Pet Care 

Should I Worry If My Dog Twitches During Sleep?

Are your dogs twitching when they sleep? They may be having interesting dreams. There are other possible causes for a twitching pet. Twitching can be normal behaviour for dogs, but it could also signify stress, advanced age, or a health condition.

This article will cover all aspects of dog twitching. It also includes when to take your pup to the veterinarian.

Why is my dog twitching?

Dog twitching is an involuntary muscle spasm in which a dog’s muscles twitch rapidly and abruptly. Twitching is most common in the back legs while your dog sleeps.

Many things can cause dog twitching:

  • Active dreaming
  • Growth development
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Extern stimulation such as fireworks or thunderstorm interactions with strangers
  • Health conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes
  • Stiffness in the muscles
  • Arthritis

Labrador TrainingHQ states that if your dog has been exposed in any way to toxic chemicals, such as Chocolate or laundry detergents, it may also twitch. Twitching in dogs may also be caused by age. PetHelpful states that puppies, particularly newborns, often twitch as part of their “healthy developmental” process. Because puppies are strengthening their muscles and brains and being active dreamers, they are particularly active for their owners.

Do dogs twitch while dreaming?

If a dog is twitching in their sleep, it’s a sign that they are deep in snooze land. Dogs go through the same stages of sleep as humans. They have a short-wave sleep and fast eye movement. Your dog may look like they are kicking the air while it dreams.

Dogs sleep on average for 12-14 hours per night. It’s normal for dogs to move their whole body or twitch their tail during sleep. They may even bark. This is your dog’s way of communicating with you in their sleep.

Tufts University states that dogs can also twitch in night terrors and nightmares. Although this can be hard to observe, it is best not wake your dog if they are clearly in distress. You can gently call their name until you can get them to come to your aid. You will be bitten if you touch a dog suffering from night terrors.

Are Dogs able to twitch while awake?

Dogs can experience muscle spasms during the day and night. A twitch every once in a while in healthy dogs is not cause for concern, particularly if the senior dog has it. Dogs can twitch when they are awake due to environmental stimulators or situations like thunder and strangers. Your pup may be reacting to the stimulus if the twitching stops after the stimulus end.

Dogs may twitch or tremble as a nervous behaviour, much like humans. Your dog may also tremble or twitch if they have general anxiety. Talking to your vet can help you better manage these conditions so that your dog feels more at ease.

When should you call the vet?

Your dog may be experiencing seizures if they experience full-body tremors or rigidity that lasts longer than a brief spasm. These situations should be reported to your emergency vet immediately. You may also notice the following signs and symptoms of seizures:

  • Vomiting
  • Foaming at your mouth
  • Passing a bowel movement
  • Urinating

Your dog might seem restless or anxious before a seizure. Your dog might also appear restless or anxious during a seizure. It would help if you also remembered that seizures could take on various forms. Sometimes seizures can appear as focal tics and tremors. Therefore, it is important to look for other signs of seizure activity, such as behavioural changes. This can help determine if your dog has had a seizure or just a normal muscle twitch. For guidance, contact your vet immediately if you suspect seizure activity.

Twitching for long periods can indicate diabetes, hypothermia or kidney problems, as well as poisoning ingestion. Rodent poisons, medication, and foods unsafe for pets are all common toxins dogs may inhale. Call an emergency vet immediately if you suspect your dog has been poisoned.

Your furry friend will twitch in their sleep when they have a good night’s rest. If you are ever unsure, it is good to call your vet.

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