Why Do Dogs Twitch In Their Sleep?

Have you ever watched your dog as they sleep and wondered why its legs twitch or even move?

Your pup isn’t dreaming of chasing cats or begging for treats.

It’s a normal biological phenomenon known as REM sleep behavior disorder.

Even though this happens to most dogs to some degree, extreme symptoms can indicate neurological problems that need to be checked out.

This article will discuss why do dogs twitch in their sleep and how dog owners can tell if their dog is showing signs of worry.

Read on to understand why our furry friends twitch in their slumber—and what you should do if the behavior appears excessive!

Why Do Dogs Twitch In Their Sleep? – The Reasons

Have you ever watched your beloved canine companion twitch in their sleep and wondered what causes this adorable yet peculiar behavior?

Well, it turns out that dogs, much like humans, have different stages of sleep.

They experience both rapid eye movement (REM), and non-REM sleep, and twitching typically occurs during the REM phase.

As your furry friend drifts into REM sleep, their brain activity increases, mimicking their waking state.

Twitches and paw shakes occur from increased brain activity.

Dogs may dream, rehash their day, or imagine thrilling scenarios like chasing squirrels during this stage.

The Dog Sleep Cycle

Dogs’ sleep cycles affect their health, too.

If you’ve witnessed your dog chasing phantom rabbits or twitching and whining during naptime, it’s probably in REM slumber.

Dogs go through light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep, where they dream.

Remember that curled-up friends’ cognitive health depends on twitching and dreaming.

Experts believe a dog’s sleep cycle plays a significant role in memory consolidation and overall brain function.

So, the next time your loyal dog rests, take a moment to appreciate the fascinating science behind their slumber.

Should You Wake Your Dog Up If They Twitch In Their Sleep?

You may have watched your dog snoozing away and suddenly noticed they started twitсhing or even appearing to run in their sleep.

As dog owners, it’s natural to worry and wonder if we should wake them up in these moments.

However, most experts agree that twitching in dogs is generally linked to a phase of deep sleep, called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, as their body processes events from the day.

It’s often a sign that they’re dreaming, which is essential for their mental well-being.

With that in mind, it’s best to let them continue to dream and avoid disturbing them in their sleep.

Furthermore, waking your dog unexpectedly might confuse or disorientate them, leading to potential aggression.

So, the next time you notice your furry friend twitching away during their slumber, remember it’s healthy and safe to let sleeping dogs lie.

When Should You Be Concerned About A Dog Twitching In Their Sleep?

It’s not uncommon for dog owners to notice their beloved dogs twitching in their sleep.

Most of the time, it is completely normal and harmless behavior.

However, there are instances when twitching in sleep may indicate an underlying health concern.

It is crucial for dog owners to be aware of the possible reasons behind these sleep twitches and to be able to discern when to seek veterinary assistance.

Twitching could be a sign of discomfort, a poor sleeping environment, or even a medical concern like seizures.

See a vet if your dog twitches excessively, drools, or seems disoriented.

Your pet’s health depends on monitoring sleep and behavior.

What’s The Difference Between Twitching And A Seizure When A Dog Is Sleeping?

It’s not uncommon to witness your furry companion twitching or to make peculiar movements while sleeping, which may be concerning.

It’s essential to discern the difference between normal twitching and a seizure in a slumbering dog.

Twitching typically occurs during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, which is entirely normal and often indicates your dog has a dream.

These movements can range from the occasional paw twitch to full-body jerks.

Seizures are marked by severe muscle contractions and rigidity, rapid eye movements, and involuntary urine and can last several minutes.

If you think your dog is having a seizure, see a vet immediately to find out why and get treatment.

What Do Dogs Dream About?

Have you ever wondered what dogs dream about when they are sleeping?

As their paws twitch and they let out little whimpers, it is hard not to be curious about their mysterious dreamscapes.

Studies have indicated that dogs and humans share sleep patterns, including the REM phase when they dream.

Experts believe that dogs dream about their daily lives, environment, and past.

The fascinating world of dog dreams reminds us that there is still so much to uncover and understand about our beloved furry friends.

Before You Go…

Now you know why dogs twitch in their sleep.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.