Why Do Some Dogs Sleep On Their Backs?

It doesn’t seem to matter when or where my dog Zoey is sleeping or lounging around, she almost always goes belly-side up! As soon as I put her in the passenger’s seat of my car, she flops onto her back and stares at me with her adorable little upside-down grin (I bring her everywhere I can with me!).

ZoeyTheAussie

When she hops up onto the couch in the living room, she almost always flips over and hangs out belly up! She will look around and stare sweetly at everyone in the room, and you can’t help but smile when you see her lounging.

Even when she is in play-mode, she will grab a toy and roll over onto her back with the toy between her front paws and toss it up in the air to amuse herself. It is one of the cutest things she does, and hangers are her favorite “toy!”

ZoeyTheAussie

She will also follow me to bed, press her nose against me a few times to tell me she is ready to play her favorite game: “bite the mysterious human hands under the covers.” She can’t go to bed before she wrestles with her Beagle sister Jem. After play time, she rolls over onto her back when she is ready to try to fall asleep. She will lay there in this cute pose for a few minutes until I see her slowly drifting off to sleep.

My first thought when Zoey sleeps, plays, and hangs out laying on her back is how adorable and funny it is, but I have recently started to wonder if there are real reasons behind why she does this and how common it is for dogs to lay belly-up, so I did some research:

According to Vet Street, 5-10% of domesticated dogs sleep on their backs. Zoey is part of the minority!

It’s a Sign of Security

According to an article I read on The Daily Puppy, the happiest and most secure dogs go belly-up and sleep on their backs. A sound-sleeping dog on her back demonstrates that she is extremely comfortable around you and feels very safe (Yay for Zoey!). Dogs will most likely not sleep on their backs if they are not feeling secure, because this position exposes their more vulnerable area.

It’s Comfortable

Sleeping belly-up is likely to be the most comfortable position for dogs because their muscles can completely relax. Dogs that sleep on their stomachs or curled up in a ball still have their muscles tensed which is not as comfortable. Back-sleepers have their muscles completely un-tensed, are the most relaxed, and tend to sleep deeper.

It Helps Them Cool Off

Sleeping on their backs helps dogs cool off when they are feeling too warm. Exposing their stomachs helps them cool off faster. The stomach has the least amount of fur, so flopping over feels like shedding a layer of clothing for dogs. This is one of the reasons Zoey will go belly-up in the car. After a long walk in the park, she exposes her belly as a way to cool down.

They Use it to Show Affection

Dogs who sleep on their backs also tend to be good communicators who want to use their body language to show you that they are feeling happy! Especially during playtime, happy dogs will roll over hoping for a rewarding belly rub. If your dog trusts you, she will invite and appreciate a good tummy scratch. Affectionate back-sleepers will lie pressed against their owners or other dogs to give you love and show you that they trust you. Sleeping in this close position allows your dog to feel like she is bonding with you and protecting you.

Zoey has slept pressed right up against my side ever since she was 1 year old, and it still melts my heart to this day! I feel such a strong bond with her when she sleeps so close to me. She may not be able to tell me how she is feeling (although sometimes I really wish she could!), but she sure does show me how happy she is which means everything to me!

I would love to hear from you! Does your dog love being on his or her back like Zoey? Share your stories and/or photos with me in the comments. :)

“Walk for a Dog” App Donates To Animal Shelters Every Time You Walk Your Dog

335,000 miles and counting. That’s how far thousands of people and their dogs in all 50 states have walked to help raise money for animal rescues and shelters at no cost to them thanks to the Walk for a Dog app from WoofTrax.

For those of us who care so deeply about the helpless animals that are sitting in shelters but can’t afford to budget the extra cash to donate, there’s finally an app that easily relieves us of this stress! All you have to do is download the Walk for a Dog app, take your phone with you on the walk, press “start”, and watch as you raise money with every step! The app automatically finds the shelter closest to you, but you can change your choice of shelters as many times as you want. Donations range from 11-25 cents per mile, but the more people that use the app the more WoofTrax can donate!

