You probably have many questions about dogs. Why does my dog cry in his sleep is one of them. Well, this is an interesting topic and we are going to explain all the things you need to know. Keep in mind that this is a common thing and it will affect most dogs at some point. But, there are a lot of variations and there are a lot of things you need to know before this happens.
Do Dogs Actually Dream?
Yes, all dogs dream. As a matter of fact, all mammals dream and this is perfectly normal. Dogs dream during the REM phase. It stands for Rapid Eye Movement and you probably know something about it already. We have the same phase when we sleep as well. This phase repeats every 45 minutes for big dogs and every 30 minutes for small dog breeds. Why does my dog cry in his sleep? First, you need to understand that he can dream, just like you.
A dog will dream about daily activities and something that happened to him. It is perfectly common among people as well. There are no details about dog dreams but most experts believe that their dreams are simple and can last a couple of minutes, in smaller dogs. Large dog breeds can dream up to 10 minutes.
When we sleep, the brain will put our body in sleep paralysis. This means that we are unable to move as we sleep. Sadly, in some cases sleep paralysis doesn’t get completely activated or successful if you prefer. This allows us to move a part of the body. The same thing can happen in dogs so you can see them moving around as they sleep. Without sleeping paralysis, we would all move around and even walk during sleep. This is not something that should happen.
Why Do Dogs Cry When They Sleep?
There are many reasons why this can happen. The first is the most obvious. Your pet is having a nightmare. It is not the most common reason here but it can happen and it affects more dogs than you may believe. Dogs do dream hence they can have a bad dream which will make them cry, make sounds, and even more while they sleep.
Pain can cause them to cry as well. This is more common among older dogs or dogs who have specific medical conditions. In general, any medical condition that can cause pain can make a dog cry in sleep. Some of the most common issues of this kind are bloat and arthritis. Of course, you should check him with a vet and see if there is another medical issue that can cause pain and this type of behavior.
A dog who suffers from bloat or arthritis will have an extremely hard time sleeping (especially on his stomach). Gas will build up inside and the stomach and intestine won’t be able to extend anymore. The pain is massive and your dog will need help.
There are a lot more reasons why dogs will cry when they sleep. Some do this because they are scared. Others are anxious or they have some problem. In a nutshell, there are many variations. A good thing is that these are almost always harmless and there are no side effects or any bigger issues to worry about.
Can Seizures Be Responsible?
Some dog owners believe that when a dog cries as he sleeps, a seizure can be the main cause of it. This is partially true. A seizure can happen in a dog and you will notice that his movement is rigid and stiff. This refers to his legs mostly. If this is the case you will notice that a dog may urinate or defecate as he sleeps. He will have seizures when he is awake as well. Any seizure that happens is a bad one and you must take your dog to a vet immediately. The odds for this are low but they are still present. It is always better to check for any issues and treat them as soon as possible.
Should You Wake Your Dog When This Happens?
The answer is no. You must not do this. There are a few reasons why. First of all, your dog won’t get enough sleep. As all living creatures dogs do need plenty of sleep to rest and gather their energy. If you wake him up, you will interrupt the phases of sleep which will make resting impossible or a dog will need more time.
You will scare your dog. This is the second reason why you must not wake up your dog when he cries in sleep. If he is having a nightmare and you wake him up, you can make things even worse.
A dog at this moment will be extremely scared. If you wake him up, he can bite you or attack you. He doesn’t know what is happening and he needs time to process the situation. As such, it is not a wise idea to wake him up or try to do something similar.
All you should do is stay calm and leave your pet alone. After some time he will calm down and he will continue sleeping. Of course, if this happens every single time, for many days you need to take him to a vet. There might be some medical condition or some other issue that causes him to cry as he sleeps.
If the situation looks really bad and you need to wake him up, toss something on the floor or call out his name. These simple tricks may work well.
The Final Word
Why does my dog cry in his sleep? He is having a nightmare. This is the most common explanation and it affects and happens among most dogs. There are other explanations as well, but they are rare. In most cases, you don’t have to do anything. Stay calm and monitor the progress. You will see that your dog will continue sleeping soon and nothing bad will happen.