Why Do Dogs Shake When They Sleep? (2023) 4 Reasons I PETSHORT


Very similar to humans, dogs exhibit a big selection of involuntary movements during their sleep. They will shake, tremble, and twitch for quite a lot of reasons. Unless your dog shows obvious signs of discomfort, there isn’t any reason to fret once you see them shake while sleeping.

That said, keep watch over their behavior and ensure they’re effective. In this text, I cover all the things it is advisable find out about why do dogs shake after they sleep, namely what causes them to achieve this and what you must do about it.

Do Dogs Often Shake in Their Sleep?

When asleep, dogs shake or twitch fairly often. Their shaking may or will not be vocal, so you may’t notice it on a regular basis. Shaking can occur in several parts of a dog’s body, notably its head, tail, and legs. Sometimes, their whole body may shake.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Shake When Sleeping?

Dogs typically spend about half of their lives sleeping. They undergo several sleep cycles and make plenty of involuntary movements, including shaking and twitching.

Most often, shaking is perfectly normal behavior displayed by all dogs regularly, even when it’s accompanied by howling. Afterward, they are going to get up and go about their day as usual.

If they appear joyful and healthy when awake, shaking is normally not something you must worry about. Nonetheless, it becomes worrisome when it’s frequent or if it occurs each after they’re asleep and awake. This will likely suggest health issues that it is advisable deal with.

dog curled up asleep with owner

Let’s explore the most important the explanation why your dog is shaking when asleep and see to what extent they could be serious.

Why Do Dogs Shake When They Sleep?

Although dog shaking is normally normal behavior, it’s essential to determine what caused it. Only then will you recognize of course whether or not it’s a serious issue. In the event you notice that your dog shakes or twitches when asleep, below are the possible reasons.

1. They’re Having A Dream

Under normal circumstances, the most important reason why your dog is shaking in its sleep is that they’re dreaming. Identical to humans, dogs undergo non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) stages of sleep.

The latter stage is the deepest and is related to vivid dreams during which a dog may shake and twitch, typically for a temporary moment. In the event that they’re particularly excited or disturbed by their dream, they might howl or bark as they shake. This mostly is dependent upon your dog’s usual behavior and the character of its dream.

german shepherd asleep

As a substitute of assuming the worst, look closely at your dog’s eyes. In the event you notice a movement underneath their eyelids, it’s a dream and nothing more. That is essentially the most common and normal instance where your dog shakes in its sleep.

Sometimes, the dream will wake them up immediately, especially if it’s a nasty dream. More often than not, they are going to proceed sleeping and get up normally afterward.

What You Should Do

Nothing. There’s no reason to concern yourself together with your dog having an amazing dream. Even in the event that they’re vocal after they shake, the most effective thing to do is allow them to be.

Waking up a dreaming dog will startle and stress them. Allow them to have their dreams and get up after they’ve had a restful sleep.

black and white sleeping puppies

2. They’re Sick

Several medical conditions may cause a dog to shake or twitch. After they’re sick, dogs can feel discomfort and react badly to the illness. In cases like these, they are going to shake even after they’re awake. Together with shaking, they are going to often bark excessively and let everyone know they’re not feeling alright.

Even in the event you haven’t noticed them shaking while awake, they’ll still shake of their sleep while sick. Versus dreams, their shaking can be violent and vocal usually. As well as, they can be woke up more easily after they’re sick and have trouble sleeping.

In case your dog looks weak, inactive, anxious, shakes repeatedly, or shows every other signs of discomfort, it’s best to assume they’re sick and cope with the problem accordingly.

golden sleeping puppy

What You Should Do

Take them to a vet. In case your dog is shaking during their sleep and also you notice any abnormal behavior which will suggest illness, take them to a vet as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean the problem is serious, however it’s higher to be secure than sorry.

3. They’re Cold

In case your dog’s shaking looks more like trembling and shivering, they might feel cold. Often, they are going to tuck their tail and curl themselves up right into a furry ball after they’re chilly.

Adult dogs can often withstand cold temperatures, but puppies and certain breeds are more sensitive to cold. In case your dog has short fur and feels cold once you pet it, it probably is. An ideal place to ascertain that is around their ears, as these are likely to get colder more quickly.

sleeping puppy how much do puppies sleep

In some cases, a dog feeling cold could also be an indication of health issues, particularly if the temperature is reasonably warm or in case your dog is used to much colder conditions.

What You Should Do

On a chilly night, even thick, long fur won’t all the time stop a dog from feeling cold. In case your dog is shaking in its sleep and also you notice its body is cold,  increase the room temperature, take it to a hotter area, or cover it with a pleasant blanket.

It’s essential to not let your dog be exposed to extreme cold temperatures as this may result in serious medical conditions — notably Hypothermia.

In case your dog is shivering repeatedly, even when awake, and feeling colder than it ought to be, it’s likely sick and in need of treatment. You must take it to the vet as soon as possible.

black dog asleep paws

4. They’re Having A Seizure

It’s not common for dogs to have seizures, however it’s definitely something it is advisable look out for. Seizures last more than regular shaking and are typically characterised by stiff and rigid muscles. As well as, they can be unconscious and unresponsive to your voice, unlike dreams from which they’ll easily get up.

Other signs of seizures include panting, drooling, paddling, leg-kicking, and involuntary discharge. After a seizure, dogs will feel disoriented and confused. Most often, seizures occur after they’re awake. Nonetheless, it’s inconceivable to inform whether or not they were asleep at the precise time that they had the seizure since they can be unconscious anyway.

What You Should Do

Take them to a vet as soon as possible. In case your dog is shaking while seemingly asleep and shouldn’t be attentive to your voice, it might be having a seizure.

Seizures can either be temporary or an indication of neurological disorders. If left unchecked, they’ll become more serious medical conditions. In any case, it is advisable get your dog to a vet in the event you suspect a seizure attack.

beige dog asleep on side

Final Thoughts

It’s common for dogs to shake when asleep. It is commonly a response to dreams they’re having, during which case you could have no reason to fret or do anything about it. Other times, their shaking may suggest more serious issues that have to be handled as soon as possible.

two basset hounds asleep in wicker bed why do dogs shake when they sleep

I covered all the costs related to writing this post on why do dogs shake after they sleep. Nonetheless, it does contain affiliate links. Meaning in the event you click through on a number of the links in this text and find yourself making a purchase order I’ll receive a small commission. It won’t affect the value that you just pay. Just desired to let you recognize.


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