Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (2023)



/ Dog Cries In His Sleep: 5 Reasons And How To Stop It

vonMonique Warner

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (1)

A dog that cries in its sleep is not uncommon. It usually indicates that a dog is dreaming. It's worth monitoring, as a dog whimpering in its sleep may be due to pain, seizures, or anxiety.

If your dog whimpers all day, whether it's a tummy tingle or finding your dog's favorite ball, there's probably something you can do to help.

It's a different story when your dog whimpers in his sleep.

In this article, we examine five reasons why dogs cry in their sleep and what you can do to help them sleep soundly.

5 reasons why dogs cry in their sleep

It's understandable that you might feel helpless and worried when your dog starts crying in his sleep. While pain is the first concern, it is not the only reason a dog whimpers at night.

These are the 5 most common reasons why dogs cry in their sleep:

  1. Toque
  2. Dor
  3. Angst
  4. normal dog behavior
  5. seizures

1. Your dog may be dreaming.

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (2)

Just like people who talk in their sleep, dogs can whine, growl, and bark in their sleep.

(Video) Reasons Why Dogs Cry At Night - Why Do Dogs Cry? - 6 Main Causes

Research has found that humans and dogs experience the same brainwave patterns during sleep, including the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycle.[1]

Rapid eye movements occur in response to "seeing" a dream.

What does your dog dream of?

This is not known, but it is believed that dogs repeat everyday events such as chasing a squirrel or barking at the delivery man.

2. Your dog might cry in pain while sleeping.

One worrying reason a dog will cry in their sleep is pain, so make sure this isn't the cause of your dog's nocturnal whimpering. Supervise your dog during the day or take him to the vet for a check-up.

According to the doctor. Marsha R. Reich, common causes of pain in dogs are musculoskeletal, neurological, and gastrointestinal disorders, particularly in older dogs.[2]

With diseases of the musculoskeletal system, it can happen that a dog has less pain during the day than at night. Accordinglydr Petty's Pain Relief for Dogs: La guia completa[3]During the day, a dog will shift its weight almost constantly, which helps maintain joint mobility, but lying down can put painful pressure on the affected joints.

Related: Why do dogs pant at night?

3. Your dog may be suffering from anxiety.

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (3)

Anxious dogs tend to whine even when they are asleep.

An anxious dog reliving daily stressors in a dream might complain in response. It's also possible for a normally calm dog to suddenly become anxious.

A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior reported that dogs as young as eight years old can experience a rapid increase in fears and phobias in as little as six months.[4]

4. Maybe your puppy should cry in his sleep.

We tend to think of dogs as cute and playful, which makes a dog crying in his sleep seem a bit surprising.

Puppies can be louder than older dogs when they sleep because they dream more. According to canine expert Stanley Coren Ph.D. puppies have more dreams because they receive a lot of new information and have a lot to process during the night.[5]

Another reason puppies cry in their sleep is separation anxiety caused by abandoning their mother and siblings.

5. Your dog may be having a seizure.

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (4)

A seizure, which indicates abnormal motor activity in the brain, doesn't just affect epileptic dogs.

Seizures can be related to epilepsy, but they can also occur in dogs suffering from electrolyte imbalances, low blood sugar, cancer, brain tumors, or poisoning.

Seizures can cause seizures throughout a dog's body. It can also cause localized reactions like facial twitches or unusual barking or howling.[6]

(Video) How To Stop Puppy Crying At Night

What is your dog trying to communicate when he is crying in his sleep?

Your dog isn't communicating with you if he's crying in his sleep. Sleep-related behavioral changes can indicate physical or mental health problems.

According to the famous canine behaviorist César Millán, a dog moans to communicate its physical, mental and emotional state. First of all, physical pain should be ruled out.

The next thing to consider is fear.

If your dog often complains during the day because he wants something, e.g. B. a treat, he can relive these events in his dreams and cry in his sleep.

What to do if your dog cries in his sleep

If your dog cries in his sleep, don't wake him up, document it. Remain calm if crying is caused by a fit. Occasional whines while you sleep are unlikely, but if it's a regular occurrence, you should know when to take your dog to the vet.

let your dog sleep

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (5)

As tempting as it may be to wake a dog who is whimpering in its sleep, don't do it. There's a reason for the old adage "let the dogs sleep".

Waking up a dog in the state of REM sleep can startle him so much that he will instinctively fight back. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, about 60% of dog bites in children occur when the child wakes a sleeping dog.[7]

Document how your dog cries in his sleep

Record your dog crying in his sleep and discuss this with the veterinarian.

Make a video of your dog crying while sleeping. A video can help your local veterinarian or behavioral therapist diagnose the problem.

(Video) How to get my dog to stop whining -Why your dog whines?

Remain calm in the middle of a seizure

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (6)

Remain calm and protect your dog from injury if you think he is having a seizure.

If your dog sleeps on your bed or sofa, gently move him to the center and use pillows or your body to prevent him from falling over.

time the duration of the seizure. To do this, use your mobile phone by creating a video. This will help the vet diagnose and treat your dog.

