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The short answer is yes... probably. Dogs dream like humans and about similar things. Many people believe that dogs do dream. Most dog owners have noticed that at various times during their sleep, some dogs may quiver, make leg twitches or may even growl or snap at some sleep-created phantom, giving the impression that they are dreaming about something.
Without the emergence of the long-fabled talking canine companion to confirm that dogs do dream, people can only make an educated guess that Fido's twitchy sleep growls indicate brain activity similar to the human concept of "dreaming." Luckily, curiosity about dog dreaming is a longstanding topic of study - this educated guess is based on an expansive body of scientific studies and intellectual queries.
Many people believe that dogs do dream. Most dog owners have noticed that at various times during their sleep, some dogs may quiver, make leg twitches or may even growl or snap at some sleep-created phantom, giving the impression that they are dreaming about something.
At the structural level, the brains of dogs are similar to those of humans. Also, during sleep the brain wave patterns of dogs are similar that of people, and go through the same stages of electrical activity observed in humans, all of which is consistent with the idea that dogs are dreaming.
Dogs have the same brain wave patterns while they are asleep as humans, so they dream just like we do. But what is more surprising is the fact that not all dogs dream the same amount. Small dogs actually have more dreams than big dogs. For example, a small dog such as a Toy Poodle may dream once every 10 minutes, whereas a Great Dane may have around an hour between each dream.
Actually if dogs didn't dream this would be a much greater surprise given that recent evidence suggests that animals that are simpler and less intelligent than dogs seem to dream. Matthew Wilson and Kenway Louie of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have evidence that the brains of sleeping rats are functioning in a way that irresistibly suggests dreaming. Much of the dreaming that you do at night is associated with the activities that you engaged in that day. The same seems to be the case in rats.
Thus if a rat ran a complex maze during the day he might be expected to dream about it at night. While a rat was awake and learning the maze, electrical recordings were taken from its hippocampus - an area of the brain associated with memory formation and storage. Researchers found that some of these electrical patterns were quite specific and identifiable depending upon what the rat was doing. Later, when the rats were asleep and their brain waves indicated that they had entered the stage where humans normally dream, these same patterns of brain waves appeared.
In fact the patterns were so clear and specific that the researchers were able to tell where in the maze the rat would be if it were awake, and whether it would be moving or standing still. Wilson cautiously described the results, saying, "The animal is certainly recalling memories of those events as they occurred during the awake state, and it is doing so during dream sleep and that's just what people do when they dream". Dogs dream about the real life situations.
Since a dog's brain is more complex and shows the same electrical sequences, it is reasonable to assume that dogs are dreaming, as well. There is also evidence that they dream about common dog activities. This kind of research takes advantage of the fact that there is a special structure in the brainstem - the pons, that keeps all of us from acting out our dreams.
When scientists removed or inactivated the part of the brain that suppresses acting out of dreams in dogs, they observed that they began to move around, despite the fact that electrical recordings of their brains indicated that the dogs were still fast asleep.
The dogs only started to move when the brain entered that stage of sleep associated with dreaming. During the course of a dream episode these dogs actually began to execute the actions that they were performing in their dreams. Thus researchers found that a dreaming pointer may immediately start searching for game and may even go on point, a sleeping Springer Spaniel may flush an imaginary bird in his dreams, while a dreaming Doberman pincher may pick a fight with a dream burglar.
A dog will dream about things he does during the day, just like us. Chances are, their dreams might get a bit weird like ours do, too. Also like us, dogs can get nightmares and suffer from narcolepsy, a disorder in which they can suddenly fall asleep during waking hours. It is really quite easy to determine when your dog is dreaming without resorting to brain surgery or electrical recordings. All that you have to do is to watch him from the time he starts to doze off.
As the dog's sleep becomes deeper his breathing will become more regular. After a period of about 20 minutes for an average-sized dog his first dream should start. You will recognize the change because his breathing will become shallow and irregular. There may be odd muscle twitches, and you can even see the dog's eyes moving behind its closed lids if you look closely enough. The eyes are moving because the dog is actually looking at the dream images as if they were real images of the world.
These eye movements are most characteristic of dreaming sleep. When human beings are awakened during this rapid eye movement or REM sleep phase, they virtually always report that they were dreaming.
SWS and REM sleeping types What Do Dogs Dream About and the Science of Sleep of DogsJust like humans, dogs have two different types or stages of sleep. When a dog first falls asleep, they enter the slow wave sleep (SWS) in which the mental processes are quiet but the muscle tone is the same. The other stage of sleep is called rapid eye movement (REM) and in this stage the body becomes fully relaxed but the mind is working rapidly and the eyes dart quickly. During the SWS stage, the brain waves become slow and undulating. At this point, your dog will look like he/she is just calmly resting. Pets are much easier to awake in this stage and their muscles are not completely relaxed yet. On the contrary, while in REM sleeping stage, the brain waves are fast and irregular, similar to when the dog is awake.
Heightened mental activity is apparent during REM sleep which is why they may move their legs like they are running. You will also hear your dog whine, whimper, breathe quickly or even hold their breathe. All of this is totally normal when your dog is in REM sleep. Some owners occasionally express their concern over this, especially when the dog is being very active and loud quite often, but you should know that this is absolutely natural and there's nothing to worry about.
In terms of the switch between SWS and REM, most experienced dog owners know that you don't really need to resort to brain surgery and you don't have to hook your dog up to electrical recordings in order to figure out when they are dreaming. If you observe your pooch sleeping, you will be able to easily tell when they transition from SWS to REM sleep. As their sleep becomes deeper and they move closer to REM sleep mode, their breathing will become deeper and more regular (same as humans).
Length of dreams depends on your dog's breed and size According to psychologist Stanley Coren, studies on the sleep cycles of dogs have also proven that the length and frequency of dreams is directly related to the animal's size. Large breeds may only dream every 45 to 60 minutes with dreams lasting 5-10 minutes. However, small breeds may dream as often as every ten minutes but their dreams may only last a minute or so. It was also found that puppies and older dogs dream more often than middle-aged dogs. The amount of sleep that a dog requires is also contingent to its size. Larger breeds need more sleep and smaller breeds may be awake most of the day.
The amount of rest a dog requires and the sleep cycle he or she has also depends upon the amount of activity they get during the day. Because dogs wake far more frequently than we do, sometimes it is hard to catch them in REM sleep. Normally, REM type of sleep happens when a dog is more tired, and a dark night after some strenuous exercise is the perfect time for that. As you can tell, humans have a lot in common with dogs.
Don't wake a sleeping dog unless necessary Because dogs do indeed dream, it is important to remember to leave them alone while they are taking they sleep. Aside from the fact that it's only fair to let them get their rest, there are also dangers involved with waking up a dog from either type of sleep.
Nearly 60% of children who are bitten by dogs are bit when they wake a sleeping dog. This has nothing to do with Post-traumatic Stress Disorders, poor behavior problems or anything similar. This is a legitimate and healthy reaction, and some humans can react this way as well. It's important to understand that there is no way of knowing for a fact what your dog is dreaming about at that particular moment.
If they are dreaming of attacking a burglar, chasing the neighbors cat, or something as simple as chewing a bone, they may not distinguish between the dream and reality if woken suddenly. We've all had dreams that felt so real it took us a minute to get our bearings when we awoke, and the same can happen with dogs. Make sure to teach children to never bother a dog while he/she is sleeping. As the old saying goes, "it is best to let sleeping dogs lie." But whenever you do have to bother your pets and wake them up, try to avoid touching them and rather wake them up with a soft voice. It's as simple as that.
I recently received a letter from Joseph Baker, which seems to confirm the idea of dogs having dreams about their everyday activities. I have taken the liberty of reproducing part of it here.
"I have an anecdote that you may find interesting, however it requires some back story. About three years ago I heard a story on the radio about a cognitive scientist who was trying to understand sleep and dreams. He had a hypothesis describing how sensory memories replay themselves during early REM sleep.
The study he published had subjects play Tetris [a computer game where you try to line up falling blocks of various colors] and then report whether or not they saw the little Tetris bricks in their dreams. This stuck with me because the previous night I had very vivid dreams involving a hike I had been on earlier. I could feel the snow and smell the air as though it were real.
This brings me to my dog. Goober is a basenji, and like many basenjis he hates water and being bathed. As soon as my wife finishes bathing him he bolts out of the bathroom door, finds me, and tries to hide behind me or under me. So one day Goober was forced to be cleaned and underwent his ritual of hiding behind me.
Later that night he was sleep running. He awoke with a start, and then bolted to my location to hide under my legs. This was very awkward as I was sitting on the toilet at the time. I believe that he was dreaming, and I believe that he was dreaming about having a bath. I believe this because he only engages in this behavior when a bath is involved."
To understand the sleeping habits of your dog, we must first understand that their snoozing patterns are much different to those of humans. Not only that, but canine's sleep requirements vary depending on their breed and size as well. Naturally, small breeds sleep much less than larger breeds. This short article will give you information on how much do dogs sleep, what their sleeping position mean, and some of the most common sleep problems that dogs have.
The average amount of time for a dog to sleep in a 24 hour period is between 12 and 18 hours.
Around 50% of a dog's day is sleep
Approximately 30% of the day is rest (mostly awake but inactive)
Dogs are active only about 20% of each day
However, there are some different factors listed below that could affect your dog's sleeping patterns, making them sleep slightly more or less than the average. Even though every breed and even every dog is different, the following is very common among many of our loyal friends. Have you ever noticed that when you are home, your dog may only be awake a few hours a day, but then when you bring them on a hike or to the lake, they can run and play all day without stopping?
