(HAPPY DOGGIE DREAMS)
The secret of their great vitality is in the amount of time they spend sleeping. Sleeping helps them get rid of stress, it improves their digestion, and memorize what they’ve learned during the day. There’s nothing better after a good exercise session than a good nap!
…sweet dreams my loyal friend…!
The amount of time your dog spends resting depends on their age, their physical condition and their daily activity rhythm, which is whatever you set for them; on average, an adult dog sleeps 12 hours each day.
Their bio-rhythm alternates resting with activity, and their sleep lets them memorize the things they’ve done during the day, improving their learning, and their neuronal system. A dog that doesn’t rest well may have learning and memory problems, and also a weak immune system.
A dog that sleeps like no other
They wake up frequently during their rest, just like their ancestors the wolves, combining sleep with some times of vigil. They usually sleep between five and twenty minutes, and then they wake up for about five minutes before sleeping again; they need to stay alert, as their wolf genetics dictate.
Their brain is very active while sleeping, alternating different phases, each one deeper than the other:
Slow sleep or NREM: In this vigil phase, the dog is relaxed and their breathing is slow; they don’t dream.
R.E.M Sleep (RAPID EYES MOVEMENT): During this phase the dog sleeps deeply and dreams. They breathe rapidly and irregularly and may move their paws, articulate sounds and even bark; their eyes move rapidly under the eyelids and their eyes are usually slightly open. Their brain activity level is similar to when they’re awake. Experts recommend not waking them up while in this phase, since they may get scared from waking up so abruptly.
My dog loves sleeping with dog-human company!
They need to sleep while being in contact with another dog or with you. If it’s not physically they need to at least be in the same room, that way they feel safe and relaxed! Another thing they kept from their wild wolf past.
Have you noticed their posture when sleeping?
How does my dog sleep? Dogs only sleep deeply and dream when they are laying on the side, snuggled up or with their belly up. These doggy postures don’t let them have a quick reaction towards any threat, so they only assume these postures when they’re very relaxed.
If on the contrary your dog rests sitting or laying on their sternum, resting their elbows on the floor and their back paws are under their body it means they’re on the active rest phase, being able to react quickly in case it is necessary; this also goes back to their wolf genetics.
Dogs dream dog things!
We still haven’t been able to prove what dogs dream about, but logic tells us that they probably dream about past daily experiences, that is, they dream about “dog things” like if they’ve played with their toys, sniffed a lot of things, splashed on puddles, looked out the window… you know, things dogs love to do!
During the REM phase we can see them make movements similar to running, growling or barking while sleeping… Even though what they dream about hasn’t been proven scientifically yet, it looks like they remember what they’ve done throughout the day.
My dog is a sleepwalker! What’s happening to them?
If your dog spends the day sleeping and then wanders about disoriented at night around the house, they may be suffering of cognitive dysfunction; one of the symptoms of this disorder is the alteration of their sleep rhythm. Contact your trusted vet!
Don’t forget to have a calm place with a fluffy and comfortable bed at home so they can rest without noise and relaxed, they’ll appreciate it!