The animals in shelters are depending on us, and all we have to do to help them is tell our family and friends about this amazing program. The money WoofTrax donates to animal shelters comes from sponsorships, advertising, and investors. As the number of people that use the app increases, the number of investors and advertisements increases which means more money going to the shelters! Let’s do our part to spread the word to all of our friends and our local shelters so they can help promote it as well. The shelters already receiving donations:

If you or your friends are dog lovers but not dog owners, you can still use this app to show support by walking the dogs at your local shelter by choosing the “Walk for Cassie” option or create your virtual dream dog on the app as your walking companion!

We can all make a huge difference by using and promoting this app, and all we have to do is simply take walks with our best friend– free of charge! I can’t imagine going on another walk with Zoey and Jem without using this app and will feel so great knowing we have saved shelter pets by simply adding one extra step to our daily walk routine.

See what people are saying about Walk for a Dog:

“I downloaded the Walk for a Dog app and used it today for the first time. Great to know that just by doing what I do every day, walking my dog, I can help the dogs at the Monmouth County SPCA. It’s also good to know how much I am walking – close to my first mile!” - Lynne, New Jersey

Why Your Dog Loves Ear Rubs

Although the way to your dog’s heart is through his stomach (and spending time with you!), there’s a good chance it’s also through his ears. How come nearly all dogs adore ear rubs? It’s the undivided attention and gentle touch they receive, and it’s all of the nerves present in a dog’s ears. A dog’s ears are sensitive to the touch because they contain a network of nerve branches, and the nerves send impulses throughout the body. And when you rub your dog’s ears, endorphins are released and relax and calm your dog. Even better, studies show people benefit just the same, simply the act of petting a dog releases human endorphins as well.

Why Do Dogs Lick?

Whether it’s a sweet greeting or a lick of love, there’s meaning in every kiss. Here are a few reasons why your pooch puckers up. Just Lickin’: When a dog chronically licks himself, it can mean anything from boredom and anxiety to allergic reactions. But if your dog only has licks for you, it may be learned behavior. By responding positively and with affection to your dog’s licks over time, he’s learned that it’s a good thing. He’ll offer you a lick to make you happy and for more attention. Just for the Taste of It: Dogs are suckers for taste and smell. Lotion, dinner crumbs, and other treats are too irresistible, so those sweet smooches may come from your dog’s stomach before his heart

Ways For Keeping Your Cats Or Dogs Comfortable During Winter

When the cold weather really kicks in, we all worry that our outdoor pets will be okay. There are a few things you can do to make sure they make it through the winter happy and healthy. A heated bowl which is controlled by a thermostat will ensure that your dog’s water never freezes.

If our feet are cold in the house what do we do? Put on slippers or socks obviously, what can our poor dogs do though? Absolutely nothing, so we have to do it for them. A kennel raised above the ground is a good idea, alternatively give them something to sleep on that is elevated above the cold floor.

Dressing up a dog is a well debated issue between dog owners. Even those who look down on it appreciate that jackets, sweaters and the like are necessary items and not fashion statements.

Generally speaking, dog clothes come in 5 sizes, so it’s highly likely that there will be some to fit your dog. They are easy to care for too and can go in your washing machine.

Health supplements taken in conjunction with the winter clothes will keep their joints supple and warm. Drafts along floors and under doors can even affect your indoor dog. There are lighter fleeces and sweaters designed for this kind of use. Even in winter weather your dog needs its exercise, and you can even get dog goggles to protect their eyes from the elements.

Don’t forget about your cat in the winter months either. They have a lot less body fat than dogs and get cold very quickly. There are some great beds for cats that are like a cave which will keep them warm in all temperatures.

Carpets keep a room warm, but if you have laminate or wooden flooring your pet will feel the cold when they are lying down through the day. A rug will keep them warmer, or even better, a heated pet mat. Both dogs and cats will enjoy sleeping on these through the day, especially if they are used to lying beside your bed at night on a carpet. You Can Ensure That Your Beloved Dogs And Cats Can Maintain Their Warmth

The worst thing that you can possibly do is leave your pet outside so that it’s exposed to the elements. Frostbite is nasty at any time, but can be extremely painful for dogs. It’s attacks their tail, feet and ears so make sure they have good shelter.

If you have a cat, see the ways that a  Petsafe cat door might be a great idea as well.