The reason for such an unusual behavior is because unlike humans, dogs don't have a regular sleeping pattern. As a dog matures, he will sleep a bit less, but once a dog reaches its golden years, it's likely that the dog will sleep early and often. As the body slows down and conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia set in, dogs are far less apt to romp around the house or the yard. Typically, puppies sleep anywhere from 12-18 hours a day, adult dogs can sleep around 14 hours per day, large breeds may sleep up to 18, and elderly dogs can sleep even more.
Dogs spend between 8 and 12% of their sleep time in the so called REM "mode". There are many factors that can help you determine the average time that your dog should spend sleeping every day. Those include:
Age: puppies and senior dogs typically need more sleep than middle-aged dogs.
Activity level: generally, dogs that are less active are more likely to nap out of boredom than active dogs or working dogs.
Diet: poor quality dog foods have added fillers and lack of necessary dog vitamins, and they don't give your dog the nutrition and energy it needs to keep up an active lifestyle. The fillers in poor quality dog food are harder for your dog's body to digest which can make them feel sluggish and affect their sleeping patterns.
Breed and Size: larger dogs need more sleep than smaller dogs.
Here are some facts about dog's sleeping patterns you may not know:
Large dogs - need more sleep than small dogs.
Dogs sleep less deeply than we do and often seem like they are sleeping when they are resting their eyes.
Here are a list of the 15 dog breeds that love to sleep the most:
Bull dogs Shih Tzu Mastiff Bassett Hound French bulldog Pekingese Greyhound Lhasa Apso Cavalier King Spaniel Saint Bernard Chow Chow Great Dane Cocker Spaniel Pug Great Pyrenees
Companion dogs - sleep more. If dogs have a job to do – like herding cattle, search and rescue, or acting as a service dog – they sleep less. If you are away from the home for long hours, your family dog may sleep more simply because he is bored.
As pet owners, we want to know everything about our canines, including what do dogs dream about. Before jumping to the worst case scenario - a wild beast has somehow found its way into your living room, take a moment to consider the wild beast that's already fast asleep in the room. What's your dog dreaming about? Since dogs cannot tell us what dream they had last night, it is still impossible to know if they have good dreams and bad dreams. Let's see what modern science has to say about that.
What's Going On in Your Dog's Mind? According to Psychology Today, there is recent research that suggests that animals less intelligent than dogs dream, such as rats, so it isn't too farfetched to come to the conclusion that dogs dream. They cite the following as surefire signs your dog is dreaming:
Breathing becomes shallow and irregular
Weird muscle twitches
Dog's eyes moving
Typically, a dog's first dream will occur after about 20 minutes of sleep, so next time you're lounging on the couch in the evening and your dog dozes off you can witness the sleepy time phenomenon yourself.
Snoring: We all do it sometimes. Dogs experience REM sleep just as we do. It is recommended that you refrain from waking your dog when he or she is in the middle of a dream. Just like us, it's important that dogs get a proper amount of sleep every night. Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, English Toy Spaniels, Boston Terriers, Chow Chows, and other dogs with broad skulls and short muzzles frequently show some degree of airway obstruction, known as brachycephalic syndrome, manifested by mouth breathing, snorting, and snoring. These difficulties become more pronounced when the dog is exercising or is overheated, and tend to get worse as the dog grows older.
The Daily Puppy says that on average, most dogs get 14 hours of sleep on a daily basis, while many large catch their shuteye for up to 18 hours a day. All that beauty sleep must be the scientific reason behind their inimitable cuteness, right?
Light Sleepers Dogs sleep a lot more than humans. Ever come home to a warm couch after a long day out? Your dog has likely been napping the afternoon away in that very spot while you've been out running errands. Though dogs sleep more, they also tend to wake up more while sleeping, which explains your dog's habit of waking you in the middle of the night with his loud water lapping or food nibbling.
Dogs reach REM several times during a full night of rest, though it would appear that puppies and small dogs tend to dream more than big dogs. On the puppy front, this may be because they are "processing huge quantities of newly acquired experiences" like learning the difference between right and wrong and the sheer joy of companionship and a warm afternoon in the yard, according to Pedigree. Squeeee! Pedigree tells us that "It's likely that dogs dream in a similar fashion to humans, replaying the everyday activities that make up their existence, like chasing, playing, and eating." Could anything possibly be cuter? If you have ever caught Fido wagging his tail in his sleep, then you know he's having a good time over in doggy dream land.
If only dogs could talk, eh?
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Have you ever wondered if dogs could dream? Have you ever looked at your dog when he was sleeping, wondering if he was chasing after something? Interestingly, the brain activities of a sleeping dog and sleeping human are very similar, making it reasonable to believe that dogs actually do dream. Even though your dog cannot tell you in words what he's dreaming about, you can observe his body language to gain a better understanding of his dreams.
Learn the different dog sleep stages. Just like people, dogs have different stages of sleep: short wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM). REM is considered to be the "sleep of body," when the body is relaxed but the mind is very active. Dogs dream during REM. SWS is known as the "sleep of the mind," when brain activities have decreased, but muscle tone is still present. It would be somewhat difficult to wake up your dog during the REM sleep stage, but he would probably wake up more easily during SWS.
Observe your dog's eye movements. Dogs tend to start dreaming about 20 minutes after they fall asleep. Rapid eye movement is one of the most obvious signs that your dog is dreaming. If you look closely enough, you may be able to see your dog's eyes moving under his eyelids. This movement is due to your dog actually seeing his dream images as if they were happening in real life. Your dog's eyes may be fully or partially closed when he is dreaming.
Watch your dog's body movements. Quite naturally, dogs dream about typical dog activities (e.g., running, digging a hole and fighting with an imaginary burglar). His body movements when he is dreaming will likely reflect what is happening in his dream. For example, if he is running and/or chasing after something in his dream, you'll probably see all of his legs moving in a running motion. Your dog's movements will likely be gentle and intermittent when he is dreaming, even if he is "running". Your dog may also have occasional muscle twitches during his dream. These twitches will look jerky and will not last long. He will quickly fall back into a more relaxed state. Even though your dog may move occasionally while he is dreaming, his overall body posture will suggest that he is relaxed and at peace.
Listen to your dog's vocalizations. Your dog may begin to make various noises when he is dreaming. For example, he may bark, whine, or cry, depending on what he is dreaming about. Usually, these vocalizations will be brief and infrequent and will not wake him from his dream. Your dog may also breathe differently during a dream. For example, he may start to breathe rapidly or have brief periods when he holds his breath. Your dog's breath may also become shallow.
Do not wake up your dog when he is dreaming. As much you appreciate having uninterrupted sleep, your dog would also appreciate if you did not wake him up. Similar to human dreams, your dog's dreams function to process and reorganize what he did during the day. By allowing your dog to sleep and dream uninterrupted, his brain will be better able to process information. A helpful saying to remember when your dog is dreaming is "Let sleeping dogs lie." You may need to wake him up if he looks like he's having a bad dream or nightmare (e.g., distressed-sounded vocalizations). If this is the case, gently call his name without touching him, to wake him up. When he is awake, talk to him in a reassuring voice to help him calm down.
Do not touch your dog when he is dreaming. Depending on what your dog is dreaming about, he may be in a relatively active state when he is sleeping. If you try to wake him by touching him, he may react defensively and try to scratch or bite you. No matter how loyal, well-trained and loving your pet is, awakening them by contact can get you snarled at or even bit. Remember that you are bringing your dog back from a dream state, where the dream is reality. One of our other dogs, Dusty, is a sweetheart, but it is extremely hard for him to assess his surroundings quickly if he is startled awake. He needs a minute to go from growling to his normal happy.
Use a Gentle Voice Our natural instinct can be to wake our pet as quickly as possible, even sometimes by shouting their name, as we too are distressed for them. Taking that tone, however, can put your dog on the offensive. He will think something is wrong upon waking and go into protection mode. Imagine an alarm clock that goes off sounding like the panicked voice of the person you love the most. That would be more than a little stressful to wake to. For these reasons, use a soft and loving tone to coax your dog out of a dream and into a safe environment.
Lay On the Love Once your dog has successfully been retrieved from the Land of Nod is when you can finally soothe them by touch. Give comforting hugs, rub their head and give that favorite spot a quality petting. Talk to your dog and let them know everything is safe, basically everything comforting you would want after being abruptly woken up. What sounds or movements does your pet make while dreaming? Can you resist the urge to wake them up?
The answers are variable and depend on the individual dog, his age, his behavior and his training!
Crate - Security & Comfort Consider teaching a puppy to sleep in a crate. When sleeping in the crate at night, the puppy learns to control his bladder and bowels as few puppies wish to soil their bed. When the puppy cannot be supervised during the day, he can spend some time in his crate with a toy or something to chew on. If things are busy in the house, perhaps when guests come over, the puppy can go to his crate so he doesn't become overwhelmed.
When I have a new puppy, I have him sleep in the crate each night. I keep the crate in my bedroom close to the bed. If the new puppy is worried, I like to be able to reach off the bed and put my fingers in the crate so he can smell them. I generally have my puppies sleep in the crate through adolescence. Since the crate confines the puppy when he can't be supervised at night, he can't get into trouble and perhaps turn those behaviors into bad habits. Providing a crate and teaching the puppy to use it when he's young will make sure he's comfortable in it at various times for the rest of his life.
Although he won't need to spend each night in the crate throughout his life (he can if he wants to of course), being comfortable in a crate will help him when he goes to the grooming shop and the veterinary clinic, both of which will need to put him in a crate or cage. If you travel with your dog, a crate is necessary on a plane and can keep him safe in a car or RV. Crating your dog in a hotel can help him feel secure. I like to compare a crate for a puppy to the blanket fort that kids create with the dining room chairs and a couple of blankets. My blanket forts were my special place where I was alone with my toys while feeling close and comforted.
Sharing Your Bed For many years dog trainers told dog owners not to let their dog sleep on the bed with them. The common opinion at that time was that dogs, being pack animals who wanted to assert themselves over their owners, would push and shove to get you to move over. Thankfully, we now know that dogs aren't nearly that devious and if they shove you it's just to get closer to you, often using you as a source of heat.
