Your dog is lying on your lap string lovingly into your eyes, you stroke his head with a smile on your face. But why isn't he wagging his tail like he usually does, and why isn't he now sitting up, excited by the attention? Oh, he’s asleep! With his eyes open!
Strange but true, it is actually not as uncommon as you might think but can freak you out the first time you experience it first hand.
If your dog sleeps with eyes open for this first time, this might be weird for you but mostly it is perfectly normal. However, although it is fine most of the time, it can be a sign of something a little more serious. Here we will go through some of the possibilities and explain in more detail.
My Dog Sleeps With Eyes Open Is it Weird Or Normal?
Don't worry it is perfectly normal, in fact it is part of a dogs wild side. It is something a dog would have done as part of its natural makeup to keep a literal eye open for dangers such as bigger foes. This way they could escape or warn the pack as early as possible.
Should I Be Worried?
Although it is a normal thing to witness, you should keep in mind that it can be a sign that a dog is having a seizure.
A seizure can be hereditary so find out if this is typical for the breed, or if you know more about the dogs background check to see if this is something they might suffer from.
It can also be through illness and it could also be twitching, this occurs when your dog is having a more vivid dream than usual, some dogs experience this every night and it is completely normal.
How Can I Tell If It Is a Seizure when My Dog Sleeps with Eyes Open?
Check the eyes, this will be a key indicator as to whether you dog is having a seizure or just twitching. If your dogs eyes are slightly closed, slightly open then this is usually just a sign that they are peacefully twitching.
A seizure will leave your dog with wide open eyes but with no expression and a blank look. A dog that is twitching might also kick and shake when they are dreaming, yet a dog having a seizure will be more rigid.
A twitching dog might also cry out on occasion and give small yelps or barks, yet a dog having a seizure will be more vocal and even scream and howl - this is all part of the seizure and not a sign that you dog is any pain. Although distressing for the owner.
What's Happening during a Seizure?
Especially the case the first time it happens, it can be a scary time for any owner. It is important to remember that it is only temporary and there isn't anything you can do in the moment other than to stay close and allow the seizure to finish.
The sounds your dog might make can be anything from a yelp or howl or even a scream, but this isn't a sign that they are in distress, it is simply the seizure running its course and nothing to worry about.
The shaking and sudden movements are all part of a normal seizure and a sign that it is definitely not twitching is when they continue for longer than a normal twitch might.
It is not uncommon for your dog to froth at the mouth whilst experiencing the seizure and breathe differently, just remember that there isn't anything you can do to end the seizure whilst it is happening but just stay close to your dog for when it is over.
What’s With The Twitching?
It's all part of how your dog is dreaming. When they are in the deep phase of sleep they are not too dissimilar from humans. Have you ever had a dream that you are falling and it makes you jolt in your sleep and you heart race for a few seconds?
Well this is the canine equivalent, only we have no way of telling if they are dreaming about chasing a cat or rabbit!
Read more Dog Health Articles on NolonngerWild
Keep An Eye on the Eyes
That’s right, this is the key to identifying something more serious than sleep or a twitch. Remember that sleeping with their eyes open is quite common for a lot of dogs, but other signs such as twitching and beyond can be a continuation.
If you catch your dog sleeping with his eyes open, observe him for a little while, if they are just in a peaceful state, and even if the odd twitch persists every now and then - there is nothing to worry about.
Read more: Why Are My Dog’s Ears Back?