What Your Dog’s Sleeping Positions Actually Mean

Like why he sleeps curled up in a ball 🥺

dog sleeping positions

Have you ever noticed how your pup somehow seems to be even more adorable when he’s sleeping, no matter if he’s curled up or sprawled out?

Well it turns out all those dog sleeping positions can signal different things about your pup, how he’s feeling and if he’s even asleep, according to Kaitlyn Tullio, a registered veterinary nurse with DodoVet.

And we’re breaking them down just for you.

What do the most common dog sleeping positions mean?

Your dog’s sleeping position can let you know how comfortable he is when he’s lying down to snooze. Here are a few common ones:

The lion pose

The lion pose is when your dog is lying on his stomach and resting his head on his paws. When your pup’s in this position, odds are he’s not fully asleep.

“If your dog is sleeping with its head on its front paws, it most likely means they are resting and not in deep sleep,” Tullio told The Dodo.

You know when your BFF seems to suddenly wake up just because you looked at him? He’s probably sleeping in this position when that happens.

“Usually they are in this position when they are ready for playtime if the opportunity arises,” Tullio said.

The side sleeper

The side sleeper position is exactly what it sounds like — your pup’s sleeping on his side with his legs stretched out.

According to Tullio, this is actually the most common sleeping position for dogs, and it means your bestie is super comfortable.

“They are very at ease and feel safe in their environment,” Tullio said.

The donut

If you ever catch your pup curled up in a tight little ball while he’s snoozing, that’s when he’s sleeping in the donut position.

“They may sleep this way when they are cold or stressed,” Tullio said.

If you think your dog might be a little chilly, you could always grab him a blanket, or even pick him up a self-warming dog bed that reflects his own body heat back at him.

And if your pup is a little on the anxious side, a calming supplement could help him relax a bit more.

The Superman

You’ll know your dog’s sleeping in the Superman position when you spot him sprawled on his belly with his back legs kicked out behind him and his front legs extended past his head (aka splooting).

“This position tends to be most often used in smaller dogs as it is harder for larger dogs,” Tullio said.

And according to Tullio, this position could mean your pup is feeling a little too warm.

If it’s a little toasty in your home, you could always try an elevated dog bed to keep your pup cool during naptime.

Now you know that dog sleeping positions aren’t just incredibly cute — they can also let you know how comfortable your pup is when he’s trying to drift off to sleep.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.

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