Dog Beds are Great My oldest dog, Bashir, prefers to sleep on a dog bed right next to my bed. Although I've invited him up on my bed, after a few minutes he gets hot and begins to pant. He prefers to sleep by himself and that's fine. Sine he's getting older and his bones need some cushioning, I have a raised bed for him that allows him sleep about 6 inches off the floor. In the summer that's all he has, but when the weather cools, I add a fleece blanket to his bed. There are many dog bed options that range from cushions to real furniture with wooden frames and nicely sewn cushions. You can even match them to your home's decor. Your dog doesn't care about the decor, though - all he wants is the comfort. The placement of the dog bed is going to have to be a joint decision between you and your dog. Bashir may not want to sleep on my bed, but he wants to be close so his dog bed is right next to my bed in a place where I won't trip over it.
Roaming the House at Night My middle dog, Sisko, sleeps in various places. Sometimes he sleeps in his dog bed and sometimes he sleeps in the hallway outside my bedroom. His favorite spot, though, is on the sofa in the living room. As far as he's concerned, no danger will sneak into his house at night. My dogs are not allowed to roam the house at night until they are well-trained, well-behaved and mentally mature (usually 2 to 3 years of age). I don't want a puppy or adolescent to roam the house, get into the garbage cans, chew on shoes, have housetraining accidents or otherwise get into trouble. I consider giving the dog the freedom of the house at night to be the acknowledgement of the dog's adulthood and self-control. To transition them from the crate to more freedom, I may simply leave the crate door propped open and put a baby gate across the bedroom door. This way the dog can sleep in his crate if he wishes or he can move around the bedroom. If he decides it's time to play or otherwise disrupts the sleep of the other dogs or myself, he will be put back in his crate and the door closed. It usually only takes a couple of times before he learns to be calm, quiet and to relax.
What is Comfortable for YOU? Choosing where to have your dog sleep is ultimately up to you. Puppies should be crated for the reasons discussed, but once they are old enough and well-trained enough to sleep outside the crate, as long as your dog doesn't disrupt your sleep or doesn't get into any trouble around the house, there really aren't any wrong choices. I enjoy having Bones sleep on the bed as well as Bashir sleeping close by, plus I don't mind Sisko roaming the house. He's quiet, would never get into trouble, and I enjoy the security he provides. Your household routine might be different, though. If someone works evenings and comes home late at night, a dog providing security in the living room might not be a good idea. The choice will also depend on your dog. Sisko would be horrified at the thought of getting into a trash can or stealing food off the kitchen counter. Nor would he chase the cat or get into the cat food or litter box. Not all dogs feel that way, though, and a dog who would get into trouble at night needs to spend the night confined to the bedroom or crate. Be realistic when making this decision.
Sleeping Dog Bag / Puff A dog sleeping bag resembles human sleeping bags, yet they should not be confused one with another. Simply put, it is a wearable blanket that may or may not be fitted to the dog's size. It is specifically built to keep dogs warm and comfortable, regardless of where it is used. Each bag has a few openings for the head, tail and feet. It ensures top notch protection for your dog. If you have ever tried covering your dog with a regular blanket, you have probably noticed already that you need to do it often. When they wake up, they will probably throw the blanket off. The bag is more comfortable and stays attached to your pet more securely.
So, you got a new four-legged family member and you've noticed some weird things going on while your new canine friend is sleeping. Do not be alarmed. Although these things can be an indicator that your dog is in pain or is having some other health issues in some situations, be assured that the probability is that everything is okay. Normal to the experienced dog owners and dogs themselves unaware of the situation, some things your dog does while sleeping are just downright strange.
Why Does My Dog Walk in a Circle Before Lying Down? Your dog's ancestors slept in the wild and probably trampled down a "nest" of grass, leaves, or snow to sleep in. When your dog circles before lying down, he's displaying this ancestral tendency, which is basically a way to get comfortable and feel safe. Your dog may also dig or scratch at your couch or carpet prior to lying down. This, too, is an ancestral behavior, as wild dogs dig holes to lie in. The hole help keeps dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Most dogs only circle a few times before getting comfortable. If your dog seems to circle endlessly and has trouble settling down, this could be a sign of arthritis or a neurological problem and should be checked out by a veterinarian.
Shiver However it may sound strange, brainwave patterns of sleeping dogs and people are pretty much the same. Dogs pass through the same series of sleep cycles as humans. They also have vivid dreams occurring during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage, which, according to some experts, may vary from the size of your pet. Allegedly, the frequency of REM cycles occur depends upon the size of your dog: small dogs may have dreams every 10 minutes but large dogs have fewer dreams that last longer. This is when your dog's legs start twitching and his eyes darting around behind closed lids. Relax, everything's fine. All mammals dream and when they enter REM sleep, a section of the brain stem kicks in to partially paralyze their muscles. Thankfully, this prevents them from physically acting out their dreams. Shivering is no cause for alarm.
Cry Crying also occurs during the REM sleep, the deepest stage of sleep. However this stage may be deep, it's the one in which you pet becomes active. It's important to remember not to wake your dog up when they cry in their sleep, no matter how tempting it may be or how worried and sad you may be.
REM sleep is an indication of healthy brain growth, and it will occur less and less as your pup grows older. Nightmares are a beneficial thing actually, because they serve to help us avoid dangerous situations during the day and help us get rid of our fears, at least partially. Dogs are no strangers to this.
Whimper Scientists have found that, just like people, dogs actually dream while they sleep. Not all animals dream, but dogs are definitely one of those which do. Scientists discovered that when asleep, dogs have nearly the exact same brain waves as sleeping people do, with the same areas of the brain lighting up. This explains why dogs are vocal while they sleep. Like humans, they are simply expressing some small outward reaction to the dream their mind has thought up for them.
Bark This one may be the most annoying one for the dog owner. Your beloved pet is just dreaming, and sure, it may be a bad dream but it also may be a good one. Not all barks are bad. Remember that that's the way canines communicate, among other ways. Sure, your pup may be dreaming about defending from a vicious predator but it also may be dreaming of nice things like play time with other dogs, chasing birds and greeting you at the mere glimpse of your silhouette down the street. Like in most cases, just let your dog dream, the barking although annoying will stop shortly.
Crawl Under The Covers Whether or not your dog at bedtime may just be a matter of preference. Animal behaviorist Dr. Brenda Forsythe says experts theories for this behavior range from a dog's need to feel companionship while sleeping with a human "pack member" to an evolutionary behavior from when wild dogs raised their puppies in small, dark dens. Crawling under the covers may actually be more common in breeds that were bred to burrow, like.
Curl Up Many dogs curl up like a caterpillar when they sleep, even when they've got plenty of room to stretch out. It might seem uncomfortable, but it's a cozy, secure position for dogs, sort of like the "fetal position" for humans. In the wild, dogs dig a nest and curl up in a ball for warmth to sleep. This not only conserves body heat, it also protects the bulk of their organs from predators. Many dogs particularly enjoy having a blanket to "dig" in and curl up on (or under). If your dog often sleeps stretched out, it means he's either hot or very secure in his surroundings.
Twitch During sleep, dogs go through three stages: NREM (non-rapid eye movement), REM (rapid eye movement) and SWS (short-wave sleep). Like in the SWS stage of sleep, when dogs breathe heavily, the REM stage also has particular movements to it. In this stage your four-legged friends act on their dreams by twitching or moving all four paws. Dogs that stretch out when they sleep are more relaxed than those who sleep all curled up, so they are more prone to twitching in their sleep. Twitching in their sleep can be funny and cute to the owner, but also stressful if the owner doesn't know what's going on. Your lovely family member is probably dreaming of running freely and having fun, so there's no need for worry. It has been noticed that young puppies and senior dogs tend to move more in their sleep and to dream more than adult dogs, for reasons yet unknown.
Growl This occurrence is not as annoying as barking, because it's not as loud, but it's not the most pleasant of all "dog dreams" side effects. Dogs mostly dream about their favorite activities. Although most people understandably associate a growling dog with an aggressive dog, this doesn't have to be the case. Sure, growling can be an "unmistakable warning sign" that tells other beings to “back off," but canine specimens can also growl when they're frightened or defensive and they also often engage in play and growling. Do not be afraid that your pooch has an alter-ego developing in their sleep. Everything's OK.
Shake Shaking takes a bit more serious note. There are many possible reasons of your beloved canine shaking in their sleep. These reasons can range from completely normal dream state to a serious, life threatening condition. If you think that your pooch has the case of the later, take him or her to the vet. The mere sight of your beloved dog shake during his or her sleep is disturbing for the dog owner, and mostly because they are unsure of what is causing it and whether or not the dog is in pain. The safest way to find out of course is to get a checkup. There are several health conditions that cause a dog to shake during sleep: the non-alarming Rapid Eye Movement (REM), and the health-regarding Epileptic Seizures and Ballistocardiogenic Tremor.
Muscle Spasms Muscle spasms during sleep are not pleasant for dogs as they're not pleasant for humans. When it comes to our four-legged friends, they happen because of bad dreams, and they are totally normal. However, if they get really bad, you should consult your vet. You should also take a moment to think did you feed your dog anything new lately, and has he or she been eating before bedtime? If the answers are "yes," then take the food into consideration as a reason for the muscle spasms. It's maybe what they're eating that is causing the nightmares. If it can happen to humans, it can happen to dogs, but check with the vet to be on the safe side.
