Dog Sleeping Positions

dog sleeping positions

Doggies love to move around in their sleep, and that’s why you’ve probably caught your pet napping in different positions. 

But, did you know that you can tell a lot about your doggo from their sleeping preference? Every pose your canine makes – from sleeping on their side to sleeping on their back with paws all akimbo means something. 

If you’re keen on learning the secret behind your doggo’s sleeping poses, then stick around as we walk you through what each canine sleeping position signifies. 

What’s more, we’ve gone one step further and compiled dog beds according to common canine sleeping positions – so you can get the mattress that’ll best suit your pet’s needs!

Types of Dog Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

what dog sleeping positions mean

Our ‘rights reserved’ common dog sleeping positions lineup includes seven canine poses, along with their meanings and the bed type most suited to each pose. Quite a few of these sleeping positions can reveal valuable info about your pup’s health and personality – so you might want to pay attention here. 

Belly Up

Belly Up

The belly-up position is a favorite of dog owners worldwide because it amplifies Fido’s cute factor times ten. Pups sleeping in this position typically lie on their backs, with their bellies exposed (along with everything else) and their paws hanging in the air. This position is the doggy equivalent of sleeping on one’s back.

You may think your dog’s uncomfortable in this crazy legs position, but the truth is, dogs who sleep in this pose are incredibly trusting and at ease with their family and surroundings. 

Dog experts also state that the belly-up position is a favorite with canines who feel hot as they sleep. Doggos who like to sleep on their backs may be trying to regulate their body temperature by exposing their belly (which is a source of heat) and their paws (because that’s where their sweat glands are located). 

You’ll also notice that this sleeping position is not common among older canines because they generally suffer from orthopedic problems like arthritis. 

Lion Pose

Lion Pose

If your canine resembles the sphinx as they take a nap – they’re sleeping in the lion pose. Dogs sleeping in the lion pose will typically rest their head on their front paws ( that are tucked in), with their hind legs resting at one side. 

Puppies who prefer this sleeping position have inherent protective instincts and are always vigilant about their loved ones’ safety. 

When you catch your mutt napping in this position, rest assured it’s not in a deep sleep. Canines will adopt the lion pose for a brief nap or some rest, but their position lets you know they’ll be up and running at any time.

Side Sleeper

Side Sleeper

As the name suggests, the side sleeper pose is when your pooch is sleeping on its side with its legs stretched out. This position is a big hit with doggos approaching their golden years and little puppies. 

According to Jennifer Coates, DVM (who is a veterinarian, editor, writer, and consultant), dogs tend to sleep on their sides when they’re relaxed, are at ease with their environment, and more importantly, are at a comfy body temperature. 

Dogs like the side sleeper position when they’re preparing for deep sleep. That’s why dog owners often find their pooches twitching or dream running because their paws are unrestricted. 

The Donut

The Donut

The donut sleeping position has your doggo curled up like a ball with all its legs tucked close to its body. At times, your pet is rolled up so tight that its nose may even touch its hind legs. 

Dogs sleep in this position to conserve body heat and maintain body temperature. Pups may also sleep in this position when they’re new to their environment and have not acclimatized yet. The donut is a protective sleeping position, which is why it’s also prevalent in strays. 

Superman

Superman

Another common dog sleeping pose, the ‘superman position,’ is when your canine sleeps sprawled on the floor, with its belly touching the ground and its legs stretched out front and behind. This crazy legs position is quite common among playful doggies and puppies. 

Dogs that sleep in the superman pose are always ready for playtime, and the position is a sure-shot sign that your pet is a high-energy dog. 

The Cuddler

The Cuddler

The cuddler is undoubtedly one of the most delightful sleeping positions that many dogs prefer. The position finds your pup sleeping on top of you or cuddled up next to another house pet. 

This sleeping pose is standard among dogs who’re allowed to sleep in their parent’s beds, and pet experts state it’s a sign that your dog wants to stay close to its loved ones – be it a human or another canine. 

