When Dogs Sleep Upside Down

The belly up posture is exactly what it sounds like it is—possibly one of the loveliest canine resting positions. Your dog should be lying on its back with its tummy up and paws in the air in this position. Although it may appear unpleasant, the dog is actually showing genuine comfort and relaxation in this position.

Meaning: There are several reasons why dogs choose to lie on their backs with their paws and stomachs in the air. Keeping cool is one of them. Jen Jones declares “Dogs generate heat from their belly and sweat through their paws. They are attempting to stay cool by sleeping on their backs with their paws raised and their tummy in the air.

When dogs sleep on their backs with their paws in the air, it also indicates that they have complete faith in you and their surroundings because this is such a vulnerable posture to be in. As per Dr. Sarah Wooten “You have to believe that they feel extremely secure for them to fall asleep in this position because they are exposing their abdomen and their essential organs to the outside world.

Dogs may stop sleeping on their backs as frequently as they formerly did as they get older. This is brought on by arthritis, so you shouldn’t assume that your dog no longer trusts you, says Steffi Trott, a certified dog trainer and owner of SpiritDog Training.

Why is my dog lying on its back?

If your dog ever rests on his back with his paws raised in the air, you might be curious as to why. Isn’t it cute and amusing how it looks?

It both is and does. The reasons why your dog sleeps on his back, however, are worth noting. We sought the opinion of a renowned veterinarian to further understand what this paws-up position entails.

Cooling Off

On their back with their paws in the air, the opposite of the fetal posture, indicates that your dog needs to cool off. According to Dr. Travis McDermott, a veterinarian at Durango Animal Hospital in Nevada, dogs typically sleep on their backs to be cool. Dogs can cool off because they can exchange heat through their paws, according to Dr. McDermott.

Additionally, since the paws have sweat glands and the belly has the thinnest fur, exposing both to the cool air in this upside-down sprawl may be comfortable and cooling.

Safe and Secure

You must be doing something right if your dog adopts this paw up position while lying next to you on the couch or curled up with you in bed. According to Dr. McDermott, “sleeping on their back is a very vulnerable position and demonstrates trust/comfort in their surroundings.”

Dogs who are sleeping on their backs appear to be fully at ease and care free. Your dog obviously feels totally at home. According to experts, dogs feel safe and secure when they reveal their most vulnerable portions in this manner.

Comfort 101

It’s also likely that your dog prefers sleeping on his back since it’s cozy. Like people, dogs have particular sleeping positions, and some may enjoy nothing more than to lie on their backs with their feet raised in the air simply because it’s cozy. Additionally, he might be requesting a little belly rub or stomach scratch.

It’s a Wolf Holdover

In the wolf world, rolling over on your back signals submission to the alpha, thus your dog rolling over on his back lets you know he recognizes you as the alpha. Additionally, wolves utilized the action to calmly demonstrate their innocence to an assailant in order to avoid conflict. The next time your dog rolls over immediately to his back, it will be like God is merciful and you win. I give up.

Should you Worry If you’re Dog Doesn’t Sleep on His Back?

If your dog doesn’t sleep on his back, you probably shouldn’t assume anything other than that he doesn’t feel comfortable doing it. According to Dr. McDermott, “This could be an issue with age or it could be because they don’t feel as comfortable.” It could just be that your dog loves to lay curled up, on his side, or with his legs crossed.

Do dogs typically lie on their backs?

By lying on their backs, your dog’s muscles may unwind entirely and they won’t put further strain or pressure on their joints or muscles. This enables patients to have restful sleep without making their arthritic joints worse. An orthopedic memory foam bed can be helpful if your dog is a little on the old side or if they have any early onset arthritis from orthopedic accident or surgery. These unique beds let your dog to sleep comfortably without putting strain on their sore joints or having to lie on their back all the time.

