Us dogs sure do love to sleep! I’d even say it’s one of our favorite hobbies. But as a pet parent, have you ever noticed that your dog has some silly mannerisms and positions when getting comfortable for bedtime? Or that your dog makes some weird noises while he’s fast asleep? Well I, Rex, THE Original Hipster Hound, am here to decode all your dogs’ sleeping habits. Dogs are a lot like humans when it comes to sleep, but there are some slight differences.
Many pups love to tunnel themselves under their favorite blanket or bedding. This can leave many pet parents concerned about whether their dog is getting enough air to breathe under that thick blanket. Fear not – if we get uncomfortable, we’ll resurface. Tunneling under confined spaces can be the result of instinctive behavior from the days when wild dogs raised their pups in small, dark dens. Whether for warmth or comfort, many dogs enjoy the soothing space deep under the covers.
Spin and Scratch
Perhaps one of the most amusing dog behaviors for pet parents to watch is that frantic spin some do right before they finally settle into the perfect spot. This dizzying spin, often followed by scratching or digging at their bed, also has an instinctive origin. This behavior occurs because your pup is a pack animal and in earlier times slept in a den or hidden area, while the scratching is related to moving and rearranging debris to make their sleeping area feel more comfortable. It is also a way for your pup to mark their territory and make sure their area is safe before laying down to rest.
As many pet parents know that dogs thrive on companionship and enjoy the company and security of sleeping next to someone else – human and/or canine. Many dogs cuddle up in bed next to their humans and find ways to stay in close proximity and touch throughout the night. Being close to someone while we sleep helps us feel safe and cozy.
The position a dog chooses to sleep in relies mainly on their personality and how they feel in their current environment. Some of us pups enjoy sleeping next to our favorite toy or spread out like a hawk or even curled tightly in a ball. Many dogs seem to have no problem sleeping just about anywhere in any position.
The two factors that play a part in how dogs choose to sleep are temperature and surroundings. When the temperature is warm or hot, pups are often most comfortable sprawled out across the floor or bed in attempts to cool down. On the other hand, when the temperature is on the cooler side, dogs often fall asleep curled up tightly to maintain body heat. If a dog feels safe and comfortable enough to fall asleep with an exposed belly, it demonstrates their sense of trust in their environment and the humans in it.
Noises and Movements
Sometimes when us dogs are fast asleep, pet parents may notice them twitching, moving their limbs, growling, or whimpering. This can leave humans wondering what is going on in their sweet little heads! Studies suggest there is evidence that dogs do, in fact, experience dreams. Just like humans, when it comes to sleep patterns and brain wave activity, dogs enter a deep sleep stage where their breathing can become irregular, and we have rapid eye movement (REM). It is during this time that we experience actual dreams. While one dog may only twitch from time to time, another may be in full action mode every night, caught up in some kind of doggie dream.
Amount of Sleep
Dogs sleep a lot more than their humans do. On average, dogs need about 12 to 14 hours of sleep each day. Big dogs tend to take longer naps than smaller dogs, and puppies need about 18 to 19 hours of sleep each day, usually waking up for an hour after every few hours of sleep.
Pet parents need to take notice of their dog’s normal sleeping habits. If you notice a change in how long your dog sleeps, it could mean a lot of things from a dietary change to a thyroid problem. If your dog is spending too much time napping, it could be time for a vet visit.
Sleepovers at The Hipster Hound
At The Hipster Hound, we understand how important a good night’s sleep is for all dogs. That’s why we ensure our boarding dogs spend their days enjoying supervised play with their furry friends and their nights enjoying restful sleep in our comfortable boarding facility. Learn all about our full-service dog boarding kennels on our website, or if you’re ready to schedule your pup’s sleepover at our Echols Avenue location, you can make an appointment online. See you soon!
Rex, The Original Hipster Hound