Kicking Kicking is a side-effect of your dog's dreams. During a dream, the brain cuts the connection to the parts that control movements in order to stop the dreamer from physically acting out the dreams, and thus quite possibly, keeping the body safe. But of course, that disconnection isn't perfect - It's the same things with dogs as it is with humans. You probably noticed that your very own legs twitch as you start to dream. Dogs also have the same mechanism, so a kick or two are not alarming, despite the fact that they may seem strange and shocking to the watchful human eye. However, if the movements get excessive and a lot more aggressive than before, maybe your dog's disconnect mechanism is faltering or maybe he's just getting more deep sleep and dreaming more. If your pet is getting hurt in the process, consult a vet.
Sleep Run The most shocking and unusual of all doggy things regarding sleep, sleep running is the most normal one of them all. It is important for the owner to restrain himself or herself from waking the dog up, because it can cause a slight chaotic moment in the pet's brain. Sleep running is a perfectly normal thing dogs do while in the REM stage of sleep. Your dog is running freely in the safety of his or her own mind, and there is no need to be alarmed. It's just the case of the above mentioned disconnection. Owners who have more experience with dogs love this sort of thing so typical for dogs, because it's usually a really funny, cute experience. Of course, try not to laugh so loudly, so your beloved pooch won't get an unpleasant, distressing wake-up call.
How does your dog sleep? Ever wondered why it sleeps that way? Like us humans, dogs love to sleep and have their preferred positions too! It's not just all about comfort though, how a dog sleeps gives important insights into a dog's personality and habits. Depending on its environment and mood, your dog may stick to one favourite position or adopt different positions at different times. Like people, most dogs have a favorite sleeping position that they are most comfortable in. There are many different typical sleep positions for your dog, here are few of them:
The most popular position is Side sleeping. When a dog is sleeping on his/her side or belly with all four paws stuck out. Usually, this position is only for napping, but occasionally they will sleep like this for longer periods of time. This is the most common and comfortable position for a dog when they are very relaxed.
Back sleeping Possibly one of the funniest and cutest positions to see your dog sleeping in. This is when they are stretched out on their back with all four paws in the air. There could be two reasons for back sleeping. The First Reason, Actually, when a dog sleeps on its back it can be because the dog is trying to cool down. We know for a fact that dogs have a hard time cooling themselves given that they only sweat through the pads in their paws. Dogs pant to adjust the body temperature. This is probably one of the reasons why dogs sleep on their back. The belly after all is less covered with fur hence when it is exposed to the air the dog will get cool. Sleeping on its back allows the dog to be comfortable as the body will be most relaxed unlike when the dog is sleeping all curled up and the muscles are tense. It can be noted that dogs only sleep in their backs when they are most secure like when they are inside the house or in their own sleeping quarters. The second reason is because in back sleeping position all of the dog's muscles are able to relax completely, and it's a sure sign of comfort and submission.
Curled in a ball Another very common napping position in canines. In order to hold this position, your dog must use multiple of his/her muscles. This is not a relaxed position by any means. Dogs can get up and begin move very quickly when sleeping in this position, and you will see a lot of abused dogs sleep like this. They will also sleep curled in a ball when in a new environment or surrounded by new people as they are always trying to stay alert.
Super Pup The super pup is where a dog lies on its stomach with his front paws out and its hind legs stretched out behind it. Dogs who sleep like this possess a lot of energy and are probably high-maintenance when it comes to exercise.
Crazy Legs The crazy legs position has a dog on its back with its legs in random positions in the air. It's not a position to be worried about, as its a sign that a dog is comfortable with its surroundings. Dogs who sleep like this tend to have a bit of an independent streak.
Tummy Curl The tummy curl is where the dog is on its stomach and the front legs are stretched out behind it. It's a sign that the muscles are not fully relaxed enough for a dog to enter full REM sleep. This kind of dog tends to be gentle and shy.
Pussed Out Being completely passed out on one's back means the dog is trying to cool off, and these dogs tend to be quite confident in themselves.
Back to back (or touching) Either their owner or another dog, while sleeping shows attachment and affection. Wild dogs tend to sleep next to each other in their packs, and this is your dog's instinctual way of showing you, or another dog, that you are part of their pack.
You may be surprised to learn dogs sometimes have trouble sleeping. Many dogs are unable to sleep through the night. Overweight dogs can be prone to sleep apnea, a condition where they stop breathing while they sleep. That can cause them to wake in a panic and it is a serious condition so you should check with your veterinarian. Senior dogs may be in pain, due to health issues such as muscle aches, joint problems or arthritis. Bladder control for puppies and senior dogs sometimes makes it impossible to sleep through the night without a "pit stop."
With normally healthy dogs that have survived the dreaded puppy stage, they may occasionally experience insomnia, but it should not be a common occurrence. The most common cause of canine insomnia is pent-up energy and inadequate exercise. A fenced-in backyard is not exercise! Here are a few suggestions that may help your dog sleep through the night. Experiment with them to find the ones that work best for you and your pet. For senior dogs with aches and pains, a buffered aspirin. Dosage approximately a quarter of a 325 milligram tablet per 10 pounds, may help relax your dog enough to get a good night's sleep. One dose in the morning and one in the evening may make your pet much happier and more comfortable. If their problem is more serious, your veterinarian may prescribe something stronger to help them relax.
Normally, when a dog is comfortable, their belly isn't growling at them, their bowels and bladder have been emptied, they have a comfortable place to rest and they are tired, they will go to sleep. Nightie-night! Sleep tight!
TIPS TO HELP DOG TO SLEEP GOOD (Factors which influence dog sleep)
Room temperature Dogs get hot and cold too. Whippets are more prone to feeling the cold as they have very little fur whereas St. Bernard dogs may overheat quickly. Ensure that the room temperature is set to suit your dog's needs as well as your own.
Sleep environment The area your dog should sleep in should be clean, comfortable and spacious. Leave a few blankets and place the dog bed in one corner of the room. Your dog can then decide where it wants to sleep within the room. You should never force a dog to sleep in a confined area as it may associate this area with stress which can then lead to sleepless nights and future health problems.
Safety and security wild dogs usually sleep in packs so one of them can be "watch dog" while the rest catch up on their needed sleep. This trait runs with your dog too - they prefer sleeping around you so they feel safe and protected. Your dog may find it difficult to relax if you leave them in a room alone at the other end of the house
Follow this few tips if you feel your dog's sleep is suffering:
Let them sleep with another family pet
Put their comfort teddy/toy in their sleep area with them
Let your dog sleep outside your bedroom or even in your bedroom so they can smell and sense that you are close.
Daytime naps Some dogs take regular naps throughout the day and this is usually dependant on what type of dog they are. Are they a working dog such as a police dog or sheep dog or are they just a general house pet? If they are a working dog you will find that they work for most of the day just like a typical human so naps will be limited. However, for a house dog, one of the key factors down to naps throughout the day could be boredom so ensure you give your dog a lot of your time, toys to play with and possibly a companion such as another pet or a house visitor if you work throughout the day. Giving your dog lots of exercise a few hours before bedtime is helpful. If you do it immediately before bedtime, they may still be "wired." A trip to the dog park or a long walk together sometimes is just enough to take the edge off.
Get Comphatible Dog Bed! Get your dog a comfy bed! Where sleep, or lack thereof, is concerned, dogs are at their worst when they are puppies. As they grow up, their sleeping habits improve, but they can still experience occasional bouts of insomnia, which is pretty normal. What is not normal is regular canine insomnia.
Pick up the water! If your dog is a heavy drinker, leave some water, but they don't need a full bowl. Ice cubes - Fill their water bowl with ice cubes. That way they have something to do plus it gives them enough water to stay hydrated, without filling their bladder. Make "last call" as late as possible. The mission is to go out, tend to business, come inside and go to bed. Do not get snookered into playing!
Use the dog's crate. If your dog is a night owl, crate or confine her. Not having access to the entire house and being limited to a crate or confined space with a soft comfortable bed, often is enough to help them chill out for the night. Make going into the crate or area something they look forward to. With a smile say "Bedtime!" and toss a treat or toy where you want them to go. Praise them once they are in their crate or confined area. Tell them "Good night" and then leave them alone. You don't want them to think they are being punished, but you do want to establish a routine.
Get them on a schedule! Even if you are a night owl, get your dog on a scheduled bedtime to help your dog sleep through the night. If you are up late at night, don't be surprised if your dog wants to join you. Remember, being with you is the highpoint of their life.
Are they hungry? You know what it's like going to bed with your belly growling. You toss, you turn, next thing you know; there you are, staring into the refrigerator at 2 a.m. with Fido at your side! An empty belly can keep your dog up, too. You may be feeding them too early or not enough. See if going to bed with a little something in their tummy helps.
Leave a radio on. There are dogs that just cannot cope with too much quiet. It raises their anxiety. Leave a radio on low, preferably on a talk show or weather channel, rather than music. The sound of voices may comfort them.
Lights on or lights off? It depends. Some puppies and dogs prefer a night-light. They find it comforting. With others, it just keeps them awake and busy. For them, make the house dark and quiet.
Too hot or too cold? Make the room where your pet is sleeping comfortable for them.
Create a special spot. Get your puppy or dog, their own comfy bed. Don't have your dog sleep with you on your bed or in your room. Close your bedroom door, if you don't confine your dog at night.
Bathe them! Fleas, fleabites and itchy skin conditions can keep your pet wake at night. Make sure they are flea free. Also, speak to your veterinarian about something to help your dog's itchy skin condition.
Massage them! It may sound strange, but a little massaging can do wonders for dogs struggling to snooze. Give them a nice rub before you head upstairs and they'll become so relaxed and sleepy, they will be knocked out in no time. A good massage will knock most dogs off their feet for hours!
Many dogs have trouble sleeping. Older dogs may have trouble getting comfortable because of tired sore muscles or even arthritis, while active younger dogs may be restless from exciting days spent running, playing, or working outside. When your dog does not sleep well, it might affect your sleep also. There are massage techniques you can use to send your dog off to sleep offering relaxation and comfort for sore and tired muscles.
