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Dogs Like Awake Thinking About Their Problems, Study Find

Humans lay awake at night wondering if our friends like us, which could be the same dilemma our furry friends are facing. 

Research published by The Royal Society found that positive or negative emotional stimulation in dogs can alter their sleep quality.

Dog sleeping
Image: Sarisa_Wah/Shutterstock

When planning Christmas gifts this holiday season, consider a purchase of some doggy melatonin for your favorite furry friend. According to a study, dogs have trouble sleeping due to stress.

Research published by The Royal Society found that positive or negative emotional stimulation in dogs can alter their sleep quality.

“Dogs can discriminate between different human emotional expressions, and these influence their behavior in choice situations,” reads the research introduction. 

The study observed 16 different dogs. When the dogs had positive interactions, such as playing fetch, their sleep was more peaceful. Sleep was disturbed when they had negative interactions, like abandonment.

Humans lay awake at night wondering if our friends like us, which could be the same dilemma our furry friends face. 

More findings from the study

The most interesting finding is that the dogs experiencing negative stimuli fell asleep faster than those with positive interactions. 

The dogs had three hours to sleep, which is when Hungarian researchers did the other half of the job.

“A further important finding is that sleep pattern differences between positive and negative treatments were related to several aspects of dogs’ behavior. This suggests that specific characteristics of the treatment (e.g., the duration of play a dog experienced) caused a change in sleep macrostructure,” reads the study published by The Royal Society.

Similarities between ourselves and our dogs do not end with sleep patterns. Another study found dogs will fake their illness to receive the same levels of attention they get when sick. 

It’s probably not all that scary. As long as dog owners treat their four-legged friends with enough attention, they should sleep well! 

So, don’t stress too much if you’re a good friend to your pupper. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the absurdity of it all, like this dog owner laughing over their dog’s sleeping habits on TikTok.

If the study is anything to take notes from, dog owners should shower their pets in treats and cuddles as often as possible! Just make sure it isn’t at bedtime.

Even our sleep is impacted, according to other studies

Surprisingly, according to a few years old study, your dog shouldn’t be sleeping with you at night.

The 2017 Mayo Clinic study found that a dog’s position in your bed while sleeping could also impact your sleep. Are you taking care of more than one dog? Invest in some nice dog beds so they can sleep stress-free at night. If separation from your dog at night is difficult, perhaps a bunk bed route could be a fun alternative.

The study provides information so dog owners can know when their dogs are sleeping well. And it explains how to keep things that way. Researchers had not found a way to conduct this research ethically before, so the revelation promises more investigation.

For future research, the study suggests what could come next. This includes evaluating a dog’s perception. For example, the researcher’s negative might not be negative to the dog. At the end of the day, we could still have it all wrong. So, get your dog a treat anyway. 

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