Some dog behaviors are difficult to understand. Sometimes, certain actions they carry out can cause us concern by not understanding the causes. For example, surely you have observed how your little furry shakes in very specific circumstances without you knowing why, either awake or while sleeping.
Noises, movements of the legs and other areas of the body, and even some shaking spasms occasionally occur while your dog sleeps. Are you worried about this behavior? Do you really know why it trembles while resting? To find out all about your question about ” why is my dog shivering? “, We recommend that you continue reading this article.
Why is my dog shivering?
” My dog has spasms when he sleeps, and I don’t know if I need to worry.” This reflection is shared by many people who adopt a dog, especially if they do it for the first time in their lives. Before becoming alarmed and panicking or immediately calling the vet, you need to understand why dogs shake in their sleep.
The REM phase, that is, the deepest stage of a dog’s sleep, is in which you can detect certain tremors in its body because the following phenomena occur:
Movement in the legs: it is easy to detect and characteristic in a dog. It seems to be digging or running. Many people interpret it as if he is dreaming of chasing prey or ball, running, or shivering because he is cold.
Spasmodic movements: they come from different body areas, such as the legs, ears, mouth, tail, or eyes. So seeing your dog shake in his sleep or with spasms of this type is completely normal.
Altered breathing: it will accelerate as if you were doing a great physical exercise.
Variety of sounds: such as moans, grunts, and barks. It can also make other sounds such as crying, hissing, and howling. So if you ask yourself, “why does my dog shake and cry when he sleeps?” or why it shakes and groans or even growls, don’t worry.
All these phenomena that can take place in the REM phase of sleep explain why dogs tremble when they sleep. It does not correspond to any abnormality or pathology that you should be concerned about.
What to do when my dog shakes in his sleep
When in doubt about what to do when we think “my puppy trembles when he sleeps” since it will be mainly in the first weeks or months of his life (or in the first weeks of living together, whether he is a puppy or if he is an adult ) When this behavior generates confusion and concern, it is important to remain calm at all times.
First of all, avoid waking your dog. The temptation is great, and even fear can lead you to it, but with this, you will only manage to nip your little furry’s rest in the bud and abruptly. Waking him up every time he trembles while he sleeps will cause dire consequences for his sleep and rest, and it is in this case, serious problems can arise since it affects growth and development, mood, and general well-being.
So, let him continue sleeping and wait for him to wake up naturally. After several minutes of spasms, your dog may open his eyes and wake up out of place. At this moment, you can act: talk to him calmly and in a slow voice. You can also call him by name to make him aware that he is at home with his family. He will appreciate your company, the caresses, and the affection that you bring him. All this will help him return to normality, and both of you calm down, but always under the same premise: wait for him to wake up on his own without interrupting his sleep so that he has a good rest. Remember that just because you move or shake while you sleep does not mean having a bad time or not resting well. This misplacement that can happen right after waking up will last a few seconds, so you don’t have to worry.
When to go to the vet because my dog is shaking
In the above cases, when you see your furry and think, “my dog trembles at rest or asleep,” it is unnecessary to go to a veterinarian. Precisely being while you sleep should not cause you any concern since they are normal reactions within the REM phase.
However, if your dog is shaking in his sleep and also awake, or if he has tremors or marked spasms only when awake or these are stronger when awake, then it will be time to ask a veterinarian for help and consult him. Dogs with continuous tremors while awake can suffer a health problem derived from a virus or some poisoning. They can have Shaker syndrome or tremors or strong shakes, seizures of epilepsy, but there are also other very diverse causes.
There are simple situations to identify which explains why dogs shiver when awake, such as being very cold due to low temperatures. If you have just bathed it and it is wet or damp, it will shiver from the cold. Another factor that will cause muscle spasms in your dog while awake is fear. In front of unfamiliar people or certain noises, it could be frightened and shake. In this case, you will also quickly know why he is trembling without having to worry excessively, although you will have to try to work on these fears, if necessary, with the help of an ethologist or dog educator.
In short, if your little furry shakes in other cases while awake, don’t hesitate: go to a vet to find a solution to the problem. When the spasms occur in your sleep hours, the cause will be the REM phase.