Dogs go through different sleep cycles while sleeping at night. One fine night, you are sleeping with your dog, and suddenly you notice that his eyes are open, but he is not doing any movement. You may think that why does my dog sleep with eyes open?
While sleeping, dogs go through many sleep cycles. Hence, sleeping with eyes open is normal for dogs, but there can be some other reason. This article will discuss different reasons why dogs sleep with their eyes open and the possible solution to it.
Why Do Dogs Sleep with Eyes Open? 4 Common Reasons
If your dog is sleeping with eyes open, he might be doing it naturally. Dogs have a survival mechanism in their brain that gets active while they are asleep. Dogs may sleep with open eyes to fool their predator and to keep an eye on their surroundings.
However, if your dog has gone through some surgery or medications, he is now sleeping with eyes wide open. It can be a sign of any medical complexity. It would be best if you observed your dog keenly.
You may like to check why Great Pyrenees, Dobermans & Shih Tzus shed.
Here we are listing down some common reasons why dogs sleep with their eyes open.
A seizure is an abnormal condition that happens in the brain. Dogs having seizures may keep snapping their jaws and act worried. The easiest way to found a seizure in a dog is to call his name while him sleeping. If he didn’t respond to you, he is suffering a seizure.
Dogs having seizures may act aggressively on little things, making sure to get a comfortable environment for your dog. Speak to them in a lower and loving sound pitch as loud sounds can threaten them.
Symptoms of seizures:
The major symptoms of seizure include:
- Falling on the floor.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Going unconscious.
- Disoriented Focus.
- Acting aggressively.
- Jerking and shivering.
1.1) How to Help Your Dog If He Is Having a Seizure?
If your dog is suffering from a seizure, try taking him to the vet for professional consultancy. But if your dog’s seizure is not severe and you don’t want to spend bulk money, try the given tips.
A) Make Him Feel Comfortable:
In seizures, dogs usually behave aggressively. It would be best if you gave your dog a comfortable environment and safe place. Don’t punish or yell at your dog because dogs may feel threatened. They can also bite you if they feel insecure.
B) Maintain Body Temperature:
In seizures, a dog’s body temperature rises quicker than usual. To maintain that temperature, keep putting your dog’s feet in the water or place cool water strips on the dog’s body. While performing this act, be conscious because your dog can also bite you.
C) Observing Time of Seizure:
We would advise you to keep track of your dog’s seizures, i.e., for how many minutes’ seizure stays. You can use a stopwatch for this purpose. If your dog’s seizure stays for 2 minutes or less, you shouldn’t worry.
On the other side, if the seizure lasts for about five minutes or more, it is a danger zone for your dog. He might be having severe seizures. Take him to the vet immediately and get him treated properly.
2) Cherry Eyes:
A cherry eye is a nictitating membrane disorder, also known as swollen third eyelid gland. In this situation, the eyelid gland of your dog becomes swollen like cherry (this is why it is named the cherry eye). Symptoms of the cherry eye include dry eyes, irritation in the cornea, and a pink bulge in the corner of the eye.
To get rid of the cherry eye, your dog might have to go through surgery, but this can be a risky situation. In this surgery, the vets remove the affected eye gland, and if the surgery goes unsuccessful, your dog may develop chronic dry eye.
Lagophthalmos is a type of abnormal eyelid in dogs. In this condition, dogs cannot close their eyes completely, which results in dryness in the cornea. Usually, this situation didn’t remain for a long time and gets cured by itself.
But your dog didn’t overcome this situation by itself, and you will have to consult the vet and go through the process of surgery.
If your dog sleeps with eyes open, he might be dreaming. Like humans, dogs can also dream about different things. He might be dreaming about chasing cats and playing. It would help if you differentiated between dreaming and seizures.
In seizures, dogs didn’t wake up easily. But if they are dreaming, they will wake up to any noise. To ensure that your dog is just dreaming, try dropping something on the floor. If your dog wakes up immediately, he was only dreaming.
Sleeping Disorders in Dogs
Generally, dogs didn’t get insomnia. It is rare in dogs. But if your dog has insomnia, this indicates serious health problems. Dogs may develop insomnia due to injuries, diabetes, and kidney issues. If you find your dog insomniac, take him to the vet, and they will prescribe the best solution for your dog.
Else, you can try some healthy diets with omega-3 acids and melatonin to cure insomnia. Try increasing the physical activities of your dog. Keep him busy. Could you give him a comfortable atmosphere?
2) Sleep Apnea:
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which dogs may get a shortage of breath or make noises while sleeping. Sleep apnea keeps your dog awake, and it results in sleep deprivation or other health problems.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, choking in sleep, irritations, and tiredness. You can consult the vet if you witness any of these symptoms in your dog.
3) REM Behavior:
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is a sleeping disorder where your dog tends to do physical activities while dreaming. Sometimes, it can be extreme or violent. When a dog suffering from REM wakes up from sleep, he didn’t remember anything about his dream.
Symptoms of REM include howling, barking, chewing, and biting. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet. Do not try to cure REM on your own, or it can be risky for your dog.
When to Worry If Your Dog Sleeps with Eyes Open?
If your dog sleeps with eyes open, there is nothing to worry about. It is common in dogs. However, there are few conditions in which you have to get concerned about your dog sleeping with eyes open.
Narcolepsy is a nervous system sleep disorder. Dogs can suffer from narcolepsy when they have disturbed sleeping routines. They tend to fall asleep anywhere doing anything. This also seems a bit relevant to seizures. Symptoms of narcolepsy include excessive day sleeps, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.
Narcolepsy in dogs can be genetic. It is common in breeds like poodles, dachshunds, and Labradors retrievers. Unfortunately, you cannot completely cure narcolepsy in your dogs. However, you can take medicines to minimize it.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in dogs. It is common in dogs and leads to seizures. Epilepsy can be caused by kidney diseases, tumors, or inflammations. Dogs suffering from epilepsy may have to go through muscle twitching, muscle stiffing, jerking, and drooling.
Like narcolepsy, epilepsy cannot be cured properly. If your dog gets epilepsy, there is nothing you can do except for care. Take regular visits to the vet and feed your dog proper medicines and a healthy diet.
FAQs on Dog Sleeps with Eyes Open
1) My Dog Sleeps with Eyes Open, What Does It Mean?
It is normal for dogs to sleep with their eyes open. Dogs tend to do this for self-protection to save themselves from wild animals or predators. Else, there is a breed, i.e. pugs, that cannot close their eyes completely while sleeping.
2) Do All Dogs Sleep with Eyes Open?
No, all dogs don’t sleep with their eyes open. If your dog is sleeping with his eyes open, he might be suffering from nictitating membrane disorder. However, pugs and greyhounds like to sleep with their eyes open.
3) My Dog Sleeps with Eyes Open, Is It Bad to Wake Him Up?
Waking a dog from sleep can be a bad idea. It can make them respond aggressively or frightened. Especially if your dog is having a nightmare, you should never wake them up. They can bite you or can harm you if you wake up from sleep.
Why Does My Dog Sleep with Eyes Open? – Final Thoughts:
Coming towards the final thoughts about why my dog sleeps with open eyes, we know that it is a normal act for dogs. your dog might be sleeping with his eyes open because he is enjoying deeply in dreams. Unless you didn’t notice any unusual behavior in your dog’s routine, you shouldn’t be worrying about him sleeping with open eyes.
However, if he acts strangely or aggressively, then sleeping with open eyes can be problematic. Consult your dog’s vet for professional treatment.