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What Sleep Positions Say About Our Pets

The Sleep Club Editors

How we sleep — as in, our preferred sleeping position — says something about us, but what about our pets? Whether you let your furry bff slumber with you or not, how they get their hours of rest says a lot about them and how they feel, who they are, and just their overall well-being.

Just like us.

Pets show us how comfortable or ready to jump into action they are by how they rest. While we shared a bit about pet sleeping a couple of years ago, we’d like to highlight the positions that truly give insight into their fluffy nugget personalities and feelings.


From Superman to cuddler to everything in between

Here are six ways to tell what’s going on with your pet simply by watching them slumber.  


Lion pose

No. We are not talking about the yoga pose. This is that languid, kind of on their side, a bit on the belly, legs slightly outstretched and head on their paws position that looks like, yes, a lion chilling in the jungle. As relaxed as this may appear, your pet isn’t really sleeping. They’re dozing, sure, but this position keeps them ready to spring up if they need to leap into action for a quick get away or bit of play.



Rolled up in a neat little ball, looking adorable and cuddly. This can mean two things: one, that your pet is cold and curled up to get warm and, two, they’re feeling a touch anxious and protecting their insides. Newly adopted dogs and strays tend to sleep like this to protect themselves from their environment. No judgment, just a natural reaction.


Belly down

You’ve seen it. Your pet is on their belly on the bare floor, legs splayed out, as if they are the most exhausted things on the planet. Actually, it means your furball is a bit toasty and needs to cool down. Having their belly flat against the floor is very cooling. If you notice them sleeping like this frequently, perhaps cut their fur, lower their body temperature with a cool bath, and make sure they have lots of water to hydrate. 


Belly up

The good ol’ pet filet, on their back, belly up, legs up or open, all of their vulnerable parts available for all the world. This means they are absolutely, unequivocally, without question relaxed and comfortable. They are feeling safe and secure and utterly happy. Animals tend to position themselves to protect their inner organs, so they do not display them easily. When they sleep like this in total abandon, they are beyond happy. They trust you without question and are getting some seriously good slumber as well. 



Side sleeping for pets is among the most common of positions and it’s good news for them and you. They are comfy cozy, feel secure with you and enjoy your company. This shows how much they trust you, and although it’s not as open and vulnerable as the belly up pose, their bellies are still exposed and that means they know you have their back.



“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a sleeping dog!” This is when your dog is sleeping very similarly to the belly down pose, but it’s not on a bare floor but, well, anywhere. On the tummy, legs out in front and back, slow breathing in and out. Your dog’s exhausted from playing usually, and is taking a much needed rest whenever and wherever. They are incredibly comfortable and feeling at total peace.


Good night, fuzzy friend

If you sleep with your pet, there are other positions like the cuddle up against you — they want your warmth and security — snuggling under the covers — this can mean they’re anxious and hiding away or just that they’re cold and need to get warm — and the pillow snatcher. You know the one, the pet who takes over your pillow because it’s the coolest, softest, and most comfy spot in the house. 

A pet at rest is one of the cutest things to watch and understanding what their position means makes it even better. If you know your pet needs to cool down, you can help them. If you can see they’re feeling anxious just by how they are resting, you can soothe them. Our pets are our family and they can only “tell” us how they are feeling, what they are experiencing, by their actions. Being more aware of their body language to give them their best sleeping, waking, and dreaming life makes us better pet parents by providing a higher level of comfort and security for these amazing beings who love us no matter what. 

Rest easy, you furry wonders. We’ve got you covered.

Night Sky Night Sky