Many dogs bark when they sleep. Dog barking in sleep is a common problem that many dog owners experience. Dogs often whimper, growl, bark, and twitch while they are asleep. But why do dogs bark at night? What are the reasons and signs?
Should you wake up a dog when you hear them barking in their sleep?
Reasons that dogs bark while they are asleep
There are various reasons that a dog while sleeping will bark. A dog will usually bark while they are asleep because they are dreaming. Scientists have discovered that
dogs nearly have the same brain waves as people do with that same area of the brain lightening up.
Dogs are expressing their small reaction to the dream.
What happens during a dog’s sleep?
There are a lot of signs that a dog does when they are asleep and are dreaming. They can are listed below.
- Whimper and growl to indicate a nightmare
- Barking which is related to a happy dream or a nightmare depending on the dog
- Licking or chewing which may indicate they are dreaming of food
- Snort or grunt to indicate that they are dreaming of smelling something
- Howl which might mean they are having a nightmare or are dreaming about hunting and tracking.
There are other physical signs that you can observe that a dog is dreaming. They are listed below.
- Twitch their legs
- Head movement
- Increase in breathing
- Wags their tail
- Ear twitching or movement
- Moving their legs as though they are running
What do dogs dream about?
Dogs dream about doggy things. Smaller dogs have more frequent but shorter dream periods. While large dogs have less but longer dreams.
Should you wake up your dog when they bark at night?
Many people advise that you do not wake up your dog while they are asleep. Waking up your dog while they are asleep will frighten them. Waking up at the REM sleep can lead your dog to snap at you because they become shocked.
Another reason is that dogs need their sleep so they can physically and mentally be relaxed. The reason is that throughout the day, they are very active and full of energy.
If you do wake up your dog, they may find it difficult to fall asleep again. Dog barking is troubling but you can find ways to help you when you want to sleep. You can move the dog’s bed into another room that is far away from your bedroom.
Also, make sure to check on your dog to know whether they are asleep or not. They may not be sleeping and may be barking out of loneliness and boredom. If so, check on your dog to treat the problem.
When should you worry?
Most of the time, there is no reason to worry when your dog makes noises in their sleep; they are dreaming. However, if dog barking in sleep reflects physical distress
signs such as rapid breathing and high levels of pain, then you must wake them up.
If they don’t wake up, then you should call the emergency or vet.
Sometimes dogs may have a nightmare. When they do, they may bite you if they are startle when they wake up. So make sure to wake them up with your voice as a way to minimize the tension.
What if your dog is awake?
If your dog is awake and barking. Then there is a problem. Make sure your dog has a comfortable sleeping environment and fresh drinking water. You can also give them more exercise and attention during the day so they can get more sleep easily.
Ways to stop dog barking at night
Don’t let your dog sleep alone
Don’t leave your dog alone when they sleep. They used to live in packs and thus they tend to not sleep alone.
So many dogs bark when they are alone. The best solution is to let them sleep in the same room as you are in.
Use external tools
Dog calming diffuser
These dog calming diffusers will release pleasant-smelling pheromones that will help your dog to calm down. You can pick up a dog calming diffuser from any pet store.
Dog barking collars
The last resort to eliminate dog bark noise is through dog bark collars. These items are usually put around a dog throat and emit a correctional behavior when your dog barks.
These can be an ultrasonic noise, a blow of air, or an electric shock in some cases.
Other reasons your dog may bark at night
Other reasons that your dog may bark is because your dog is bored, isn’t feeling well, needs to go to the bathroom, responding to voices in the environment.
Because your dog has different needs, you should not punish or intimidate them. This may actually cause them anxiety and make their behavior worse.
Your dog needs exercise
Your dog may need exercise because most dogs are active by nature. So putting a dog through exercise will make them more likely to become tired leading them to a peaceful sleep.
Your dog wants to go to the bathroom
Sometimes dogs bark when they want to go to the bathroom especially at night. The reason is that they may have eaten and drunk water and need to relieve themselves.
Separation anxiety and loneliness
Dogs are social by nature. They love the company of their owners and thus they need to be around them. Sometimes if they are asleep alone, they may experience loneliness and separation anxiety.
Sometimes your dog may have a health problem such as dog dementia where they bark a lot of time. To treat this condition, go to a vet.
Dogs bark at night for different reasons. They tend to bark mainly when they are sleeping and dreaming. There are many vocal and physical signs when a dog is dreaming.
Other times a dog barks at night when they are bored, lonely, or want to go to the bathroom.