March 26, 2019 2 min read

Why does my dog twitch when he’s sleeping?

Did you know that our dogs dream while they sleep? There little (or not so little) brain is functioning asleep just as much as when they’re awake and playing.  


Do you talk when you sleep? Do we randomly become starfish across the bed in the middle of the night? Do we sometimes sleepwalk? Well, dogs also fall into the same stages of sleep as humans. Dog spasms are normal while resting. Dogs twitching may also occur. Even small barks may happen while your dog is sleeping - they may be dreaming of chasing squirrels. All jokes aside - experts have confirmed that when dogs are deep in sleep, they act out their dreams physically. Not running around the house, but even all four paws could twitch or spasm.


So how do we make a dog from a nightmare or overactive dream? It’s very similar to how you may approach any friend or relative. When a dog is twitching in their sleep you don’t want to wake them abruptly. If you see your dog has the tremors, is twitching, or look uncomfortable, try calling out their name in a soft and calming voice. Don’t startle the dog - he or she may already be frightened (hence the twitchy unconscious behavior).


When can the nighttime twitching be a cause for concern? Not too often. Watch out for twitching accompanied by wetting the bed, foaming at the mouth or vomiting in their sleep. These could be symptoms of having a seizure.


Dog owners should always keep an eye on their dog's behaviors from morning time rituals to nighttime reoccurrences. Anything in excess is usually a problem. Except for the dogs that are just overactive dreamers - every once in a while I’ll hear my dog let out a small bark in her sleep. It’s just a natural part of her dream state.