If you are a dog owner this will sound familiar to you. Your little furry friends is dreaming firmly but his paws are moving or his body is twitching. It seems like he is still somehow moving even though he fell asleep a while ago. So what is this strange occurrence and is it safe for our canines to act this way?
This will be our subject in this article, and we will try to explain to you what is actually going on and how safe is this for your furry friend.
What causes my dog to twitch?
Have you ever been woken up during your dream, because you were dreaming about falling down the hole or maybe skipping a step? You probably have been. Our body recreates some parts of our dreams in reality, so when we are, perhaps, losing our ground in a dream our leg might twitch or we could even wake up from our dream.
Based on that, dogs dream just like humans do. We can’t predict what their dreams are about, but they can experience same fears as we can. Perhaps your puppy is dreaming about running or falling somewhere and this is causing him to twitch or move.
This also depends on your dog’s sleeping pose. If he is curled, his muscles will be more tensed and he will more likely twitch than a dog that is sleeping stretched out. Our muscles twitch from time to time, when they are tensed and we can feel this even when we are awake.
There is also an age difference between dogs and twitching. Older and younger dogs twitch more than others and the reason for this has not yet been found.
What to do if your dog is twitching?
When you notice that your canine friend is twitching, your instant reaction might be to wake him up from his dream. Perhaps you are worried that he is having a nightmare and you don’t want him to feel afraid.
This reaction is the right choice. You should call your dog’s name softly and wake him up. You should touch him or move him roughly because he might be aggressive after a stressful dream. Gently call him and wait for him to wake up.
If he wakes up from a bad dream suddenly, make sure to offer him affection and pet him until he gets back to normal. Just like humans, dogs can be disoriented and scared after waking up from a nightmare, so make sure you are there for him.
Cold can also be the reason for your dog’s twitching. He might actually be cold, so if you suspect that this is the reason, cover him with a blanket or turn up the heating system. Humans also twitch when they are cold. This is our body’s attempt to warm up when the temperature around is too low.
Possible health issues
Although twitching is usually harmless, this might be a side-effect of serious health issue. This is why you need to differentiate twitching during seizures and twitching while sleeping.
If your dog is twitching while he is sleeping, and his movements consist of one or two twitches this is okay. Even if he wakes up from his dream, he will go back to sleep quietly and peacefully. When you call his name while he is twitching, he will slowly wake up and you will see that everything is okay.
On the other hand, when your dog has a seizure, he will tremble more than twitch. He might even curl up and lose consciousness. If you notice something like this, you should call out his name and try to wake him up. If you see that he is not waking up, this means he can’t hear you and he has probably fainted.
Seizures can be fatal for your canine friend, just like for humans. This is why it is important to do regular check-ups of his overall health, and watch carefully his behavior when he sleeps. Even though this is not always possible, give your best to watch over his diet and his health needs.
In conclusion, twitching is safe for your dog in most cases, but if it occurs often, or you notice trembling and loss of consciousness, make sure to take your dog to the vet.