The Burrower

The Burrower

If your puppy likes to snuggle underneath blankets, clothes, or pillows to catch some Z’s, then your pup is what’s lovingly known as a burrower. 

Dogs that sleep in this position may require lots of TLC and attention before falling asleep. If your dog likes sleeping in this position, it’s seeking comfort. Make sure you spend some quality time with your puppy before it’s lights out so that it can go to sleep feeling safe and happy. 

How to Help Your Dog Get the Best Sleep 

helping your dog get the best sleep

Canines tend to nap at various times throughout the day, but there’s nothing like a good night’s rest to make sure your pup wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. And, now that we’ve talked about common sleeping positions for canines, we’ve gathered some easy-to-implement pointers that’ll help you ensure your dog gets the rest it deserves. 

Give them plenty of physical exercise

Canines are active and social animals. They need plenty of mental and physical exertion to ensure they stay active and healthy. Additionally, it’s also vital that you help adult dogs expend some energy to make sure they’re ready to sleep when the sun goes down. No one likes sleeping to the sound of thundering paws, after all. 

Give your canine its daily dose of exercise to make sure your pup stays safe from health problems like obesity, sleep apnea, and depression. 

Give them a mental workout

As stated earlier, pups don’t just require physical exercise. You also need to work on keeping your canine mentally stimulated. Remember, a bored dog means an unhappy dog. Adult dogs can even develop problems like anxiety if they’re left to their own devices for too long. 

Give your doggo some interactive toys or puzzles to make sure they keeps busy in a healthy way. This will train your dog to stay happy in its own company, and it’ll help your pet wind down when it’s time to go to bed. 

Make sure they have the right bed

The entire point behind understanding sleep positions is that you can understand what your dog needs to stay comfortable. And a big part of making sleeping time enjoyable for your canine is getting the right bed. 

Use the clues mentioned here to buy your pet the right bed according to its sleeping preference. For example, if your canine likes digging or snuggling, opt for a dog bed with a loose and flexible sleeping surface. On the other hand, if your dog’s sleeping habits tend to resemble a lion’s, get a dog bed that’ll allow your pooch to stay close to you as you go about your day. 

Best Dog Beds Based on Sleeping Position

It’s time to unveil the lineup you’ve all been waiting for. Our Best Dog Beds compilation based on sleeping positions has something for every puppy and dog out there. Be it cuddlers,  burrowers, or side sleepers – we’ve got a bed for them all!

1. K&H PET PRODUCTS Coolin’ Comfort Bed

K&H PET PRODUCTS Coolin' Comfort Bed

We’re kicking off our dog beds based on sleeping positions list with Coolin’ Comfort Bed by K&H Pet Products. This water bed is ideal for the ‘belly-up’ dog sleeping position because it can help keep your puppy cool as it snoozes.

There’s also an orthopedic foam core that makes the bed ideal for older dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, etc. Apart from being available in three sizes, this bed is ideal for indoor and outdoor use, and its sturdy vinyl/nylon exterior makes it suitable for puppies who like to dig and chew. 

2. Suede Dog Bed By Majestic Pet Products

Suede Dog Bed By Majestic Pet Products

If your dog is a fan of the ‘Lion Pose,’ it’ll love the Suede Dog Bed by Majestic Pet Products. This product features a raised rim design that’ll give fido a place to rest its head in the sphinx pose, and the 4” walls are the perfect height to allow easy entry and exit – for dogs that are ever-alert. There’s also a waterproof denier base that’ll keep your floors safe from thrills and spills, and the bed is easy to maintain thanks to being wholly machine washable. 

3. Furhaven Pet – Plush Orthopedic Sofa

Furhaven Pet - Plush Orthopedic Sofa

According to a psychology expert at the University of British Columbia, dogs dream about stuff like chasing birds. If your dogs have similar fantasies and tend to move their front and back legs while sleeping, then you’re going to appreciate Furhaven Pet’s Plush Orthopedic Sofa.