When you spend time every night massaging your dog, you will see his sleep improve along with his overall life and mobility in the days to follow the massage.
Your dog might be overly tired from not sleeping well, or he may be anxious and tense and in need of a good night's sleep. A relaxing massage can help either one of these cases but because of his anxieties or inability to relax it may take some time to get him used to a massage to help him sleep. A massage is the best way to fall asleep. Helping your dog cope through a long day with sore muscles can create a soothing atmosphere sending the sandman his way. Set your pup up for a good night's sleep with a gentle evening massage.
1. Bed Get your dog to lie down in his bed ready to sleep. Try to keep the room quiet and not too bright. You are preparing him for sleep, so set the stage to fall asleep.
2. On Side If your dog lies on his side to prepare for sleep, get him comfortable and start by slowly rubbing his tummy in one direction. This will calm him and get his mind and body ready to sleep.
3. Head Once he has settled with the help of a tummy rub, massage the exposed side of his head. Use very small strokes in short circular motions to massage his ears and jowls.
4. Neck Carefully massage your little guy's neck in the same small circular motions. You may only get to the one side as he is lying on his side, but remember the goal is to get him to go to sleep, so as long as he is getting a soothing massage, all is good.
5. Legs & Paws By this time, your dog should be feeling quite relaxed. Ease any more tension he has by gently pulling the skin and muscles on his legs down toward his paws. Take his front paw in your hands and gently massage the paw pads and between his toes.
6. Back to Belly If your dog needs more attention, go back to a soft and slow rub on his belly. You can talk to him in a quiet voice, or if he is still restless, start from the top again and work your way back down.
1. Lie Down Get your dog settled on his bed and ready for sleep. If you'd like to set the ambiance for him, turn down the lights to a dim and play soft music.
2. Ears Starting with his ears, massage with small circles behind his ears working your way to the tips. Make these motions slow and methodic.
3. Neck Once you have finished the ears, work your hands down to your pup's neck. Use long strokes to knead the neck muscles from near the base of the head down his back and chest.
4. Back With slow and methodic movements, massage the back. Move from long strokes on the neck to slow circles along either side of the spine and down the dog's sides.
5. Legs Your dog's legs are used a lot and can be tired at the end of the day. After you have worked muscles on the back and sides, work on easing tension in his legs. Working from the top of each leg to the paw, use long strokes again making small circles with your thumbs.
CAUTION ! You could help your dog relax more by setting the stage with a relaxing ambiance. Music, lights, even relaxing scents can help your dog fall asleep while you offer him a relaxing massage. If your dog is mobile, getting him exercise before bedtime might help him relax more.
A dog who is tired will be more eager to lie down and relax while you massage his tired muscles. Be cautious of any sore or tender spots your dog may have. These swollen muscles might need a bit of extra work during your daily massages. With time, tired muscles can soften and relax causing less discomfort during the evening massage.
Try to give your dog an evening massage in his own bed so he does not have to get up to go to sleep. Also be sure to do this after his evening trip outside to go potty. If your dog is experiencing uncomfortable dry and itchy skin you can offer him a massage with coconut oil which will help him to relax as well as soothe his skin so he can sleep better all night. If you use essential oils, you can apply a drop or two of your favorite relaxing scent such as lavender or vanilla to help him sleep.
SLEEP WALKING DOGS This material proudly presented by WWW.DOGSAHOLIC.COM and Wyatt Robinson
Sleep Walking Dog: Causes & Symptoms That Shouldn't Be Ignored Occasionally, youэve heard of people walking in their sleep, but rarely have you heard of animals displaying such behavior. A funny thing has been happening to Frisky, Julieэs pet Labrador. More frequently these days as the dog snoozes in its favorite corner, he starts twitching, and moving his legs rapidly in a manner as if running. Eventually the dog would jump to its feet and start move around in circles.
Sleep walking behavior Sleep walking is often the subject of funny recollections and great hilarity relating to humans. You probably know of a friend, a brother, or someone of other relations who raided the refrigerator and ate the entire apple pie but does not have a clue what you are talking about when confronted. But the pictures finally tell the tales as you caught the culprit red-handed.
He cannot be held responsible however, because he did it in his sleep. Very rarely does one hear of animals displaying unusual behaviors that you would classify as sleep walking otherwise called somnambulism. Somnambulism is really a sleep behavior that occurs during deep sleep that involves movement such as walking and engaging in other activities that would only happen when awake. You see, during sleep the brain causes both the conscious mind and the physical body to shut down and be at rest. The muscles become relaxed and movement is suspended for a while. However, for some people this function becomes sort of twisted and sleep walking takes place.
Have you heard of a dog running in sleep? If you were one of those persons who keeps up with the technology, you would have seen the video of Bizkit the dog that sleepwalks. This video went viral when it was uploaded and many viewers have found it quite a funny affair. In the video, Bizkit lies down to take his usual nap.
Whether your dog is a victim of sleepwalking, dreaming or seizure, you may not know for sure. A dog cannot tell what is happening to them. It may be time therefore to talk to your vet. Seizures will definitely need anti-seizure drugs. However, where there is doubt as to the actual behavior of the dog, the vet may seek to rule out each problem by prescribing drugs. If it is a case of sleepwalking or dreaming, anti-seizure drugs will not have an effect. One thing is certain is that where a seizure is detected, the dog must be treated right away. In a seizure it is said that the body temperature can rise so high that it can damage the organs.
However, minutes into his sleep the dog's body starts to jerk and then it starts to flay his feet as if he is running. This goes on for seconds or a few minutes but the action gets more intense until it seems that the dog is overwhelmed by his seeming "activity", he jumps to his feet and runs right into a wall. The dog runs into the wall as it seemingly tries to continue the activity in his sleep. It is only when it hits the wall that it wakes up and stands there as if asking "What just happened a while ago?"
You may simply not be able to resist the temptation to put on a cozy and snuggly night dress for your doggie. The feeling of warm and comfort in a pajama will be the same for either you or your four-leg family friend, especially in the cold winter nights.
Benefits Of Dog Pajamas Apart from keeping your pet warm, a doggie pajama has other benefits as well which are given below:
1. - It would help your lovable pet to sleep comfortably during the cold nights of winter
2. - Being available in several shapes and sizes, it can fit into any size and shape of breed
3. - The dog pajamas are being designed keeping in mind small details of your pet. If you are worried regarding the potty breaks at midnight then you can opt for purchasing a dog pajama with open belly. Dogs are likely to behave well during day time if they get to sleep well at night. Dog pajamas stay at the top of the list when the discussion starts on the dog clothes. Actually, pajamas are the most famous type among the dog clothes. Scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of using dog pajamas during the nighttime on sleeping. In addition, it is the best dog clothes for winter.
The pet become happier if pajamas match with its personality. However, it is very important to choose the right one for your dog, which has the best materials for the comfort. Like human outfits, the dog outfits are available in a variety of size, color, design and shape. Before make a purchase, you have to verify some of the mentioned criteria to bring the best pajamas for your pet.
Criteria of the best Dog Pajama For being the best dog parent, you have to consider the all-possible aspects of dog pajamas before make a purchase. Firstly, you have to consider the purpose of the outfit. Does it need to keep the doggy worm during the cold winter, for a holiday tour, a regular walk or for a proper night sleep?
Cold weather needs a woolen soft pajama while the tour or regular walk need something stylish and night sleep needs something comfortable. Secondly, you should consider the fitting. Unlike trendy human tight fitting wear, dog likes something relaxed to wear. Therefore, it is better to select pajamas in a manner that is neither so tight nor too loose. The most important thing to consider for a dog pajama is quality of material. Some of the best materials are cotton, cotton flannel, and silk. Or better, get your doggie with a thermal dog pajama.
Next, you need to consider the price without compromising with the quality of the fabrics, which is comfortable for your dog. There is no binding to invest many bucks in dog clothes. It is of course better to buy newer ones frequently. Again, you should know the style or color matches the personality of your pet. Some dog psychologists say that dog likes to show itself something more to its surrounding mates. Unisex in design clothes can make your task easier.
Moreover, you should concern about your dog's allergic response to any special types of fiber or fabrics. Once you may know the situation the later part is easier for you. You have to avoid selection the clothes made of those fibers and you can save an unwanted allergic shock.
Finally, you have to aware about the safety of your dog while selecting the dog pajamas. Never select the dog pajamas that have pocket, button or zipper because these accessories may engage your dog rather than giving comfort. In addition, there are some risks of having injury to your pet.
HOW TO HELP DOG TO SLEEP IN HIS BED This material proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
Do you find yourself waking up at night with a furry creature breathing in your face? Or scratching? You're not alone, many pet owners let their dogs sleep with them only to find that the dog takes over and they can't sleep and it's not healthy also for you - dogs bring a lot of junk with them into your bed, including dirt and bacteria that they happily roll around in. And they sleep on your pillow and scratch themselves all over your bed! Besides that, dogs that sleep with their owners often have more separation anxiety, which leads to behavioral problems. In general, they also become more dominant than dogs that sleep on their own.
What to do? How do you get your dog to sleep somewhere else? We have a five step program that works, but takes a lot of patience and persistence. And time.
Don't let your dog sleep with you in the first place! Get your doggie a nice bed and have your dog sleep in it. The bed can be in your room. We will be offering a fine selection of doggie beds at Keep Doggie Safe very soon. If your dog is already sleeping with you, then here's how to fix the problem.
A. Get your dog a nice bed! See? It's the same step as above, but takes longer, since your dog is already used to sleeping with you.
B. Put the bed right next to your bed, at least for now. This is a gradual program, as your dog is not going to be happy sleeping somewhere else.
