Why Do Dogs Bark in Their Sleep?

The house is silent and you’re drifting off to sleep when suddenly your dog starts to bark. You jump out of bed with your heart pounding to go and see what the fuss is about. Thankfully, there’s no burglar or house fire, and your pup is sound asleep in their little dog bed — you’ve got a sleep-barker on your hands.

Sleep barks may be cute and funny the first time or two, but if your dog is constantly barking in its sleep, it can make it difficult to get any sleep of your own. What exactly can you do about it? 

If your dog is a serial sleep-barker and it’s driving you nuts, you are not alone. We’ve compiled a list of steps you can take to quiet your pup and other information about your noisy napper in this guide to why dogs bark in their sleep. For a humane no-shock method, try out our very own Pet Pawsabilities™ bark collar

Interesting Facts about Dogs’ Sleep Habits

You may wonder what is happening in your pup’s mind while they sleep. Do they dream of dog parks, chew toys, and sticking their head out of the window of a moving car? Those are fun thoughts, and though we can’t say for sure what the content of a dog’s dream is, we can say with almost 100% certainty that they do dream.

Dogs sleep around 12 to 14 hours every day. About 10% of the time they are asleep, they are in “deep sleep," otherwise known as the REM phase. If you see your pup’s legs twitching or its eyes moving in its sleep, it means it is in the REM phase. Your dog is most likely having some kind of dream.

Dog sleep is very similar to human sleep. They have dreams, nightmares, and can even have sleep disorders! Like kids, dogs sometimes like to sleep with comfort toys.

The Reason Why Dogs Bark in Their Sleep  

Why is your dog growling, howling, and barking in its sleep all the time? 

You may have already guessed, but it’s most likely because your dog is dreaming. It may be barking at a mailman, warding off an intruder, or even greeting a dream version of you when you’re coming home from your “dream” job. 

Whatever it may be, your pup is probably so deep in REM sleep that it is somewhere far away and unaware that it’s time to be quiet. 

How to Deal with Your Dream Barker

Dream barking may seem incredibly cute, and for the most part, it is. However, if you’re constantly dealing with your dog barking in its sleep, you’re more than likely tired of it and seeking some kind of solution. 

To help you, we’ve provided some options to consider.

Leave Your Dog Alone

Many vets recommend you don’t wake up your dog when it’s dreaming, as it can be disorienting and uncomfortable. Let the dream ride out. Your dog is not in any danger and dream barking is generally not an indication of any serious issues. 

Don’t worry and just try to get some sleep. 

Move Their Bed

Sleeping in the same room with your dog is always nice. However, there may come a time when you need to choose between your well-being and having your dog’s bed next to your own. 

If your dog constantly barks in its sleep, and you’re at the end of your rope, move their bed further away. Find a place where the barking won’t disturb your sleep as much.

Talk to Your Vet

If the issue is persistent and moving your pup’s bed isn’t helping, your vet could offer you some useful advice. Sleep medication may be a solution, but you should never give your dog something that has not been specifically prescribed to it. Always let the professionals guide you in that department.

Bark Collar

A bark collar may help train your dog to quiet down while awake. No, you don’t want to have a bark collar waking up your pup, but you can discourage excessive barking with the No-Shock Bark Collar from Pet Pawsabilities™

This humane and pain-free product may reduce the barking enough when the sun is out that when bedtime rolls around your pup is less likely to speak up.