Your snoozing dog unexpectedly begins moving his feet, however his eyes remain closed. His body starts to jerk and shudder, and he might vocalize a little. He looks like he is running on his side, potentially chasing something in his dreams. What’s going on?
Why Does a Dog Twitching While Asleep?
Why Your Dog Twitches in His Sleep
Just like us, dogs dream. They go through three sleep stages: NREM, non-rapid eye motion; REM, rapid-eye-movement sleep; and SWS, short-wave sleep. It is in the SWS stage that a dog breathes heavily while he is sleeping. Animal professionals think that dogs dream during the REM stage and act on their dreams by twitching or moving all four paws as if they were chasing a bunny.
Dogs who sleep all huddled need to keep their muscles tensed and are therefore less unwinded than dogs who stretch out when they sleep and are less most likely to twitch in their sleep.
For reasons yet to be discussed, young pups and senior dogs have the tendency to move more in their sleep and to dream more than adult dogs. If you are sleeping nearby, these dogs might inadvertently wake you up due to the fact that of their jerky body language.
As it is rather apparent that twitching, jerking and shivering are all normal movements for dogs under most circumstances, you just have to remember that you need to look for veterinary assistance if you’re observing continued muscle convulsions. You might also think about viewing the clock to observe for how long your dog dreams. Typically, dogs dream only for a few minutes at many. If your dog twitches for more than five minutes, and you observe similar twitches outside of the sleep, you should contact your veterinarian. These uncontrolled muscle motions normally suggest severe hidden medical conditions, such as organ failure, neurological condition or toxic substance consumption that need additional examination and appropriate treatment.
How to Respond
Do not stress when you see your sleeping dog start to twitch. Carefully call out his name to wake him. Some dogs can be sensitive and reactive while sleeping, so do not use your hand to awaken your dog or you might get bitten. For your safety, honor that adage to “let sleeping dogs lie.”
Some dogs have nightmares and awaken frightened. Speak to these dogs calmly to assure them when they wake.
Dips in temperature can cause cold dogs to twitch while sleeping, in the body’s attempt to remain warm. If you believe that this is the case, show up the heat or provide your dog with a blanket.
Know the distinction in between benign dreamland twitching and a seizure. During sleep twitching, your dog might make a jerky movement or two, but he will fall back to a quiet sleep. If you call his name, he will awaken. During a seizure, your dog’s body is stiff, trembles greatly and may secure. He can pass out and may pant exceedingly. He will not react to his name being called.