Your dog is also communicating with you when he sleeps on his back that he feels absolutely secure and safe in his surroundings. In contrast to the lungs and heart, which are protected, the abdominal organs are unprotected, making lying on one’s back a very dangerous position. Due to how vulnerable and exposed back sleeping is, it is actually uncommon among wild dogs or “outside” dogs. A dog’s vulnerability makes lying on his back a posture that is conducive to submission. In social circumstances, dogs will roll onto their backs to demonstrate that they are not a threat.


Regardless matter how your dog sleeps, if you don’t have to, you shouldn’t wake him up. Let him enjoy his snooze; normally, dogs only sleep when they want to unwind. If you do need to gently wake your dog up, take care when doing so. When your dog is unexpectedly awakened, he can be bewildered and even a little terrified, which could cause him to react defensively. Dogs have been known to sleep in very odd and perhaps uncomfortably positioned positions. The majority of the time, their preferred sleeping position isn’t as clinically significant as one may believe.

Why does my dog always sleep with his legs raised?

Undoubtedly, dogs get more sleep than people. Adult dogs sleep eight to fourteen hours per day, compared to 18 to 20 hours for puppies and senior dogs.

In order to stay cool, dogs sometimes lie on their backs with their legs raised. This allows the chilly air to reach their abdomen. This posture may also indicate that they are at ease in bed and have complete faith in you.

Although it depends vary on your dog, one of the most typical sleeping positions for dogs is on their side. This posture typically indicates that the dog is at ease and secure in its surroundings.

If your dog prefers to sleep next to you, it suggests that they trust and feel at ease with you. Because they used to snuggle with their littermates as puppies for warmth and comfort, your dog now prefers to do the same with their owners.

It’s typically a show of affection when your furry pet wants to curl up next to you at night. For warmth or protection, they could also feel the need to huddle up with other pack members.

For dogs, moving around at night is common. In an effort to make their bed more comfortable, they circle and dig. Additionally, your pet can be looking for a warmer or colder location. To find out if your dog is experiencing anxiety or pain, talk to your vet if they see that your dog is restless, pacing, or doesn’t sleep through the night.

Your Dog’s Health

Point: Climbing on the bed for your dog can be very difficult if they suffer from musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, and soft bedding are not supportive enough for aging joints. Dogs in pain can prefer soft padding to a firm surface that is low to the ground. Furthermore, senior dogs may develop incontinence. When the dog lies down, its weak, older bladder leaks. Wet bed sheets, oh no!

In contrast, you can pick up and put your small, arthritic dog on the bed. You might offer a ramp or stairs if he’s big to make getting on the bed simpler. If your dog does not wriggle off of the pee pads that you put on the bed, the sheets will remain dry.

A dog may feel lonely if it spends a lot of time alone while its human family members are out at work or school. Seeing his family can help him reestablish a crucial bond.

Your Health

Point: Some people have allergies that are specifically to dogs. Long-term close proximity to dogs exposes people to pet dander, which can cause respiratory issues. However, co-sleeping with a dog might worsen allergic symptoms in people who do not have pet allergies. Dogs outside attract dust and pollen, which can make people’s allergies worse. The allergy reactions may last even after the dog has left the bedroom since they may leave that dander, pollen, and dust on the bed linens.

Contradiction: A healthy daily routine may help reduce the quantity of dust and pollen your dog brings inside by wiping him with a moist towel before he enters the house. Your exposure to allergens will be decreased by bathing your dog, installing HEPA filters in your home, and frequently cleaning your bed linens, which can allow your dog to reclaim his seat on the bed.

Point: Some dog owners find it difficult to fall asleep when their dog is in the bed. When their dog turns over, kicks, or scratches, light sleepers are roused. Some people find it annoying when their dog snores excessively. Lack of sleep can impair your immune system and make you cranky, which can harm your general health. Even when they have a restless night, dogs do not experience sleep deprivation because they have time to snooze during the day and make up for missed time spent sleeping at night.

Contrary: Whenever you train your dog to sleep at your feet, the commotion caused if he moves throughout the night may be minimized. Many dog owners find that cuddling up next to their furry pals improves their sense of security and their quality of sleep. Dogs can reduce tension and blood pressure while also tending to soothe individuals.

