Dog moves his legs when he sleeps. Why is it?

Dog moves his legs when he sleeps. Why is it?

Dog moves his legs when he sleeps

For those who do not know about it, a sleeping dog twitching his legs might be scary. But this movement is actually common when a dog is sleeping. My dog moves his legs when he sleeps and I want to know why.

Some people continually confuse this movement with a seizure. As a matter of fact, many veterinarians report receiving phone calls of concerned owners reporting that their dogs might be having an episode. This is quickly corrected as the dog wakes up. If you are one that says, “my dog moves his legs when he sleeps” and would like to know why continue reading.

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Your dog is dreaming

Just like us, dogs also dream. When this dream is pretty profound, they breathe heavily, smack their lips, twitch their whiskers and sometimes even whine or send out dog barks. There is no way to know what they are dreaming about but scientists suspect that they are probably reenacting the events of the day. Dreams are very vivid and dogs will act on their dreams. Chances are that your dog is moving his legs during sleep because he is probably chasing a rabbit in his dream.

REM sleep

Once again, just like humans, dogs undergo the three stages of sleep: NREM (non-rapid eye movement), REM (rapid-eye-movement), and SWS (short wave sleep). The third stage is where dogs will recreate their dreams while they are sleeping.

Now, it is during REM that dogs dream and actually start acting those dreams. Senior dogs and very young puppies usually enter the REM stage of sleep more frequently.

One thing is for sure and that is that your dog needs their proper dose of sleep, just like us. Failing to provide it will result in a cranky pet. So next time you wonder, why “my dog moves his legs when he sleeps,” he is probably trying to steal that stake you left on the corner of the counter.

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