Is it Ok for a Dog to Sleep in a Sweater?

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If you’ve ever watched your pet close his eyes and fall asleep peacefully, then chances are good he’s comfortable enough to snooze away through the night. But what happens when your dog doesn’t seem to mind sleeping on concrete? Or even in a car? Is this because he was born to be homeless? Or does he sometimes need something more than warmth and a soft bed to get him into dreamland?


The answer may surprise you. Some dogs can be perfectly content lounging near a wood stove, while others prefer to sleep with their heads poking out from under a blanket. And there are those who would rather head outside for a nap than curl up next to any old lumpy object.


So how do we figure out which breeds like to sleep in different ways? What makes one breed cozy and another not so much? Read on to find out why some dogs love nothing better than a long afternoon snooze, while others prefer to chase squirrels instead.


Why Dogs Sleep Differently


­So why do some dogs have such strange sleeping habits? It’s partly due to genetics. There are certain breeds whose ancestors lived outdoors, where they had no choice but to take naps wherever they could fit in. Other dogs enjoy chasing rodents as well as sleeping, so they seek out warm places to rest. Still, other animals are naturally prey animals, and their instincts tell them to look for shelters and hideaways whenever possible.


It also helps that dogs are social creatures. They want to feel part of a pack, so they often sleep together in order to keep each other company. If they aren’t sharing a warm spot with someone else, they’ll probably choose a safe place to curl up and wait for the sun to come back. Of course, you should still check on your pup occasionally throughout the day whether he’s curled up by himself or stretched out in front of the fire, make sure he stays hydrated and isn’t too hot.


One thing’s for sure: Dogs aren’t known for their patience. In fact, some experts say that dogs’ natural instinct is to attack anything that moves including people, cats, other dogs, and even furniture. That’s why you shouldn’t leave your puppy alone with a new piece of furniture, especially a sofa. As soon as he gets settled (or has a chance to see what’s inside), he’ll likely jump right on top of it.


The same goes for a blanket. While most pets won’t chew on something unless they’re hungry, dogs haven’t been taught to respect our possessions. A blanket or pillow left lying around will quickly become a favorite nap spot for your dog, and he may decide that he wants to use it as a litter box. He may even start digging around underneath it, trying to reach whatever he finds inside. This behavior is called self-grooming, and it usually occurs after eating or drinking.


How do I know if my dog is cold?

In addition to being uncomfortable, your pet may also be ill if he sleeps outside in extreme temperatures. Even though dogs are naturally equipped to regulate their own body temperature, it’s easy for them to become overheated or hypothermic if they spend time outside during the winter months. To prevent illness, always ensure that your dog has access to water and shelter from the elements.