Most people are familiar with what sleepwalking looks like in humans, but did you know that it is also possible for dogs to do something similar? Sleepwalking in dogs (sometimes called ‘somnambulism’) is when a pet appears to be awake and active while still asleep. It can involve activities such as pacing, yelping, or sometimes even seeming lost or disoriented.
Just like people, dogs experience different types of sleep states throughout the night. These include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which is associated with dreaming and can appear quite vivid from the outside. During this time your dog may seem to be walking around or running despite being snoozing away peacefully.
The good news about this behavior is that – unlike in humans – it’s usually nothing to worry about and often just a phase that passes over time. However if you notice your dog sleepwalking frequently or intensely then it’s important to speak to your vet who can check there are no underlying medical issues causing the behavior. Some potential treatments might include medication if needed, along with changes to their diet and lifestyle such as reducing sugar intake or ensuring they get enough exercise during the day.
It’s also important to make sure your pet has a safe and secure place to sleep at night, free from any objects which could disturb them during their slumber. If there are any potential hazards in their space then it might be wise to rearrange things so they don’t wake up accidentally spooked.
Overall, although less common than in humans, somnambulism does exist in animals too and so if you notice any unusual sleeping patterns always consult a professional for advice as soon as possible. With the right care and support, your pooch will have sweet dreams all night long!