Dogs can do a lot of funny things in their sleep. However, for one to think whether they can sleepwalk will seem strange. In this article, we will get to find out about that. So can dogs sleepwalk?
Yes, dogs can sleepwalk, although it is not as complex as those found in humans. Some pet owners and experts think it is due to dreaming, seizures, or even a trance and not sleepwalking. But one thing we know for sure is that either sleepwalking, dreaming, or trance, it involves some neural actions that affect our furry friends while asleep.
In this article, sleepwalking in dogs will exclusively mean a random jerky movement and twitching, resembling walking or running, a dog has while asleep.
Furthermore, we shall see the causes and treatments of sleepwalking in dogs. We shall also see if dogs will sleepwalk and growl at the same time. But before that, let’s first explore if dogs can indeed sleepwalk.
Can Dogs Sleepwalk?
Yes, dogs can sleepwalk. However, their behavior is unlike that seen in humans. In humans, sleepwalking is regarded as performing complex activities like cooking, driving, reading, and not necessarily walking in one’s sleep. However, in doggies, it is not as complex as this.
Sleepwalking happens when movements, such as random jerky movements and twitching, are observed in dogs while asleep. These movements could mimic walking or running, and it may involve heavy breathing and/or growling as if your pooch is being chased.
Can Dogs Sleepwalk And Pee?
Yes, it is possible that your canine friend can sleepwalk and pee at the same time. However, this is still very rare to happen.
Can Dogs Sleepwalk And Bark?
Yes, dogs may bark when they perform this sleepwalking movement. Barking could suggest that there is a threat going on in a doggie’s brain while asleep, and it is afraid. That’s why it tends to react.
You should check the position of your pooch’s tail while it sleepwalks. The dog’s tail lowered between its legs signifies fear, which elicits its barking. On the other hand, your dog becomes aggressive if its tail is raised above its body and barks in response.
Can Dogs Sleepwalk With Their Eyes Open?
It is not rare for dogs to sleep with their eyes open, and yes, dogs can sleepwalk with their eyes open. However, when this happens, it could indicate more than a supposed sleepwalk, as it could be a sign of a nervous disorder.
Why Does My Dog Sleepwalk?
There may be reasons for this behavior in your furry friend while sleeping, and it could be caused due to some sleep disorders, aging, seizures, or some medications your furry friend may have been taking or have had recently.
Aging could cause degenerative brain disorders that could cause your furry friend to have difficulties with sleeping.
Lack of sleep is part of the reasons a dog may sleepwalk. When your canine buddy is deprived of sleep for a long time, some other sleeping disorders may result. For example, narcolepsy and cataplexy are part of it.
REM Sleep Disorder
Rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep that occurs in humans also happens in dogs. And in a few circumstances, when this happens to our furry friends, they could display the act of their dream.
When a dog suffers from a REM sleep disorder, it could also bark, howl, chew, bite, and even experience episodes of sleep movements.
Symptoms Of Sleepwalking In Dogs
A sleepwalk in dogs involves leg movements and paddling movements that mimic a dog walking or running.
At the same time, the dog will still be stationary and wouldn’t translocate to another place. However, its legs and arms will be moving as if they were walking or running.
Treatment Of Sleepwalking
You must seek veterinarian care for your furry friend if you notice any signs of strange movements during sleep.
In addition to this, you should introduce a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids as they help to tackle sleeping disorders. You should also include flavonoids and vitamin E supplements in your diet. These supplements help in fighting sleep disorders.
What Should I Do If My Dog Sleepwalks?
If you think that your dog may be sleepwalking, it is important not to wake it. Otherwise, it may attack out of fear. You should wait until a session is over then take precautionary measures.
You should move your dog to a safer place after a sleepwalking incident, ensuring that the place is spacious and that there are no bricks or walls nearby.
If it is not possible to move your dog to a safer place, you should remove anything that your doggie may accidentally bump on. Also, you should use a mattress to barricade the surrounding walls and floors.
Very importantly, you should also let your veterinarian know about it. And you may also have a video clip to let your veterinarian have a complete diagnosis of the situation.
Finally, you should provide a helmet to protect the head of your dear Fido while it is in a sleepwalking state.
Seizures And Sleepwalking In Dogs
Seizures in dogs may look like sleepwalking and may be hard to differentiate because both are uncontrollable and involve movements. However, a seizure is not sleepwalking, and they are different.
A seizure could be due to an underlying medical condition that will need immediate care and treatment for your dear Fido.
To differentiate a seizure from sleepwalking, you should know that seizures are more intense and uncoordinated. Their hands and legs don’t move as if they are walking or running, and they move in an uncoordinated manner.
Unlike sleepwalking, where your canine friend flexes its hand and legs as if it is walking or running, seizure movements virtually involve all joints in your doggie. Here, the joints make some sort of intense and shaky movements.
Dog Sleepwalking Into A Wall
When dogs sleepwalk, they may wake up suddenly and bump into a wall. This usually happens immediately after waking up from sleepwalking, and it occurs at the peak of being frightened.
If you have a doggie who sleepwalks, it would be necessary to get him a helmet for protection. The helmet not only protects your dear Fido from the wall but also from hitting the ground while sleepwalking.