C. When you get ready to go to bed, put your dog on a leash and walk him to the new bed. Encourage him to sleep there. Say "bed" and give him a treat and praise for lying in it. Repeat. This is not an easy process. Your dog will not like this, but if you are persistent, he will eventually give in. Make sure there is no way for your dog to jump back on your bed. Remove any stairs. If your dog is big enough to jump on the bed, say no, and gently push him off. Repeat!!!
D. After about a week, remove the leash, and slowly stop giving your dog treats, But keep praising him every night. Also, slowly move the bed away from your bed to another location in your house. Make sure it's a location that your dog can easily sleep in. You don't want to have your dog sleep in the kitchen where his food is located - it's stimulating
E. If you do this well, after about two weeks, your dog will sleep where his bed is, not where you are. And after two weeks of struggles, you will finally get a good night's sleep in your clean bed! Remember to regularly wash your dog's bed, so he has a good place to sleep too!
So, Is it okay to let my dog sleep in bed with me? Experts have long disagreed about this question: Some think it's acceptable since dogs are part of the family. Others protest that being literally on the same level as the owner gives a dog the idea that he's on the same level in a figurative sense as well, and makes him more likely to challenge the owner's authority. If your relationship with your dog is healthy - he's treated with love and kindness, and respects the house rules and boundaries you have set sleeping in your bed shouldn't cause a problem. There are three circumstances, however, in which you shouldn't let your dog sleep in your bed:
1. Your dog has separation anxiety. Your dog needs to learn to feel comfortable being on his own. If he's sleeping in your bed, you are missing the opportunity to get him used to being physically separated from you while you are still present, an important first step in solving the separation anxiety problem.
2. Your dog has shown aggression toward you or has his own ideas about who's really in charge. These are the dogs who, when asked to get off the bed, curl a lip, growl, air snap, or bite. They may also do those things when someone rolls over or shifts in their sleep. If that describes your dog, he's not a good choice for a bedmate!
3. Your dog is a Great Dane or other large dog who steals the blankets. Who wants a huge, fur-covered blanket thief?
Unless any of the above apply to you, go on and invite Rover over. Dogs aren't only cuddly, they make fantastic bed-warmers on cold nights!
Dogs can be very demanding pets, always wanting to be walked, pleading for attention or begging for food. You might expect to get some peace when your dog takes a nap, but that's not always the case! Dogs can bark, whimper, growl or twitch in their sleep. This behavior is totally natural and is generally nothing to worry about, but the reasons behind it are interesting.
DREAMING... The reason why dogs bark in their sleep is because they have dreams just like humans do. Like people, dogs go through a dream stage of the sleep cycle every time they go to sleep. You can tell when your pet is slipping into that stage by watching their eyes. Dreaming occurs in a stage of sleep known as REM (which stands for rapid eye movement). During this stage, you will notice the dog's eyelids twitching rapidly as his eyes move beneath them. It is during this stage of sleep that your dog is likely to bark or make other noises such as growling or whimpering.
WHAT DOG DREAMS ABOUT? We will probably never be able to answer that question with any kind of certainty, because dogs cannot tell us what they have seen or felt while they were asleep. However, from what we know about human dreaming, we can guess that dogs' dreams are related to the activities they take part in during the day. When your dog is barking or growling, it probably means that he or she is reliving a memory of a situation that caused him to bark or growl in real life, or dreaming about a similar situation that could arise. Dreaming is an important way for humans and animals to process their experiences and learn from them.
SHOULD I WAKE UP MY DOG WHEN IT's BARKING IN THE SLEEP? Most experts say no. Just because a dog is barking, you cannot be sure that he is having a bad dream. He could simply be excited about chasing a rabbit or playing with a new toy. Even if your dog is having a nightmare, waking him up in the middle of the dream could be even more frightening than letting the dream continue. Being woken up in the middle of REM sleep can be very shocking and disorienting, which could cause your dog to snap at you, so it is best to leave him alone. Another reason to leave your dog asleep is that he needs all the rest he can get! Dogs' bodies and brains are often very active during the day as they run around and take on board new experiences. Getting enough sleep is vital to allow your pooch to recharge his batteries and stay physically and mentally healthy.
If you wake your dog up in the middle of a sleep cycle, he will not get the maximum benefit from that sleep, and he made find it difficult to drift off again. It is better to leave him be until he wakes naturally. 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.
WHAT IF HE'S NOT DREAMING? If you find that your dog is in fact not dreaming but lying awake at night calling for you, then make sure his sleeping environment is comfortable and he has access to fresh drinking water. You can also try giving him more attention and exercise during the day to help him get to sleep more easily.
IN CONCLUSION Barking while sleeping is a normal doggy behavior. When you hear your pooch dreaming loudly, don't panic and don't wake him up. Dreamy barking doesn't necessarily mean that he is unhappy. It could simply be that your dog is dreaming about playing a game or exploring a new park. Help your dog to sleep calmly by making sure he gets plenty of exercise and playtime during his waking hours.
DOG DREAMS CALENDAR This calendar is proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
Dogs, like people, can have seizures. They also can dream. It's important for owners to distinguish between seizures and the twitching that commonly occurs when dogs are dreaming. Owners usually can tell whether their dog is dreaming or having a seizure, especially once they have witnessed a seizure. It probably is best not to wake a dog up while it is dreaming (it is impossible to "wake a dog up" during a seizure). Let sleeping dogs lie.
There are some characteristic traits associated with seizures and dreaming that can help differentiate between these two conditions. At first glance, your dog's movements and vocalizations during a dream may look troubling, and you may wonder if he is having a seizure. Recognizing what a seizure looks like will help you determine if your dog is having a seizure or is just having a very active dream. For example, if your dog is having a seizure, his body will become stiff and he may begin to tremble heavily or have violent muscle activity.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DOG SLEEP & SEIZURES
1. Dogs always are sleeping and lying down when they dream. They often have seizures when they are awake, although they are unconscious while the seizure is actually happening. They also can have seizures during sleep.
2. Dogs that are dreaming may or may not have their eyes open. Usually, their eyes will at least be partially closed, and they will look peaceful and relaxed. During a seizure, a dog's eyes typically are wide open, and they have a blank look on their face.
3. A sleeping dog that is dreaming may cry out once or twice or give occasional short barks. When a seizing dog vocalizes, it moans, howls or screams. This can be the worst part of the experience for its owner. Fortunately, this is involuntary and not a sign of pain or distress.
4. Dreaming dogs often twitch, shake, paddle and kick with their legs as if they are running in place or chasing a bunny. Dogs having seizures tend to be stiffer and more rigid.
5. The motions of a dog that is dreaming usually are intermittent and brief, while seizure activity typically lasts longer.
6. Dogs can easily be awakened when they are dreaming during sleep. Seizures cannot be interrupted.
7. Seizures typically involve violent muscle activity, uncontrollable shaking and thrashing about. The movements associated with dreaming are more gentle and shorter-lasting. The sleeping dog's body is relaxed, except for the twitching legs, feet and lips. Their eyes are entirely or partially closed, and their facial expression is peaceful.
8. Dogs often have trouble walking after they have a seizure. They usually don't have this problem after waking up from a dream.
9. Most dogs are disoriented and confused following a seizure. They are not disoriented or confused when they wake up from a dream.
10. Dogs frequently bite their tongue, foam at the mouth and drool during a seizure. Dreaming dogs rarely show these signs.
11. Dogs may vomit, urinate and/or defecate during a seizure. This doesn't happen in dogs that are dreaming.
12. Dreaming dogs breathe normally. Dogs that are seizing tend to have labored breathing.
13. Seizures often happen when a dog is excited, although they also can occur during sleep. Dreams only happen when a dog is sleeping and relaxed.
14. During a seizure, your dog may start to pant excessively and might vomit, urinate, or defecate.
15. If your dog is having a seizure, his eyes may be wide open but have a blank stare. He might also begin to have loud, involuntary vocalizations (moaning, howling, screaming). These vocalizations might be very unsettling to you, but are not signs of pain and distress.
16. Unlike a dream, your dog will likely lose consciousness if he is having a seizure. Because of this, he would not respond to you if you called his name.
17. If your dog has had a seizure, he would be very disoriented and confused after regaining consciousness. This is different from a dream, which your dog would wake up from and not feel disoriented.
18. If your dog is having a seizure, stay calm and stay away from his head and mouth. Clear away any item, such as furniture, on which he could injure himself. Even though he may be unconscious, talk to him in a soothing voice until the seizure ends. When the seizure ends, cool him down with a fan and call your veterinarian.
Unfortunately, with the ability to dream comes the potential for unpleasant dreams, and this is a reality faced by dogs and humans alike. It's a phenomenon every dog owner knows well: After a long day of living a dog's life, the family pet stretches out on the carpet for some well-deserved shuteye, only to start twitching, kicking and uttering muffled sleep barks. And most dog owners, upon witnessing this somnambulant activity, come to the logical conclusion of a canine dream, but is there any truth to this? Do dogs really dream?
Can Dogs Have Nightmares? Research strongly suggests that dogs can dream, and in fact the process probably isn't all that different from humans. But then, if you've ever owned a dog, you likely don't need a scientific study to tell you that. You've probably seen your pooch twitch and make strange muffled noises in its sleep. Maybe you've even wondered if the dog was dreaming about chasing a squirrel.
But what if it's the squirrel who is chasing your dog? If dogs can have dreams, it's pretty much a given that they have nightmares as well. Without a canine mind meld, there's no telling for sure. However, the signals are certainly there for certain dogs at certain times - whining, extreme twitching, startled or fearful behavior on waking, etc. If that's not a nightmare, what is it?
Nightmare Scenarios for a Dog Maybe the more interesting question is, what exactly do dogs have nightmares about? It's impossible to say for sure, but there is at least some basis for speculation. People have nightmares about things they fear, so it's reasonable to assume that dogs do too. The difference is that humans are capable of imagining lots of possible and even many impossible scenarios. Dogs aren't good at anticipating the future or visualizing possibilities, so it could be that their dreams are more closely tied to memories. What sorts of memories? In most cases, probably the short-term variety.
