Why Does Your Dog Bark While Sleeping?
6 December, 2017
Dogs love to sleep almost as much as cats do even if they don’t have that reputation. And while they are napping or sleeping, you might find your dog growling, barking or whimpering. You might think your dog is awake from the sound or fidgeting only to realize your dog is sleeping! There are a few reasons why your dogs bark while sleeping and what you can do about it.
Dogs bark or whimper in their sleep because they are dreaming
The main reason why dogs bark in their sleep is because they have dreams just like humans do. Dogs go through a dream stage of the sleep cycle every time they go to sleep. You can tell when your dog is slipping into this stage by watching their eyes. Dreaming occurs in a stage of sleep known as REM (which stands for rapid eye movement), just as is in humans. It is during this stage of sleep that your dog is likely to bark or make other noises such as growling or whimpering.
There is really no way of knowing what dogs dream about. You can probably assume that our dogs’ dreams are related to an activity that happened in the day. But, when your dog is barking or growling, it usually means that your pup is reliving a memory that caused him to bark or growl in real life. Dreaming is an important way for dogs and humans to process their experiences and learn from them.
Don’t wake up your dog if he is barking in his sleep
Just because a dog is barking, you can’t know that he is having a bad dream. It is best not to wake up your dog because being awakened can be more frightening than letting the dream continue. Being woken up in the middle of REM sleep can be very disorienting which could cause your dog to snap at you, so it is best to just leave your dog alone.
Dogs need their uninterrupted sleep
Dogs, just like humans, need all the rest they can get. Dogs’ bodies and brains are often very active during the day as they run around and take on new experiences. Getting enough sleep is vital to allow your pooch to recharge his batteries and stay physically and mentally healthy. A good amount of uninterrupted sleep is essential for his healthy mental activity.
Make sure your dog is sleeping when he barks – he might just be restless and awake
Dogs who bark in their sleep can be a nuisance, but it is better to let them lie. If your dog’s dreaming is disturbing your sleep, try moving its bed into a room further away from your bedroom. Also, check that your dog is actually sleeping when he barks during the night. It might be that he is in fact awake and trying to attract your attention. He could be bored, restless, lonely, thirsty, or too hot or too cold.
Your dog could be barking during his sleep due to a change in his environment
If you find that your dog is lying awake at night barking, make sure that your dog’s sleeping environment is comfortable. Try out a new bed or room to see if that helps stop the barking while sleeping. Did his environment change at all which is causing your dog to whimper or notice? Did you stop your daily exercise routine? Exercise is important to make sure your dog sleeps well at night.
If you exercise your dog on a daily basis, give him plenty of food and water and make sure is sleep area is comfortable, it should help minimize the barking.
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