Sleep Walking in Dogs: Causes and Signs

Can dogs sleep walk?

Heard of the sleep walking dogs? They do exist!

(Sleep Walking Dog, Video Courtesy of YouTube)

Sleep walking is a behavioral disorder that causes the victim to do complex tasks while in their sleep. With sleepwalking, the victim of the disorder isn’t usually conscious during these activities and will wake up in the morning normally without recalling anything. So, the big question here is; can dogs sleepwalk?

We’ll get to that shortly; first, let’s take a look at sleeping behaviors in dogs.

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What’s Normal…

Many dog owners have reported their dogs whimpering, kicking, growling and whining in their sleep. This is normal since most dogs experience some sort of nightmares at some point in their lives. Moreover, you might have also seen your dog get up and walk a few inches in one direction then fall over again. It might leave you puzzled but it is also normal and doesn’t qualify to be considered as sleepwalking. Understanding dogs can be somewhat difficult since they can’t express themselves in a manner that we can interpret easily. So, to evaluate their conditions correctly and establish an abnormal behavior, we have to observe them keenly.

What’s abnormal…

If you think your dog is sleep walking, you should pay more attention to and study their behavior in-depth before reaching the conclusion that it’s beyond normal. Some dog’s sleep behaviors which may seem strange may turn out to be quite normal so you shouldn’t be too quick with concerns. However, if the sleepwalk-like behavior is profound, there could be an underlying medical condition. Therefore, the best place to get helpful advice, therapy or treatment is at the vet. Don’t take your time as the condition might worsen with time.  

Even more interesting, sleep walking dogs suffer from sleeping conditions such as narcolepsy, insomnia and sleep apnea. This might make you think your dog is sleep walking since their normal sleeping routine will be disrupted.


I guess by now you are aware that “sleep walking dogs” don’t really sleepwalk but occasionally undergo some conditions which are pretty much close to sleepwalking. This does not rule out the idea of dogs sleepwalking—at least not entirely because not so much research has gone into this.

However, if you notice your dog is having some unusual behavior in its sleep, the best course of action to take would be to visit the vet for a proper checkup. The vet will most probably be in a position to establish the root cause of the behavior and prescribe a fault-proof long-term remedy for your dog.

If you can, get your dog a comfortable orthopedic bed. These beds work wonders on dog’s sleep by enhancing warmth, support, and comfort for an intense night’s sleep. When you get a suitable bed ensure you put it at a comfortable spot; away from areas frequently accessed by the family. Lastly, ensure you give your dog proper physical and mental exercise since these too enhance dog sleep.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.

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