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Expert Explains Adorable Reason Why Dogs Sleep On Their Side

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Expert Explains Adorable Reason Why Dogs Sleep On Their Side

Sleeping puppies are ridiculously cute, there's no doubt about it. But did you know that the way your four-legged friend sleeps might also be telling you how they feel?

It turns out the position your pet sleeps in can be decoded to explain their mood, temperature and behaviour. It can even tell you if they trust you or not!

The most common dog sleeping position also has an adorable hidden message, straight from your pup to you.

Your dog's favourite sleeping position has a cute message for you as their owner. (Credit: Unsplash)
Your dog's favourite sleeping position has a cute message for you as their owner. (Credit: Unsplash)
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Dogs commonly sleep on their side with their legs splayed out, and this can be a sign that they are comfortable with you and can let their guard down. Lynne Fisher, from dog training insurance provider Cliverton, explained to The Mirror: "Chances are, you’ve seen your dog lying on their side with their legs splayed out.

"It’s one of the most common positions for dogs to sleep in, and it’s good news for you as their owner – it means they’re comfortable enough to expose their stomach to you, showing they have trust in you.

"Side sleeping is a sure-fire sign that your dog is in a nice, deep sleep - so best not to disturb them. If you happen to find them lying in this position while awake, however, be sure to give them some belly scratches."

How your dog sleeps can tell you how they feel about you as well as their health, mood and personality. (Credit: Unsplash)
How your dog sleeps can tell you how they feel about you as well as their health, mood and personality. (Credit: Unsplash)
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It's not just side sprawling that has a message though. Dogs curling up to sleep can indicate they are trying to make themselves feel safe and protected according to the secret signals of their body language.

Sarah Barber, In-house Vet Nurse at Butternut Box, revealed: "Dogs sleep in lots of different positions, and they can mean different things.Dogs who sleep with their belly on the floor and paws in front of them, perhaps with their head resting on top, often sleep this way when they know they might need to get up at a moment's notice. Dogs will often sleep this way if they’re catching a few quick Zs on the fly, perhaps in the back of the car, or when sleeping in a busier area of the house."

However, if your dog has a more anxious personality then their sleep might reflect this too as Sarah explains: "If your dog is a little more nervous, they may sleep in a ball or donut shape, with their nose tucked into their tail. This is a very secure and soothing position for a dog who feels as though they need a little more protection. Some dogs will also sleep in this position if they’re feeling a bit chilly and need to preserve some body heat."

If your dog likes cuddling close, then it's their way of showing how much they love you! (Credit: Unsplash)
If your dog likes cuddling close, then it's their way of showing how much they love you! (Credit: Unsplash)
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The way our dogs sleep isn't just their secret way of telling us how comfortable they feel, it can also be their way of telling us there is something wrong too.

Sarah reveals how to decode your dog's sleep signals: "Dogs are creatures of habit, so if you notice that your pooch used to sleep a certain way and now doesn’t, it could be because they’re feeling some sort of discomfort or even pain.

"For example, some dogs might rest their head up on something a little higher whilst they sleep - this could be a sign that they’re having some trouble breathing. Or, an older dog experiencing arthritis or joint pain might not curl up like a donut anymore, and might need help keeping warm on cooler nights with some extra blankets.

"Speak to your vet if you’ve noticed any changes to your dog’s sleeping habits."

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Your dog's snoozing habits can tell you a lot about how they're feeling. (Credit: Pexels)
Your dog's snoozing habits can tell you a lot about how they're feeling. (Credit: Pexels)

If you notice that your dog is dreaming and even running or barking in their sleep, it can be a sign that your pup is reminiscing about their day. Sarah explains: "Like humans, dogs also experience a REM cycle when they sleep, and are likely to experience dreams too. It is thought that dogs are reliving their daily experiences and enacting their usual activities in these dreams. If you notice that your dog is particularly agitated during sleep and is twitching or whimpering more than usual, you can try gently calming your pup down. Dogs can become startled if woken abruptly, so try waking them by gently saying their name quietly or you can tug on whatever they’re laying on to gradually bring their awareness back to the room."

So whether your dog likes to cuddle up next to you, sprawl on the floor or even flop out on the nearest flat surface, you can learn a lot from how your pup snoozes!

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Animals, Sleep

Niamh Spence
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