Dogs are friends, companions, comedians, entertainers, protectors and comfort givers. The deep and storied connection between humans and dogs deeply underscores the need and importance of excellent dog care and a nice patch of sunshine. Why do dogs lay in the sun? The answer may surprise you.
Dogs all share certain common behaviors. They love to turn around several times before they lie down. They love to eat and will often eat things they shouldn't or too much, if left to their own devices. Dogs also love to lay in the sun and nap or rest. It's probably not that hard to imagine why dogs find this particular behavior pleasurable. Many animals and humans also love a good rest in a bit of warmth from the sun.
What's so great about the sun?
It's understood that most animals love to lie in the sun. But why is this compulsion so strong? According to the ASPCA, dog behavior usually has roots in a dog's natural ability to care for itself, and sometimes the behavior is rooted in ancestral or innate responses-such as turning around several times to "soften" a beds. The sun's draw is likely because it warms them up. Like humans, a bit of sun can provide health benefits, and sunbathing is simply an utterly relaxing experience.
Why do dogs lie in the sun?
Dogs may also lie in the sun to regulate their natural body temperatures, especially if their current shelter provides inadequate conditions. Dogs naturally seek a comfortable level of warmth. If their regular, designated or favorite hangout is nippy, that patch of sun will do just the trick. A dog will move when at a comfortable temperature after a brief warm rest in a sun patch. It is unusual for a dog to lie in the sun to the point of overheating, but it does happen-especially if a dog is cordoned off in a sunny area that it can't get away from or if it's is injured or too weak to move out of the sun when warm.
What if my dog is overheated?
Dogs can get overheated, especially in the summer time. Take special care to ensure that your dog doesn't become dangerously warm. Dogs can suffer from heat stroke just as humans can. If your dog shows symptoms such as excessive drooling, racing heart, high body temperature, dry nose, weakness or breathing troubles, get the animal to the vet quickly.
Tips for warm weather
When the weather is warm or even hot, be sure to supply your dog with plenty of fresh water. Water helps a dog remain hydrated and allows it to pant enough to cool down naturally. Cool surfaces, fans, wading pools, an insulated doghouse or an air-conditioned area will help keep your dog from getting too hot. Do not be surprised if your dog is digging when put out in the warm summer weather. This is your dog's natural attempt to create a cool patch of earth that allows him to rest and cool off.