Why Do Dogs Bark in Their Sleep?

Sometimes, I bark in my sleep. I don’t even realize that I’m doing it and wake up to my people all around me with concerned eyes.

Sometimes they film me to watch it back, the horror of seeing myself twitching and barking at nothing!

It can be freaky, I bet, but there’s no need to panic! I promise that I’m not barking at any spirits or having nightmares about you disappearing forever, but it’s not nice to see your little dog barking in its bed.

So today, I will put all your fears at ease! I will finally answer: why do dogs bark in their sleep?

terrier and toy

Why do dogs bark in their sleep?

There are a few reasons why I am barking in my sleep; the main reason is that I am dreaming. Just like you, dogs have dreams too. My dreams will be different from yours, but I still dream.

In these dreams, I will bark, and sometimes these barks happen in real life, which means that I bark while I dream! Usually, I will bark, growl, or move when I am in my REM phase of sleep.

You might notice my legs twitch as if I’m running? Well, that’s just me running through the field of my dreams, hunting down an army of sticks.

What do dogs dream about when they bark?

Your next question to your dog is undoubtedly, what are you dreaming about? The answer is that we dream about many different things, just like you do!

Often, if we are barking or growling, I can be dreaming about a memory such as a high-pressure bird chase on our walk earlier!

Or, they can be dreams about real-life situations that might not have happened. For example, I could be dreaming about running through fields or barking at a new dog moving in across the street. They can’t be coming onto my patch, can they?

Just like dreams are essential for you hairless two-legged people, we furries need dreams too! It allows us to process experiences and learn from them.

For example, the Beagle on the block over starts barking the next time I know what to do now.

Is it bad when dogs bark in their sleep?

I know you are worried, but no, it is not bad for us dogs to be barking in our sleep! It is completely normal, as normal as owners talking in their sleep! Yes, Stephaine, I am talking about when you kept me up all night long!

Generally, barking in my sleep is normal and not anything you need to worry about. It can sound distressing sometimes, with some dogs making a racket, but we doggies just need to ride it out.

Just like you dreaming, we need to go through it all before we wake up. You might be wondering if you should wake us up if the dream seems bad or the barking is just too much to bear?

Well, keep on reading for the answer to that question!

Should I wake my dog up if they are barking in their sleep?

I might be barking a lot in my sleep, which can be distressing, I am sure. But should you wake me up? No! It is best just to let me sleep until I wake up naturally.

It can be distressing to wake me up mid-dream. I can get startled or even frightened, which is never nice, is it?

It can be especially startling for my little dog friends. After all, they only have small hearts; startling them can cause their hearts to beat fast, which can be bad for little dogs.

Waking us up during our dreams also impacts our REM sleep, affecting our sleeping pattern and mood for the day.

Now, don’t roll your eyes; think about how grumpy you are after a night of poor sleep; you wouldn’t do that to your favorite four-legged friend, would you?

Now, don’t panic if you have woken a dog up from a dream before; the chances are that you scared them, but the chances of any long-term health complications are unlikely. It’s best to leave us to sleep until we wake up naturally.

I know it can be annoying to have us barking; you make strange noises when you sleep too! But trust me, we should get all the sleep we need and have a cuddle later if it was a bad dream!

Should I pet my dog while dreaming?

You might be tempted to give us reassuring strokes while we bark through our dreams, but I’d avoid it. Even a comforting pat can wake our dogs up, which can be dangerous when we are sleeping.

As I said, it will impact our REM sleep and startle us, but it can also be bad for you. Now, I’m not saying I would do this, but not all dogs are like me!

Some dogs will growl and even bite you if you have woken them up; ouch! For the record, the only biting I do is on the slippers that you clearly hate.

It’s best to avoid touching us and just let the dream play out! What you can do that will help; I’d be there when we wake up with some comforting and soothing words.

It will help calm down dogs that have had nightmares and remind us that we are in a loving and safe environment. What more could any doggie want?

Final Word

And there you have it; there are many reasons why dog barks in their sleep! Remember that there is no need to be alarmed; I am only dreaming!

It can be weird at the start, I bet, but as you can see, it’s perfectly normal for your dog or me to be barking in their sleep.

It is also perfectly safe, so leave me to enjoy my dreams, and be ready with some treats when I wake up, just if it’s a nightmare and I need some extra fussing!