It has been proven that just like humans, dogs dream and can have nightmares. If you have ever noticed that your dog has nightmares while sleeping and you don’t know what to do, this article is for you. We tell you how to tell if your dog is having a nightmare while sleeping and how to act in these cases.
Experts have already demonstrated through various research studies that dogs are capable of dreaming. In general, they are most likely to dream about things that have happened during the day. For example, they might dream of a walk they have taken or an encounter with another dog, or even remember playtime with you. But just as they can recreate good things during sleep, they are also capable of recreating bad things. That is, they are capable of having nightmares.
In these cases, dogs may recall traumatic events, fights, or if they have been abused, these memories may return in the form of nightmares.
Meeting a dog with nightmares
While sleeping, dogs often move involuntarily. For example, they can change posture, turn on themselves and flap their legs and ears. They can also change their posture.
Actually, none of the signs listed in the previous paragraph in and of themselves mean that your dog is having nightmares. But if you notice that while sleeping your dog has very sudden or even frantic movements, something is going on in his mind.
You may even notice that it may whimper, cry or bark and have labored breathing. Your dog is almost certainly having a nightmare if you notice some or all of the above symptoms while sleeping.
What to do
If you have been able to detect that your dog is having a nightmare, it is recommended that you do not act on the natural impulse to wake him up. While this is what you would do in front of a person who is suffering from a nightmare, with your dog it can be quite different.
When faced with a sleeping dog that shows signs of being in the middle of a nightmare, wait a few seconds. It is quite possible that it will pass quickly and return to a pleasant sleep.
However, if you notice that the symptoms continue, try not to wake him up abruptly or suddenly. If you do it this way, you will wake up frightened and disoriented. In this case, it could even bite you.
Acting in a gentle manner at that moment is the most indicated. Stroke your dog gently and talk to him softly so that he wakes up little by little. Once he is awake, cuddle him and try to soothe him to calm him down. And in fact, the best thing you can do is to let him go back to sleep and rest from the nightmare.
Nightmares can always exist in any dog, but if you see them recurring, you may need to take some action. The first thing to do is to check if your dog is subjected to unnecessary stress or is exposed to situations that may be traumatic for him. Separation anxiety may cause nightmares, as well as firecrackers.
If possible, try to take him for walks and play with him in a pleasant way and avoid fights with other animals. At home, check that your sleeping area is comfortable and cozy.
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