Image Credits: Pixabay
Your sleeping dog suddenly begins to move its feet, but the animal’s eyes remain closed. The canine’s body begins to quiver and twitch. Some sounds are coming out from its mouth. It seems that the dog is running or chasing something in its dreams. Like humans, dogs also dream. They pass through three sleep stages- Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM), Rapid Eye Movement (REM), and Short Wave Sleep (SWS). It is during the SWS part that your dog breathes heavily during sleep. According to animal experts, dogs dream during the REM stage. They play out their dreams by twitching.
Puppies and senior dogs twitch more
Dogs who sleep curled up to keep muscles tense and are thus relaxed compared to dogs who stretch when they sleep. These dogs are less probable to twitch during their sleep. It continues to be a mystery as to why senior dogs and puppies usually twitch more when they are sleeping. They dream more when compared to adult dogs. Chances are you yourself will be woken up due to the sounds made by your dog and the jerky body movements.
There is no need to panic if your sleeping dog suddenly begins to twitch. Call its name out to wake it up. A few dogs are noted to be reactive and touchy if awakened at this stage. It is thus important you do not use your hand to wake up the dog. If you do, there is more than an even chance of getting bitten. Pay attention to the saying of allowing a sleeping dog to continue its sleep. Dogs can have nightmares too, and the animal may wake up frightened. If you observe yours do this, calmly speak to it and reassure the animal until it is fully awake.
Twitch and seizure
Dips in temperature in the climate could result in twitching in dogs when they sleep. This is one of the attempts of the canine body to keep warm. If you believe that this is the case, you should turn up the thermostat. If your home has no heating, give the canine a blanket. As a dog owner, it is important to know the difference between harmless twitching and the occurrence of a seizure. The dog will twitch once or twice if it has dreams and then goes back to a night of quiet sleep. Calling out its name will wake it up. A dog suffering a seizure, however, trembles a lot and its body could lock up. The dog may lose all consciousness. The animal may pant more than normal. Your dog may even not respond to its name when you call it. The seizure could be an event in isolation, caused by multiple reasons like infectious diseases, low blood sugar, kidney, toxins, trauma, or even liver failure.