Dogs will be startled if touched or moved when they are in deep sleep as this can cause a sudden shift in their alertness and make them turn defensive. They will start nipping or biting at anyone that is beside them.
Therefore, petting a dog while he is sleeping can be dangerous, as this may lead to an attack from him.
The explanation for this behavior is that when a dog is asleep, he is at his most vulnerable state, and he tends to be in defensive mode and will react negatively to any physical contact. Many times, he will wake up and prepare to take on a nonexistent threat.
Having said that, in what situations should you pet your dog?
When Should You Stroke Your Dog?
If He Is Whining in His Sleep
When your dog is whimpering or shaking in his sleep, a gentle pat can help to calm him down. Be sure to do it gently, and avoid making sudden movements.
You want to be sure to touch only the fur, and not the face. Petting a dog on his face can easily wake him up and disrupt his sleep.
If He Feels Too Excited and Can’t Get to Sleep
A good way to calm your dog and make him go to sleep peacefully is by stroking him.
This is because petting a dog releases endorphins which make him feel relaxed.
This makes your stroke a “magic touch” to soothe him whenever he is upset, anxious or excited.
Here are some reasons why dogs love being stroked:
They love the feeling of touch
Our dogs love to be touched, as it gives them the feeling of pleasure and love. When you are stroking your dog, he will feel the love that you have for him.
Dogs feel happy when they are petted
Your dog will feel happy and loved when you stroke him. He will start licking and wagging his tail, which is a sign of happiness.
They feel safe and well protected from your touch
When you are stroking your dog, he will feel safe and relaxed. This is because he knows that he is in the “good hand” of his pack leader and that you will protect them.
They will feel like they are part of your family
Stroking your dog will help you bond with him, show that you love him and build his trust in you. Just like with humans, there are many benefits to bonding with your dog.
He will feel comfortable around you, and this will make it easier for you to teach him new commands.
What Is the Best Spot to Pet Your Dog?
In general, dogs enjoy having their chests, shoulders and necks petted.
You should reach in from the side when petting these areas, rather than reaching out over the top of the dog’s head
What Is the Best Way of Stroking Your Dog?
It is important for your dog to feel relaxed before he can sleep well, and stroking him is the best way to do that. But if you are not aware of the right way, then you may hurt him.
The proper way to stroke him is from his head to his tail. Put all of your attention and energy into it and focus on all layers, from hair to skin to muscle to bone.
As you pass the areas of the ears, under the chin, the neck, the armpits, and the chest, stop and perform circular movements.
How Much Sleep Does a Dog Need?
In the same way, humans need sleep, so do your dogs.
A dog’s sleep is essential to its overall health. If they don’t get enough of it, it could be affecting their health and wellbeing (such as obesity and weakened immunity), and even their quality of life.
Dogs in their puppy and senior years need the most sleep, ranging from 18 to 20 hours per day, whereas a mature dog needs to sleep only 8 to 14 hours a day.
Your dog’s sleep can be affected by a number of factors, including his age, breed, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, activity level, environment, and overall health condition.
It’s easy to tell if your dog needs more sleep.
You can observe signs such as fatigue, personality changes, mental confusion and lack of concentration exhibited by your dog.