What Is Splooting And Why Does My Dog Do It?

It’s cute, but is it comfy?!

why do dogs sploot

Do you often find yourself looking at your dog and thinking, “Why the heck is he lying like that?”

If you’ve ever caught your dog splooting — aka kicking one or both of his back legs out behind him while he’s lying down — you might’ve asked yourself that exact question.

It’s super adorable, but does your dog really enjoy it?

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Andrea Y. Tu, medical director at Behavior Vets in New York City, to find out if this Instagram-worthy pose is actually comfortable for your pup.

What is splooting?

When a dog lies down, you typically see him with one of his back legs tucked underneath his body, and the other a little off to the side.

When your dog is splooting, however, it means he’s pushed either one or both of his back legs out behind him, so his hips and belly are touching the ground.

The result is suuuuper cute, but you might be wondering if this is good for your dog’s joints.

Well, never fear!

“That’s one of those things where some [dogs] like lying in that position,” Dr. Tu told The Dodo. “It’s not just dogs. Cats do it a lot too.”

Why do dogs do it?

There are a few reasons why your dog might be splooting, and the good news is that none of them are inherently bad.

“Sometimes they like it because it feels good to stretch out,” Dr. Tu said. “Some animals like stretching out in that position.”

Or maybe he’s looking to beat the heat on a hot summer day.

“Some animals might enjoy having the cool sensation of the floor on their belly,” Dr. Tu explained.

Maybe your dog is just a nonconformist.

Either way, all are perfectly fine reasons for splooting.

Can splooting hurt your dog?

If joint issues are your concern, don’t worry! Odds are your dog is splooting because he actually enjoys how it feels.

“If they’re comfortable in that position, I would just leave them be,” Dr. Tu said. “It doesn’t really suggest anything positive or negative.”

The only time splooting becomes a problem is if your dog isn’t doing it willingly.

“I would be more concerned if you were trying to force them into that position,” Dr. Tu explained. “If your dog is not doing it [on his own], forcing him to do it may potentially cause injury.”

But if you stumble upon your dog just lounging around in that precious pose, then that’s great.

And enjoy that photo op guilt-free!

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