A brain study using rats indicated that they tended to dream about whatever activity they were doing when awake in this case, running a maze. The same might be true of dogs. In other words, the impetus for most nightmares in dogs could be a recent event, a trip to the vet, toenail clipping, altercation with another animal, or something else that made a huge negative impression. That said, dogs clearly do have long-term memories (after all, they don't just remember the latest trip to the vet, they recall that the vet clinic is a bad place every time you pull into the parking lot). And, as with humans, memories involving abuse or other traumatic events probably stick with dogs for a long time. It's not a stretch to suppose that long-held unpleasant memories could be the cause of many canine nightmares.
What to do if Your Dog is Having a Bad Dream Experts say you should let a sleeping dog lie, even if that dog seems to be having a whopper of a nightmare. A dog can snap any time it's abruptly awakened from a deep sleep. But if that dog is waking up from a harrowing scenario, it's that much more likely to bite or even attack. If you do decide to wake the dog, you should attempt to do so by gently calling its name. If that doesn't work, try speaking progressively louder until the dog wakes. The point is to wake the dog up without startling it, if at all possible. While it can be upsetting for both you and the dog, nightmares generally aren't anything to worry about. However, if the dog is acting unusually stressed to the point where you're concerned, you shouldn't hesitate to contact your vet.
If you have a dog, you have probably grown accustomed to your beloved pet sleeping through the night. Ideally, your dog should be sleeping fine without any trouble. So it can be a surprise for many owners when their pooch suddenly breaks this behavior.
If you find yourself asking the question, "why is my dog restless at night" it may be a sign that something is wrong. If your dog is pacing, panting, pawing at objects, or just cannot settle down, there may be cause to bring them to the vet or just make a few simple changes. Check out our list of possible causes and see what you need to do if your dog is suddenly becoming restless once the sun goes down.
Anytime there is a sudden change in behavior with a dog, it's a cause for concern. It may mean that something is seriously wrong, or you may just need to change a few things. It's always better to be safe than sorry, so bring your dog to a vet right away if they are acting strangely and being restless at night.
Possible Causes of Restlessness:
1. Diet Your dog might be having an issue due to the food they are eating. If you have changed the type or brand of food they eat recently, there is a very good chance that is the cause. Your dog might be experiencing an upset stomach or gas that is causing them gastrointestinal discomfort and causing them to be restless. If their stomach appears to be bloated, take them to the vet immediately. Check their gums to see if they are white or pale. Pressing a finger to the gums without it returning to pink within 2 seconds is cause for concern and you should take your pet to be checked out.
2. Being frightened Your dog may have had a scare recently or something else is happening that is causing your dog anxiety. Maybe they were attacked by a cat recently, or there are noises coming from outside. Maybe they took a spill or were sick in the area they normally sleep in. Try to think back and see if anything frightened your pup recently to make them anxious at night.
3. Aches and Pains Is your dog getting up there in years? If so, they may be experiencing just general side effects that come with getting older. As dogs age, they are very similar to humans in that they may have a harder time getting to sleep and once they do, it's actually less sleep than they used to get. Dogs also start to feel a little bit of soreness. If your dog is acting restless and is not really a puppy anymore, getting into their golden years may be the culprit.
4. Wish to sleep near you This situation may just be as simple as your pooch just wants to suddenly sleep in the same room with you. If your dog does not usually stay in the room with you and suddenly wants to be in your room or is acting restless, maybe something scared them recently or they don't feel well and just want to cuddle with their owner. Try letting them stay in the room with you, and if that doesn't settle them down, then take them to a vet to be checked out.
5. Not getting enough Exercise Your dog may be restless at night because they are not getting a chance to burn off all that energy during the day. If you are not taking your dog for walks, letting them run about outside, or engaging them enough when they are outside so that they are actively running around, they may just have all this extra energy that is keeping them from sleeping.
6. Feeding too late It's better for your dog's metabolism to be fed once earlier in the day. Feeding your pup too late in the day or at night may be causing them some discomfort internally. Consult with your vet or research the best diet and times to feed your dog to try and solve this problem. If your dog is restless at night or acting strangely, you're right to be concerned. Many times there may be a very real health problem going on. The causes above may be to blame, or it may even be due to something more severe when it comes to your dog's health. Regardless, always do the safe thing and take your pet to a vet to be checked out. That way you can make sure nothing is wrong and also get tips and recommendations on how to solve the issue.
Your sweet older dog is a joy to be with, but as dogs age they usually go through changes. If you notice your older dog doing things a little bit differently, there is no cause for alarm. It is just some typical changes. Older dogs often spend a lot of time sleeping. You may have some questions about what is normal and what is not, so let's break down one of your dog's personality traits to give you some peace of mind. Although there are times where you might want to worry about changes, many of your dog's changes are just part of growing older. As dogs age, it is normal for their energy levels to decrease. They may not enjoy long walks or runs the way they did when they were younger.
Now they may spend more time relaxing as many as 16 to 18 hours a day. Not all of that time is deep sleep, however. Some of what appears to be sleep is simply resting or light napping. This sleep is essential for maintaining your elderly dog's energy levels and helps ensure that they can recover from more complex activities. An old dog that sleeps all day and night is not a problem. As long as there is no underlying issue with your dog's health, there is no reason that sleeping a little more is an issue. Keep an eye on the small signals so that you can get advice from your vet if something seems unusual.
It is perfectly normal for older dogs to sleep more than they did when they were younger. Puppies, like small children, may need extra naps and more sleep. Most adult dogs reach a point where they are often more content lounging around the house and returning to a cycle of naps. On average, most dogs spend:
20% of their time awake and moving around
30% of their time awake, but relaxing, and
50% of their time sleeping.
Older dogs spend more time relaxing and more time asleep, so do not be surprised to only spend a couple hours eat day with an active, elderly dog.
What is a healthy sleep amount for older dogs? The answer to this question will depend a lot on your individual dog. Larger dogs are considered seniors when they reach the age of 6 or 7, while smaller dogs won't reach senior age until they are 10 or 12. It is essential to watch your dog's behavior carefully because dogs sometimes try to hide it when they feel sick or in pain. Sometimes, you need subtle signals that they have taken a turn. The fact that they are sleeping is normal if it is not a sudden and dramatic increase in sleep.
What could too much sleep signal? If your dog is sleeping too much, it could be a sign that your dog is dealing with some pain. If a dog does not feel good, it could retreat and spend more time sleeping, trying not to make the pain worse. Take your dog to the vet to rule out common causes of pain, such as arthritis or chronic illnesses. Your vet can be an essential part of your future plans, helping you decide if your dog's behavior is out of the ordinary or a problem.
Signs of Sleep Problems for your Senior Dog If you are trying to decide what the problems are with your dog's sleep, keep these factors in mind.
Confusion - If your dog is sleeping during the day and behaving confused at night, that could be a sign of dementia. Cognitive degenerative disorders are somewhat common with senior dogs, and a vet visit can help you figure out how to move forward.
Sleeping through Serious Noise - Dog hearing loss could be one of the reasons your dog is sleeping more. A vet visit to assess your dog's hearing and eyesight is in order.
Avoiding Lying Down - If your dog falls asleep sitting up regularly or won't settle down to sleep, this could signal heart issues. Your dog is unconsciously managing these symptoms, and you will need to discuss with your vet to confirm if something is wrong and how to move forward.
Sleeping in Strange Places - Changing to an unusual area could mean your dog is reluctant to sleep due to discomfort or anxiety. It could also be a sign of degenerative cognitive disorders. What constitutes a "strange place" will depend a lot on your dog's previous behavior.
How to help your Senior Dog Sleep You may have to make some changes to your dog's sleeping situation to help encourage restful, restorative sleep.
Change beds - a memory foam bed can help remove pressure from aching joints and make it more straightforward for your dog to get comfortable.
Get Gentle Exercise - Exercise helps your dog get out energy but also encourages more restful sleep. It can encourage your pet to fall asleep in the evening and settle longer.
Head to the Vet - Your veterinarian could be a rich source of advice on how to help your dog sleep better. Sometimes medications for other issues can prevent your dog from sleeping.
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WWW.BEDTIME 4DOGS.COM A few years ago we adopted a puppy from a rescue group. She was relatively calm for a puppy that is until about 10 p.m. As soon as the household seemed to be settling down for sleep, she was absolutely rambunctious!
As it turns out there are a whole lot of dogs that don't want to go to sleep at night and there's a whole lot of pet parents who would really like to get some sleep and wanted an organic solution. Chamomile affects dogs just like it does people, it is a natural calming agent. So a product was born and then a company and then some more well-rested dogs and their well-rested people. And then more helpful bedtime stuff and more well-rested customers... well, you get the idea.
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WWW.SNOOZA COM.AU Snooza Pet Products has always, & probably will always, live in Melbourne. We began with our "Original Dog Bed" in 1989, closely followed by our iconic (it continually surprises us how widely known it is), Pet Futon. But it wasn't until the arrival of Slugger & Titch (our two mini Dachshunds) in 1994 that things really took off. They came to the factory every day for seven years to inspire us & laid the foundations & work ethos for who we are today! Very, very sadly we eventually lost Titch so along came Jack, to keep Slugger company. They were a great team & oversaw the development of "Jack's Bed" which has been hugely popular. As we're all too aware, our pets are very much part of the family so you can imagine our devastation when Jack passed away suddenly in early 2007 & then Slugger only months later. Gone but not forgotten, we carry on. More faces & more four legged friends, we take all our beds home first (our pets are so spoilt!) to test, wash & test again. We also gratefully seek help from our wider Snooza community (you!) for some unbiased scrutiny before anything hits the shelves (you do need to be on our mailing list though or we have no way of letting you know when the opportunity comes up).
