in a ball
- Spread out on their stomach like Superman
- On their back with feet in the air
- On their side
- Snuggled up to their pet parent or favorite fluffy toy.
These positions can explain a lot about your dog’s personality or how they’re feeling physically.
For instance, sleeping on their back usually means they’re hot. Exposing their tummy is a great way to cool off comfortably.
When dogs sleep on their stomach, they’re usually too tired to do anything but plop down right where they are and sleep. You’ll notice this position in puppies a lot because they like sleep in a position in which they can jump up at a moment’s notice and play.
2. Do Dogs Really Dream?
Most dog owners are convinced their dogs do, in fact, dream. Their dog’s behavior seems to indicate dream activity, like twitching, growling, or moving their legs as if to run.
It isn’t unreasonable to think dogs dream. Studies have shown animals with brains less complex than dogs most likely dream.
What is your dog dreaming about?
They’re most likely dreaming about dog things – eating something delicious, chasing a cat, etc.
3. Why Do Some Dogs Walk Around In a Circle Before Settling Down to Sleep?
Dogs’ ancestors – the wolf – had to sleep in the wild. To create a comfortable sleeping area, they had to trample down grass and other brush.
This behavior has stuck with dogs down through the centuries.
If you notice your dog walking in a circle or even pawing at the ground or their bed before they sleep – have no fear. This is perfectly normal.
What If Your Dog Starts to Display Abnormal Sleep Behaviors?
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to certain sleep disorders. These include:
- REM Behavior Disorder
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.
Some symptoms of sleep disorders include:
- Not sleeping
- Loud, constant snoring with moments of arrested breathing
- Suddenly awaking and running into a wall or attacking you
- Sleep walking or acting disoriented
- Muscle weakness and occasional paralysis
- Extreme sleepiness
- Waking up at night and being unable to fall asleep again.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, make an appointment with your local veterinarian. The veterinary team at our Buckhead animal clinic can assess your dog’s symptoms and come up with a treatment plan to help them sleep healthfully again.
Learn All You Can About Your Pet to Help Them Live a Long, Happy Life
How can we do that?
First, we need to learn all we can about our pet. Learning about the breed, common illnesses or conditions, and what’s safe for them.
Next, we need to learn how to provide exceptional general pet care. How often does the dog need a walk? How often do they need interaction with other dogs? What can you do to prevent puppy loneliness when you’re away at work?
Our local veterinarian and team are happy to provide you with answers and share the wealth of information they possess.
When you get the answers to your questions, we’re positive you will be able to give your pet the extraordinarily happy and healthy life you want your pet to have.