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Health: Should you wake up your dog if he’s having nightmares?

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  Should you wake up your dog if he’s having nightmares? © Provided by The Rudel AU

It’s not uncommon for dogs to have nightmares. If you notice your dog shaking, whimpering, or even screaming in his sleep, this could be the case. In such situations, many people wonder whether or not they should wake up their dog if it is having a nightmare. The question is not easy to answer.

Basically, it is normal for dogs to have nightmares from time to time. Some dogs are restless, sleep poorly and wake up from the nightmare breathing heavily. However, there are some measures that owners can take to calm their dogs down and help them get a good night’s sleep.

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First of all, you should check if your dog has any problems that could affect his sleep. For example, the dog’s sleep can be affected if it has an injury, is in pain, or is plagued by allergies. If such problems are detected, you should consult a veterinarian.

Another option is to adjust where the dog sleeps so that it feels safe and secure. You can also try to relax your loved one with massages and other calming techniques before they go to sleep. Speaking in a calm voice and petting the dog can of course also help him to calm down.

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Finally, it is also advisable to speak regularly with the veterinarian about the health of the dog and to inform him about his behavior during sleep and when waking up. The veterinarian may be able to help find out what the nightmare is about and what the owner can do to counteract the problem.

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Opinions differ greatly on the fundamental question of whether you should wake your dog up when it has a nightmare. Some argue that dogs – like us humans – process what they have experienced in dreams. In order not to interrupt this process, you should not wake them up under any circumstances. But you can gently put your hand on your head and at least signal closeness. Still others are of the opinion that you should wake up your dog in any case so as not to expose him to unnecessary excitement. There is therefore no clear recommendation. In the end, it’s best to trust your gut feeling. You know your dog best and can therefore judge or observe how your darling is doing after nightmares and decide accordingly whether you should wake him up beforehand or not.

Image by wirestock on Freepik

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