When your dog comes to, he will be confused and frightened. Your dog may also be thirsty, hungry, and tired. Comfort and soothe your dog, let him eat and drink, and put him back to sleep.

How to stop dogs from whining in their sleep

To stop the constant whimpering in his sleep, you need to figure out why your dog is crying. Analyze whether it is caused by pain, anxiety, poor training, or something else.

Treat your dog's pain

According to Millan, a dog whimpers to communicate a physical, mental, or emotional condition. First of all, physical pain should be ruled out.

If you suspect your dog is crying in pain at night, take him to the vet so he can advise on the best treatment plan.

Related: How to get a dog to stop whining

Help your dog deal with anxiety

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (7)

If your dog appears anxious when awake and cries in his sleep, he may be dealing with anxiety. Losing another pet or family member or moving house can make your dog anxious.

Wait for your dog to adjust to a new routine, seek advice from a behavioral therapist, or consult your veterinarian about treatment options for anxiety.

Teach your dog not to complain during the day

If your dog often complains about something during the day (a tummy rub or a treat), he may be reliving those moans in his dreams and crying in his sleep.

To prevent your dog from crying in his sleep, start by combating daytime crying. Don't immediately give your dog attention and affection when he's howling. Millan claims that this teaches a dog to whine.

If your dog complains about something, tell him to shut up before you give him what he wants.

(Video) Why do dogs cry in their sleep: 4 Main Reason Why Dog Cry in their Sleep

Help your dog fall asleep

Here are some ideas to help him sleep better if your puppy is restless in his sleep:

  • Play to make sure your pup is tired before bed
  • Add a blanket or toy that smells like the puppy's mother.
  • Make sure your pup is warm enough at night.
  • Simulate the dog's heartbeat by adding a small clock or heartbeat toy to the puppy's bed.

Contact a veterinarian

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (8)

Contact your veterinarian for a medical evaluation if all else fails.

If your dog doesn't have any physical problems, your veterinarian may recommend an animal behaviorist or natural remedies to help you sleep peacefully.

How do you know the difference between a dreaming and a convulsing dog?

According to the American Kennel Club, a dreamy dog ​​can squirm, paddle, or kick. These movements usually last less than 30 seconds. During a seizure, a dog's limbs will feel stiff and move violently.[8]

During a seizure, dogs may urinate or defecate, which a housebroken dreamy dog ​​wouldn't do while sleeping.

GarbageThe dog's legs twitch, kick, or swim for less than 30 seconds.The dog's legs look stiff and move violently.
urination and defecationThe domesticated dog does not urinate or defecate on the bed.The domesticated dog may urinate or defecate on the bed.

frequently asked Questions

Why is my dog ​​suddenly crying at night?

Although your dog may only be dreaming, if he suddenly and regularly starts crying in his sleep, it could be a sign of pain an injury or condition such as arthritis, anxiety, or separation anxiety.


  • 5 reasons why dogs cry in their sleep
  • What is your dog trying to communicate when he is crying in his sleep?
  • What to do if your dog cries in his sleep
  • How to stop dogs from whining in their sleep
  • How do you know the difference between a dreaming and a convulsing dog?
  • frequently asked Questions

Dog cries while sleeping: 5 reasons why and how to stop it (9)

About Monique Warner

Monique is an avid dog lover who grew up around dogs, cats and parakeets. He has worked as a pet sitter and dog walker. With a passion for dogs and pets, she writes articles with the intention of helping pet owners solve their biggest problems.


What causes dogs to cry in their sleep? ›

REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep is when dreaming occurs. This is the period of sleep where your dog may “act out” their dreams by moving their legs or paws, making faces, growling, whimpering, or crying.

What should I do if my dog is crying in his sleep? ›

If you wondering "Why does my dog cry in his sleep?", he's probably dreaming about events that occurred earlier that day, and it's nothing to worry about. Dogs go through similar sleep cycles that we do, so if they're in a deep sleep cycle, it's unsafe to wake them.

Why won't my dog stop whining at night? ›

If your dog whines at night, it may be a sign that she has not gotten enough stimulation during the day and now she is bored. You can burn off your dog's excess energy and keep her from getting bored at night by exercising her at least 30 minutes per day.

Why won't my dog stop whining? ›

The most obvious reason your dog may be whining is that they need or want something from you, like food, water, or a walk. Maybe their favorite toy is stuck underneath the couch, or the cat is sleeping in their bed. The whining should stop once you identify the problem and fix it.

Should I let my dog cry in his sleep? ›

Should I leave my puppy to cry at night? The advice from dog experts is that they shouldn't be left to cry at night. It's likely to increase your puppy's anxiety and may lead to behaviour problems. Not only will you hear it, your neighbors will hear the puppy crying.

Should you wake up dog crying in sleep? ›

It's tempting to rouse a pet showing signs of distress like whimpering, twitching, or shaking in their sleep. According to the American Kennel Club, owners should let sleeping dogs lie. "Disrupting a dog during REM sleep can result in serious consequences," says the AKC.

What age do dogs stop crying at night? ›

The good news is that most puppies start sleeping through the night from the time they're around 16 weeks old, but they will need a hand from you to help them get there.


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