Why Dogs Might Have The Most Confusing Sleep Cycles?

by Felesha Scott

Dogs need more sleep as they age because their health and energy level deteriorates. This is a reason why some old dogs sleep so much. They need to rest their joints and muscles. It’s ok for them to sleep 12-14 hours per day.

If your dog is super active, still plays with you every day and gives you the same response when you stimulate him then he is likely doing great. Don’t be concerned if your dog spends a lot of time sleeping. It’s vital that your dog gets his rest.

SWS is Slow-wave Sleep, or Deep Sleep and REM is Rapid Eye Movement. During REM the brain is active, but the body feels paralyzed. Dogs and cats wake up very quickly and need more sleep than humans to complete their full sleep cycles.

Beagle Dog Sleeping

Our sleep cycle from SWS to REM is long and drawn out. This cycle happens more quickly for dogs and depends on the breed. Some dogs enter REM sleep in under 20 minutes. When your dog enters REM sleep, his eyes will start to twitch involuntarily.

Some dogs may whimper or give off a low woof when they are at this stage of their sleep cycle, and that’s because the part of their brain which dampens muscular activity in sleep is less well-developed.

Is your dog sleeping about the same amount of hours he is used to or longer? Has anything changed with his sleeping? If you notice a significant change all of a sudden. Like your dog who didn’t sleep as much suddenly sleeps all day.

Speak with your Vet if you see anything out of the ordinary.

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Dogs howl when they are stimulated by high pitched sounds like sirens and loud music, or to respond to other dogs’ howling. When they howl they acknowledge that they hear the sound and wants to join in on the action.

American and British collie Dogs Howling

Dogs express joy by howling. Every time your dog howls don’t mean that he is sad, despite how it may sound to your ears. Your dog may tilt her noses up and howl when she sees her best pal while at her favorite dog park, or to announce the arrival of their owner or a friend that she really likes.

Though it may sound eerie at first, it is normal for a dog to howl in the middle of the night while being sound asleep, the same way some of us talk during our sleep. Remember, dogs can be emotionally manipulative so your dog may be howling to get your attention.

Why Do Dogs Sneeze?

Dogs sneeze because of irritation in their nose caused by allergens like pollen, mold spores, and dust mites. This is your dog body’s way of trying to stop the irritation, permanently removing it from his nostrils.

Your dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than yours but the way dogs sneeze is not different from the way people do. Even your dog sneezing when playing is nothing to be concerned about. This is normal, especially if your dog is outside.

Dog Sneezing in a Field

Dog Reverse Sneezing

Reverse sneezing is a condition where your dog or cat extend their neck and starts making gasping noises that sounds like the pet is on its last legs.

Your dog may even snort or make honking noises all while acting like he can’t catch his breath. The sneezing is caused by a contraction of your dog’s throat and soft palate that is triggered by an irritant, pollen, excitement, fragrances, tight collar.

Reverse sneezing is very common in dogs,  but less in cats. When your dog reverses sneeze, he typically stands, extends his head and neck, pulls back his lips, and inhale repeatedly and forcefully through his nose.

A loud sound is heard each time he inhales. Generally, a dog will reverse sneeze a few times in a row, and the whole thing will be over within the next 10 to 15 seconds or so.

The condition rarely requires any treatment. The spasm is usually over as soon as your dog stops sneezing. Massage your dog’s throat to prevent the spasm if the episode continues beyond a few seconds. Rubbing your dog’s throat helps to calm him down, slow down his breathing, relaxes him and eventually stop his snorting.

Covering your dog’s nostrils for a quick moment, makes the dog swallow and is useful to help clear his irritation as well.

Why Do Dogs Shake?

Dogs shake their bodies when they are excited, or stressed. If your dog is not in a stressed situation, then it is likely that he is just happy.

Dogs will also shake their bodies after playing, or when getting up from lying down. It is their way of moving from doing one thing and on to another. A dog shaking could be a sign that he feels confined, whether from wearing a jacket or a collar that you put on him.

Red Australian Dog Shaking in a Field

I have seen dogs shiver and tremble nervously when they are picked up because they have been abused. They also do not socialize and tries to avoid their new owner.

Similarly, if you’ve adopted a dog that was attacked by other dogs, then meeting a new dog in your home may make your adopted dog feel nervous and stressed, which can cause him to shake.

Of course, if this is the case, you need to be patient with your dog and give him/her time to adjust to their new life and environment.

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