The expression "to have a dog's life" is often used when something goes wrong, is harsh, unfair or when life treats you badly. But more than once we have seen our pets sleeping peacefully on the couch all day and we have wished we had a true "dog's life".
Pets' rest (both dogs and cats) causes a lot of curiosity: they seem to sleep constantly but at the same time they are alert ... what do they really do?
Let's talk about how much, how and where should our furry friends sleep.
The waking-dream state
Although in our eyes they are lazy and lie down all day, the truth is that they rarely get a deep sleep. They spend 50% of the day in a waking state, that is, alert, and the another 50% in a state of drowsiness.
During drowsiness, only 12% of the time they are in REM phase (when they dream, they make sounds and move their paws) and the rest of the time they are in a very light phase of sleep that allows them to be alert to sounds and what is happening around them.
Their sleeping postures
Did you know that the position our little friend has when sleeping has different meanings?
1. Curled up like a ball: when a doggo or kitty sleeps like this, what they are doing is covering up their vital organs in case of an attack. This means that they feel unprotected, alert and even sometimes, sad.
2. Sphinx: this position consists of lying down with the hind legs gathered underneath and the front legs stretched forward, resting the head on them. This also denotes alertness and wakefulness, since this position allows them to get up quickly when facing any danger.
3. Sideways and sprawled: cats and dogs tend to lie down like this when feeling safe in their environment or when they are very tired. It is in this position that they get a deeper sleep, so since that's rare for them, don't bother them if they're sleeping like this.
4. Face up: this is their greatest sign of trust in the owner, as they are exposing their tummy and their vital organs. In this way they relax much more and it serves as ventilation if they are very hot, because their belly has less hair and it refreshes better.
Sleeping with or near the owner
Dogs are pack animals, social by nature. That is why if the owner is at home, they like to sleep near him or her (usually). If they tend to walk away and sleep hidden, that may be a sign that your pet is feeling badly or sad. They have bad days too! Therefore, it is advisable to always have a cot or a cushion for them wherever you go, so they stay calmer.
There is also often debate about whether sleeping with your dog or cat is beneficial or detrimental to the health of the owner. According to some studies, it was found that most owners sleep better when their pet is with them: this gives them tranquility, relaxation and in the winter months, heat.
Their bed or cushion
Many times they are too good, they hardly ask for anything, they settle for any sofa cushion, but it must be taken into account that they also have some other needs.
For animals it is essential to have preferably cotton beds and thermoregulable fabrics, since they are usually very hot due to their fur. If they can also be anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic and anti-mite much better: these microorganisms can cause sneezing and allergies.
What's more, as they get old and lose muscle mass and their joints and bones are more unprotected, it is important that they have padded beds.