What to do about dog nightmares?!

Narrated from: Curious Dog Facts

You may have noticed that when your dog sleeps, he/she will sometimes whine or whimper as if having a nightmare. As a loving dog-owner, it is only natural to be worried for your canine companion. Many people fret over their dog, especially if the dog is having regular nightmares, and try to provide comfort and love.

But do dogs really have nightmares?

Well, it is hard to say, but scientists believe that dogs can have nightmares. However, you shouldn’t be panicking every time your dog whines when sleeping! This could be a sign not of fear, but of excitement. A lot of doggie dreams include chasing, marked distinctively by a light twitch in the dog’s feet; so, the dog is probably very excited in the dream and this might be the reason for the whimpering.

Yet, there is a chance that the dog might be having genuine, unpleasant nightmares. Scientists cannot say for certain what causes dog nightmares – traumatized dogs, who are most likely to have nightmares, actually dream less frequently than other dogs; so, nightmares probably start on a random basis.

However, if your dog is having regular nightmares, try to find out if something is causing them. Take some factors into account:

•    check the exact timing of the nightmares;
•    consider what and when your dog has eaten in the same day;
•    if there have been any specific noises that may have scared the dog;
•    any visitors that the dog didn’t like;
•    remember: even a TV show could be causing nightmares!

However, the best thing you can do is not to overreact. A lot of people would just try to wake up their dog – and that would be a mistake. A sudden waking during a nightmare could be more unpleasant than the nightmare itself; the dog would be disorientated, and sometimes in confusion may even try to bite you! Furthermore, dogs need their sleep, and it is not good for the dog if you interrupt the normal course of its rest.

Also, never give your dog any medicine that is not prescribed by a veterinarian. It would be best to leave the dog to deal with the nightmares and have a normal sleep, especially if the dog seems rested and energetic when it wakes up.

However, if you believe there is a problem, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian – dog psychology can be a tricky business!

to top of the page
Previous Next

Other articles that might interest you::