Dogs also provide a feeling of security. The knowledge that their canine companion will alert them to a nocturnal emergency, such as a fire or an intruder, may help heavy sleepers sleep more soundly. Insomniacs can also sleep better thanks to dogs. People who have trouble falling asleep claim that their dog’s regular breathing puts them to sleep. Additionally, those who typically sleep alone find it more comfortable to lie next to a warm live thing. Whatever the cause, having a dog can improve sleep, which is very beneficial for one’s health.

Point: Ticks, fleas, and several intestinal parasites that cause disease in humans are carried by dogs. Human exposure to these parasites and vector-borne illnesses is increased when sleeping with a dog. People who are really young, old, or have weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to infection.

Contrary: Your veterinarian can prescribe broad-spectrum parasite control that works year-round to protect both you and your dog from parasites and vector-borne diseases (common products include Heartgard Plus, Simparica or Simparica Trio, Nexgard or Nexgard Spectra, Interceptor or Interceptor Plus, and Revolution Plus, to name a few).

Do I want to sleep with my dog?

You are in excellent company if you do. Many folks don’t have any issues with their pets sleeping on their beds. According to research, nearly half of dogs sleep alongside their owners, making bed sharing a common practice.

When it comes to sharing a bed, size counts. Approximately 62% of tiny dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs, and 32% of large dogs are permitted to sleep with their human families. It seems that people are willing to share their beds, but simply not all of them.

Does my dog want to sleep with me?

From a dog’s point of view, some dogs find it too hot to sleep in beds and would rather lie on a cool floor. Some people prefer to switch rooms numerous times throughout the night, sleeping first on the kitchen floor, then the bathroom mat, and finally the sofa. It’s simpler if you sleep on the ground. Additionally, some humans have trouble sleeping, which causes their dogs to wake up.

While some dogs prefer to lie on the bed with their owners, others do not. They are a little bit too serious about owning the bed. Your dog may be kicked off the bed if he overly aggressively guards the bed or a human member of the family.

Should my dog sleep in my bed?

Dogs typically comprehend that they are not the family’s top dog. People’s size advantage over dogs is a factor in that social system. A dog and his owner are on the same level when resting on the bed, which may encourage the dog to display aggressive tendencies.

Some dogs overreact when startled even when they are not hostile. Your pet may not have intended to bite you if you rolled over in bed and startled him, but an inadvertent bite nevertheless hurts just as much as an intentional one. However, co-sleeping should be alright if neither you nor your dog has any health problems or behavioral concerns that would make doing so unhealthy for either of you. Rest well!

Do dogs enjoy kisses?

Really, the first thing to consider is whether dogs can comprehend human kisses. Dogs are very adept at identifying human emotions, but they don’t naturally understand what a kiss is.

Amy Shojai, a trained animal behaviorist, answered our questions about how dogs react to human kisses. If they are taught what it implies, some dogs may love this, she claims. However, if the dog is unaware of what you are doing, it could upset them or make them confused. According to Shojai, “people kissing them could potentially transmit mixed signals.” The dog might not interpret an affectionate gesture as such just because the person is trying to convey it.

Dogs frequently make sideways arcs rather than direct head-on approaches to other dogs. So it can be perplexing for a dog to suddenly glimpse an approaching human face. In fact, some dogs may see it as a threat and feel the need to bite or snarl in defense. Shojai tells us that she is especially concerned about kids caressing or cuddling dogs because “if the dog takes the gesture the wrong way, they’re at mouth-level in reach of those teeth.”

What then is the solution? It varies. In Shojai’s opinion, it’s acceptable if the dog has become accustomed to receiving head kisses. “However, I’d find other, more species-appropriate methods to exhibit affection for a dog that’s new to you.”

In actuality, some dogs just dislike being kissed. However, dogs who have been taught to tolerate kisses may eventually appreciate them.