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Why do dogs sleep on their back?

Updated on July 7, 2009

How do dogs sleep?

Dogs are great sleepers. Man’s best friends are energetic animals. Dogs have high exercise requirements. But did you know that these animals spend one half or their lives sleeping? Yes, dogs sleep from 12 to 15 hours a day. Some breeds are even noted to sleep for more than 18 hours. These large breeds are dubbed as fireplace rugs as they are often seen in front of the fire sleeping the day (and the night) away. These animals sleep in a variety of positions. Some are curled up in a ball when sleeping. This sleeping position is most common in outside dogs. Nordic dogs sleep this way as well. All curled up, the dog would preserve body heat to keep them warm. Other dogs would assume the flying squirrel position where the dog would lie on its stomach with the feet extended outwards. Dogs can also take an amusing sleeping position. The dog would lie on its back with the four legs up in the air like an upended table.

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The affectionate dog

Dogs are also tactile animals. Once a strong bond is formed with its people, the dog would always want to be by their side. To be cuddled, petted and kissed. Even when they are sleeping, the dog would want to receive affection. Look how they would prefer the master’s feet over a comfortable bed. When the dog sleeps on its back, your pet is telling you that it would appreciate a belly rub.

A comfortable sleeping position

Lying on its back is considered to be the most comfortable sleeping position of a dog. Unlike in the curled up position where the muscles are all tensed up, lying on its back means that the dog is relaxed. Experts tell us that because the dog is most relaxed, the pet will enter the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep and dream.

The dog is secure

Dogs are noted to sleep on their backs when they know that they are secure. The dog is probably sleeping inside the house, in their secured and comfortable sleeping quarters if not in the room of the master. Dogs in the wild can never sleep this way. Sleeping on their backs would bare the stomach, the throat and the vital organs to the attacks of predators.

Keeping cool

Dogs don’t sweat. To keep cool, the dog would pant and loll its tongue. Dogs are noted to sleep on their backs when the weather is extremely hot. Because the belly is less covered with hair, the dog can adjust the body temperature better if it is exposed to cooler air.

dog sleeping on its back

Dog sleeping on its back

dog sleeping on his back


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