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Researchers have previously confirmed that canines do in fact dream. Now, they say that in fact, the dream in a similar way to humans and may even dream about their day as we do. Why should we not have a great deal in common? After all we're 95 percent identical genetically and physically? Our brains are similar, our neurochemistry the same, and our reflexes and memory are "wired" in like manner.
Experts say the "basic maker that indicates dreaming" in humans is the motion of rapid eye movement (REM), which is when an individual's eyes begin moving around inside their closed eye lids. And researchers confirm that dogs experience the same thing, But dogs probably escape one common human sleep problem: sleep paralysis.
In this condition, consciousness returns before the brain "switches on" the muscles again, so people awaken but can't move. Sleep paralysis is often the result of sleep deprivation, which is a rare condition for dogs. In dogs, you can monitor when they're having a dream quite easily, for a typical medium sized dog, their breathing is fairly regular and somewhere around 20 minutes into the sleep cycle, you can see the eyes moving around the closed lids and their breathing will become irregular. And sometimes you see twitching, like the dog is trying to do something, which indicates the dog is in the dream state and it will dream for about two to three minutes.
Studies have shown that how much and how long a dog dreams depends on its size. It turns out that small dogs dream more frequently and have shorter dreams and larger dogs dream less but have longer dreams. Also, the age of a dog determines on how much time they spend in REM.
Puppies spend a much greater proportion of their sleep time than adult dogs in REM sleep, no doubt condensing huge quantities of newly acquired data. Adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 % of their sleeping time in REM sleep. In human brains, there is a mechanism that keeps our muscles from moving while we sleep. However, when the switch is weak REM sleep behavior disorder can develop and individuals will act out their dreams while they are still asleep. Dogs spend between 8 and 12 percent of their sleep time in the so called REM "mode". While comparably, humans spend between 20 and 25 percent of their sleep time in REM.
Now the difference between humans and canines sleep is that our pets sleep journeys are in much shorter bursts than humans, so they are less likely to get into the REM sleep stage. Since dogs don't get as much deep sleep, they end up needing more rest in general, thus they are napping whenever there's an opportunity.
The same thing goes with dogs, if their switch doesn't work that well you will see the dog running or snapping at something and it is possible to control these off switches in a lab because researchers have pinpointed it in the old part of the brain - the medulla oblongata. By inactivating these switches in the lab, scientists have been able to observe canines act out their dreams and decipher what they believe the dogs are dreaming of.
For human beings their dreams have to do with very common activities, things that happened during the day and it seems that for dogs basically the same thing. Dogs dream about doing doggie things. A Pointer will point at a dream bird and a Doberman Pinscher will chase a dream robber. People often wonder whether dogs that seem to be running during sleep are dreaming of catching rabbits or suchlike... from the above discussion we can safely say they are. Although no one really knows the true function of dreaming it does seem to be necessary for normal data processing and memory storage. In support of this is the fact that the same brain structures involved in memory are intimately involved in dreaming. There have been other dream studies performed on other mammals to understand if it is all mammals or just dogs that dream. We have reason to suspect that most mammals dream - cats & dogs dream, horses dream, but the nature of their dreams and cycles depend on the species.
Although dogs may dream similar to humans, the amount of sleep is very different. The average human sleeps about seven to eight hours per day, where an adult dog sleeps anywhere from 12 to 14 hours per day, about 50 percent of a dog's day is sleep. The most important thing about the fact dogs dream is that it demonstrates that not only is the dog's brains somewhat structurally similar to the way a human brain works, it probably functions the same way.
Safety Tips for Sleeping with Your Dog Avoid letting your dog lick any wounds or surgical incision sites you may have. If they do, wash the wound out with soap and water immediately. In many cases, such as if you are immunocompromised, it's best to avoid letting your dog lick you and to avoid kissing your dog, especially on the lips! No telling where your dog's mouth and tongue have been possibly in the kitty litter box?
Keep your pet clean and the litter box and potty areas picked up so that your pet is less likely to track in tiny poop particles on its feet and fur.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPCvet.org) recommends that puppies have fecal examinations 2-4 times during their first year of life and 1-2 times a year thereafter depending on their lifestyle. Puppies should also be dewormed every 2 weeks starting at 2 weeks of age.
The CAPC also recommends deworming year-round with a broad-spectrum parasite control that is effective against heartworm and intestinal parasites particularly those with zoonotic potential.
Use flea and tick control as needed to keep your pet flea and tick free.
A third recommendation by the CAPC is that dogs not be fed raw food diets since pets fed raw meat are known to shed zoonotic (transmissible to humans) bacteria such as salmonella. This is a much more serious threat when there's an immunosuppressed individual in the household.
Perhaps the safest recommendation is to be sure your pet is examined by your veterinarian every 6-12 months so that you can benefit from recommendations that are tailored to your dog and your household situation.
Remember, if you feel like your dog's sleep pattern has drastically changed over a short period of time or their behaviours change then please visit your vet - it could be a symptom of an underlying health issue.
Sleep disorders aren't just a problem for humans, they can affect your dog as well. Sleep disorders are very uncommon in dogs, but they do exist. Dogs sleep a lot, but can adapt their sleeping patterns, so they should be able to sleep through the night. If your furry friend is waking up and whining during the night, is extra tired during the day, or seems to fall asleep suddenly, they may have trouble sleeping, or even a sleep disorder. Certain sleep disorders seem to be related to genetics and family history, and some breeds are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders. Shar Peis, English Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Poodles, Doberman Pinschers, Beagles, and Labrador Retrievers all have an increased risk of sleep disorders.
Remember that while it's okay for people to have problems with sleep, in canines this can possibly be a red flag for another, more or less serious, condition. The five main causes for sleeplessness in dogs are:
Physical discomfort, including but not limited to, arthritis in dogs, hip dysplasia or other hip injury, parasite or flea infestation, allergies, or urinary incontinence.
Emotional disorders including stress, anxiety and depression.
Side effects of medication.
Old age, which is also associated with many different painful conditions.
Lack of activity during the day, making them still feel energetic when they should be resting.
Consulting with your vet is the best method for diagnosing and treating your dog if you believe they have a sleep disorder. One last thing to mention is the environment where your dog sleeps in. You may think that dogs are fine sleeping anywhere and they usually will without complaining, but just like us, they want a comfortable place to sleep, which they normally start considering their own. Some dogs like to sleep in a more sheltered place like under a table, under your bed or various corners.
Other dogs like to nest in blankets or other soft material before lying down. Giving your dog a place to sleep where they feel most comfortable and at home is the best way to ensure a good night's rest for your pooch. Whether your dog is large or small, it likely that they will spend a significant amount of time sleeping. You should find the sleeping arrangement that works best for both you and your pet. Thinking about such an arrangement before getting a pet is never a bad idea. Dogs deserve to have their rest. Making sure that your pet has the right balance of activity and sleep is one of the keys to a healthy and happy doggy life.
Why aren't they getting enough sleep? Sleep disorders usually keep your dog from getting enough sleep during the night, or from getting enough Rapid-Eye Movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is the period during which humans dream, and is the most important form of sleep to recover and rest properly. REM stages get longer throughout the night, so if your dog wakes up for any reason, they may interrupt the cycles and not get enough REM sleep. Not all sleep disorders are the same, and treatment is different for each condition. Learn about the 4 most common sleep disorders below to help determine if your pooch may be suffering.
4 most common sleep disorders for dogs:
1. Insomnia Insomnia means trouble sleeping, either at the start of the night, or waking up during the night and being unable to fall back asleep. Insomnia is often a sign of some other problem, like an injury, anxiety, or illness, but is also associated with old age in dogs. As dogs get older, they are more likely to have a condition which causes discomfort, such as joint or digestion problems. This makes it harder for them to get comfortable and sleep throughout the night. Bladder problems may also wake your senior dog, and they may need to go out during the night, even if well trained.
2. Narcolepsy Narcolepsy is a rare but note-worthy sleep disorder which affects dogs. It can cause a disruption in the dog's sleeping and REM cycle which may lead to extreme sleepiness during the day. Narcolepsy symptoms can include sleep attacks or "cataplexy" which is sudden muscle weakness and paralysis while remaining awake. These attacks (which last a few seconds to a couple minutes) can be brought on by strong emotions, often at feeding time or while playing. Narcolepsy can be particularly dangerous if your dog has access to pools or streams, or any other place which may be an unsafe location for a sleep attack to occur.
3. Sleep Apnea Sometimes your dog just has a snoring problem, but loud snoring might be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is most commonly seen with English Bulldogs and obese dogs, and causes problems breathing during sleep. Dogs with sleep apnea may temporarily stop breathing, which wakes them up. If this happens multiple times during the night, the dog won't be able to have uninterrupted REM sleep. This may lead to your dog being extra tired during the day, even though they seemed to sleep all night. Veterinarians usually prescribe a weight-loss diet for overweight dogs with sleep apnea, or even surgery if the nostrils or respiratory systems are malformed, which causes the apnea. Steam or humidifiers can also help open up airways. Sleep apnea can sometimes be fatal, but can usually be treated before it causes serious problems.
4. REM Behavior Disorder and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Dogs are known for pawing at the air while they sleep, but some dogs are very active during REM sleep, and show symptoms of a human disorder called REM behavior disorder. Dogs with this active REM cycle may run into walls, attack objects, or bite, even if they are usually gentle while awake. Different from sleepwalking, these dogs may not seem disoriented if awoken during these active REM periods.
If you think your dog isn't getting enough sleep, or may have a sleep disorder, it's important to talk with your veterinarian and take some steps to help them sleep better. If sleep deprivation continues, it can lead to health, emotional, or mental problems. Document your dog's habits so that you can describe them fully to your vet and together determine appropriate treatments to help your dog and you have a restful night.
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