Apart from a two-bolster design with a head and back-rest, this bed is ideal for side sleepers because of its sprawling sleep surface. The product is available in various sizes and styles – so you can choose the filling of your choice – what’s not to like about that?

4. Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Dog Bed

Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Dog Bed

Your cuddle-bug of a dog may just fall in love with the Original Donut Dog Bed by Best Friends. Not only is this bed featured on the ‘Amazon’s Choice’ list, but it’s also received rave reviews by many pet parents– which means it comes highly recommended.

The round shape plus the vegan faux shag fur cover are highly appropriate for dogs that like to curl up as they sleep. Not to mention, the raised rim design is also suitable for puppies who need security and comfort in new surroundings. 

5. Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed

Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed

High-energy dogs love running, jumping, and may even be prone to habits like digging and chewing – which is why this elevated pet bed by Veeho may suit your pet just fine. First off, the bed is made from powder-coated steel and can withstand weights up to 150lbs.

That means you won’t have to worry about your dog bed breaking apart. Then there’s the fact that elevated dog beds provide enhanced air circulation – which makes the product suitable for dogs who like to sleep on their bellies in the superman position. And finally, the mesh and Textilene fabric cover is durable, breathable, and super-easy to clean. 

6. PetFusion Calming Cuddler Dog Bed

PetFusion Calming Cuddler Dog Bed

Many dogs like sleeping next to their parents. But if you’re trying to train your cuddler to sleep in its own spot, then PetFusion’s Calming Cuddler Pet Bed may just make your task easier.

This product features a CertiPUR-US memory foam base that offers superior doggy comfort, and there’s a durable, super-cozy loose blanket top that’s perfect for pets that like to cuddle up. There’s also a waterproof inner liner and a non-skid making the pet bed suitable for a pup too!

7. Cuddler Luxury Orthopedic Dog Bed 

Cuddler Luxury Orthopedic Dog Bed 

Don’t be thrown off by the term ‘cuddler’ in Cuddler Luxury’s Orthopedic Pet Bed because its attached blanket is super-useful for canines that qualify as burrowers. The hooded covering and the faux-fur interior create just the right ambiance for anxious dogs looking for some comfort and security. And, don’t be too stressed about cleaning this product because the micro-fiber cover is removable and washing machine-safe. 

Our Final Thoughts

There you have it, folks. We’ve provided you with 7 high-quality dog bed options for seven dog sleep positions. The best part is that all our selections are high-quality pet products with a reputation for excellence. All you have to do is figure out your pooch’s preferred sleeping style and match it to the right bed mentioned on our list. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do different dog sleeping positions mean?

The sleeping positions of canines all contain relevant information about the dog’s personality and comfort level. For instance, dogs that like sleeping on their backs (in the belly-up position) are extremely secure in their surroundings and perhaps feel a little overheated when they sleep. 

In contrast, canines who like to sleep in the donut position are trying to conserve body heat and protect their vital organs, which means they’re not comfortable with their surroundings. 

How much do dogs sleep?

According to canine experts, adult dogs sleep an average of 12 to 14 hours a day. That may sound like a lot, but dogs tend to burn off a lot of energy running and playing, which is why they need extended sleep to make up for all the activity. 

Puppies sleep approximately 18 to 20 hours a day because they expend a lot of energy during playtime and because their bodies use up energy to grow and develop. 

Do dogs need a dog bed?

Dogs definitely need a bed to sleep in for various reasons. Puppies with a fast growth rate are susceptible to hip and joint problems, which is why they need bedding with optimal support. Adult dogs, specifically lean canines or large and extra-large breeds, require a pet bed that provides ample cushioning for pressure points and joints to ensure a restful sleep. 

Similarly, older dogs with mobility issues require a mattress that offers support for bones and achy joints and provides a means of body temperature regulation.

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