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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

My Dog Is Upside Down, Is He OK?

On a hot day you come into the room to find your dog on his back, his dog’s little belly up, feet in the air? Is he OK? Afterall, if you did that a call to the paramedics might ensue. Don’t despair though, your pooch is just trying to cool off.

Adorable as it looks, your furry pal is not trying to be cute. Belly up is a cooling position and he’s trying to cool-off. According to Dr. Travis McDermott, of Durango Animal Hospital in Nevada, a dog’s paws contain sweat glands and putting paws up in the air helps to

dissipate the heat. In addition, their fur is thinnest on their belly. Exposing the belly is a cooler position. Dr. McDermott says dogs sleep belly up to cool down.

Are you concerned your four-footed friend may be uncomfortably warm? The AKC recommends you provide lots of cool, fresh water and possibly a battery-operated fan by your dog. You can also spray him with cool water on his paws and belly.

Take your dog’s willingness to lay this way as a compliment. Canines only lay this way when they feel safe, secure and relaxed. He is showing his most vulnerable parts as he feels he doesn’t have a care in the world.

Dogs have preferred sleep positions just like humans. Your dog may enjoy this splayed out position as a favorite to relax. Plus he may not be beyond looking for a belly rub this way.

This position also shows surrender. He’s saying, “I give up, you’re the boss.”

So, don’t be concerned if your pooch is viewing the world upside down. He’s just being a cool guy.



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