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 Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
From litter box location to sleeping schedules, here are some telltale signs that your kitty is in charge of your…
Mikkel Becker weighs the pros and cons of three different types of harnesses: back clip, front clip and tightening.
With Easter coming up this weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the holiday's most iconic species.
Dr. Tony Buffington warns that giving your cat or dog too many treats promotes begging and can lead to obesity.
The Abyssinian, who wears a beautiful ticked coat, is an intelligent and athletic feline who stays in constant…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.