SHOULD YOU LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE?

SHOULD YOU LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE?

October 31, 2023

 

 

Indeed, you should never disturb a sleeping dog!  When asleep, dogs have similar brain wave patterns as humans, and like us, when dogs fall asleep, they experience slow wave sleep, which is later followed by REM.  During REM, our dogs can also dream and often whine or twitch and are probably reliving daytime experiences.  Even though a dreamer may appear active during this phase, they are difficult to wake.  Often, owners are concerned that their pooch is having a nightmare, but waking a dog during REM can be disorienting and startling for dogs.  This can cause a dog to snap, lunge and even bite out of fear, which is not uncommon.  This reaction, known as the sleep-startle reflex, is instinctive in wild animals.  The animal only has an instant to assess what woke them, friend or foe, which could mean life or death in the wild.  Domestic dogs still carry some of these genetic urges, which cannot be resolved using any form of punishment.  Pet parents should avoid waking their dog and should  teach children that a dog needs its space and should be left alone when sleeping.  Most adult dogs need an average of eleven hours of sleep per day, and if you suspect that your dog may have sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea that may result in intense stress reactions and irritability, please consult your veterinarian for a complete health check-up.

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