Click here to learn more.
It’s nighttime and your pup nestles snugly in his bed, rolled up tight like a drum.
It’s a common slumber position for dogs, but why? Wouldn’t it be more comfortable to stretch out while catching some shut-eye?
Well, yes, says Dr. Margaret Gruen, DVM, a clinician at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Behavior Service.
But there are two valid reasons why your canine rolls up in a ball to snooze — and they both relate to evolution.
“When dogs sleep in the wild, especially where it’s cold, they’ll dig a nest and curl up into it,” Dr. Gruen says. “This gives them warmth — tucking into a ball conserves body heat. It also protects their most vulnerable organs in the abdomen from would-be predators.”
So if your pooch sprawls out to nap — instead of curling up — he’s either hot or he feels very safe in his environment.
If a dog is in unfamiliar territory, he will revert back to the instinct-based, curled-up sleep position.
For this reason, whenever you bring a new pup home, you’ll want to give him enough space to acclimate to his foreign surroundings.
Another tip from Dr. Gruen: Consider getting him a blanket. “This way, he can ‘dig’ a nest with the bedding material before he lies down,” she says, “instead of digging a place to nowhere on your carpet or couch.”
More on Vetstreet.com:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Firefighters saved Ashley the Lab from a
fire in her home and resuscitated her
using a pet oxygen mask.
We asked trainer Bill Berloni how he
prepared a 6-year-old rescue pup for her
debut role as Sandy in the Annie…
Think big dogs are more aggressive? Or
that they can’t live in apartments? We’re
here to dispel these…
While it’s likely to unleash a feline frenzy,
giving your cat too much of the ‘nip is not
something you need to…
From the water-loving Portuguese Water
Dog to the fetch-obsessed Labrador
Retriever, these breeds love to have fun.
In his home country of Thailand, the intelligent and attention-loving Korat is a living symbol of luck and prosperity.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.