Each dog has its own personality, just like us humans. Though some may look alike, each one is unique in every way possible, even in their way of sleeping! Sleep is important to us all, but have you ever wondered, “Why does a dog sleep so much of the day away?” Well, dogs do spend about half their days sleeping, generally 12-14 hours! When they are younger, as active and lively pups, then can sleep as much as 20 hours! The more energy they express, the more sleep they need to recover, just like us humans. 

Dogs receive some of the same health benefits also that humans gain from sleep, such as a slowing of their breathing, decreased blood pressure and heart rate. They also experience REM sleep, although it happens much sooner, 10 minutes rather than the average 90 minutes for humans. A dog can wake up from REM sleep at any moment and be alert and ready to go whereas we humans aren’t quite so quick to resume life’s demands. 

Ok, so your dog loves to sleep, but what does their sleeping position say about their personality? Well, if you have a dog that likes to sleep:

On their side: 

  • They may be more easy-going and relaxed. 
  • They feel safe and comfortable in their surroundings since their vital organs will be exposed. 

When a dog is in this position, you will see them running in their sleep and allows them to quickly get up from their nap and get back into the action. 

All curled up:

  • They are more secure but may want to protect themselves still too. 

Dogs may lay this way more often in the winter in an effort to keep warmer. They will experience less mobility while sleeping. Your furry friend won’t be counting steps in this position!

Tummy time aka “Superman”:

  • Full of energy and ready to play, play, play. 

Most common with active puppies that nap frequently while in the middle of play. They want to be able to get up quickly and resume play and exploration. 

On the back:

  • Laidback and carefree. 
  • Feels safe and comfortable in their environment. 

Since a dog in this position is leaving all their vital organs fully exposed, this is a great sign of trust. They feel so comfortable and carefree that they are not worried about leaving themselves vulnerable. They also are not as concerned with popping back up into action when in this position. 

Sleep is important for your dog, so if you notice any changes in their sleep pattern, appetite, energy level or ever have any other concerns about your pet, give your Ellicott City, MD veterinarian a call at 410-465-6218 to schedule an appointment for your dog.