Dog Seizures While Sleeping: Symptoms & How To Stop This Behavior

Dog seizures while sleeping. A seizure occurs in most dogs when they are awake or soon after waking up. On the other hand, some dogs may have a seizure while sleeping. A dog may have a seizure for various causes, including epilepsy, metabolic problems, and neoplastic growths. Your veterinarian will be the one to make the diagnosis.

Why Do Dogs Twitch in Their Sleep?

dog sleeping

Puppies and other young animals are particularly jittery during sleeping. Senior dogs, like pups, twitch more than middle-aged adult canines. One hypothesis is that while your dog is sleeping, his brain stem (particularly the pons and medulla) sends messages to his muscles to rest, preventing him from springing up to pursue that dream squirrel. This brain stem area may be underdeveloped in pups and inefficient in senior canines.

Even middle-aged dogs twitch, regardless of the cause, implying that something is going on in your dog’s mind when he’s sleeping. These cramps are thought to be linked to dreaming.


In epileptic dogs, seizures are more prevalent and severe in young pups. Dogs keep puppy habits until they reach the age of two. They’re often more interested, distracted, enthusiastic – and sleepy. Puppies tend to exhaust their bodies and minds before falling asleep on the spot. It’s a cute feature, but it might also be the reason why so many young dogs have seizures while sleeping. They sleep more than older dogs, and young brains aren’t entirely mature or can navigate the internal changes they face regularly. 


Seizures in dogs aren’t always caused by epilepsy. Low blood sugar, hazardous chemical consumption, and blood pressure problems are typical reasons. These factors may take a long time to manifest – frequently while you’re sleeping.

Seizures caused by blood sugar and blood pressure are more common in smaller dogs. Smaller bodies have a faster metabolism, which increases the chances of a dog having a seizure during lengthy periods of sleep when the body digests meals and foreign chemicals that might cause seizures. These problems affect all dogs, but our smaller canines might have more severe responses to slight physical disturbances.

Symptoms of Dog Seizures

  • Drooling
  • Biting
  • Urinating or defecating uncontrollably
  • Staring blankly but staying upright
  • Twitching • Stiff muscles
  • Going asleep
  • Being unable to look at you or anyone else
  • Drooling
  • Biting
  • Urinating or defecating uncontrollably

How to stop a dog from having a seizure  

Remember to relax 

Dog seizures while sleeping. Whether this is the first time your dog has had a seizure, or you’ve seen one previously, try to remain cool before attending to your dog. If you get in his face and start sobbing or shouting at him, he’ll become even more terrified of the scenario.

Sit Close to your dog. 

Sit close to your dog, but avoid stroking him. You may touch his back or other portions of his body that he can’t reach with his tongue on occasion. Keep in mind, though, that dogs may bite uncontrollably during seizures. Similarly, when your dog wakes up, he may be bewildered and attack you out of fear, pain, or bewilderment. Though you’re dealing with a dog seizure for the first time, it’s better to avoid caressing him, even if it’s terrible for you emotionally.

Take Note of your dog’s seizures.

Time your dog’s seizures if you can. Even if you don’t have a stopwatch, keeping an eye on the clock might help you figure out how long your dog has been seizing.

Everything should be OK if it’s less than two minutes; anything between two and five minutes is a red flag, and your dog should be sent to the vet as soon as possible.

Any seizure that lasts longer than five minutes should be treated by a veterinarian right once.

If your dog experiences numerous seizures in a short period and does not wake up between them, he should visit a veterinarian very once.

Carefully move your dog to a safe location

Dog seizures while sleeping. If your dog has a seizure near the stairwell or the edge of the bed, gently push him to a safer spot or lay something in front of him to keep him from falling. Before or after a seizure, dogs may get scared and dash about without thinking or noticing where they’re going. They may also be unable to control their movements at times, resulting in a seizure that causes them to fall.

 Speak in comforting tones

Speak to your dog in quiet, soothing tones. After a seizure, some owners try playing calm, soothing music for their pets. This is acceptable as long as you don’t play anything too loudly. However, your dog may enjoy it more if you just let him return to normal without any distractions.

Lower your dog’s body temperature

When your dog has a seizure, his body temperature swiftly rises. As a result, gently placing cold washcloths over his feet after the seizure has ceased might be beneficial. Wait till your dog has calmed down before doing this, since if you don’t, he may bite you. 

Wrap and comfort your dog

After a seizure, some owners wrap their dog in a towel or blanket and cradle him to soothe him. If your dog has become aware and is generally back to normal after the seizure, you may do so. However, if you aren’t sure, don’t do it.

If hugging disturbs your dog in the past, don’t do it in this scenario since he won’t find it reassuring.

Let your dog sleep

Your dog may be exhausted once he is attentive and awake again. Allow him to sleep; you may check on him from time to time, but it’s better if you leave him alone.

Let your dog eat or drink

Following a seizure, your dog may become excessively hungry or thirsty. Allow him to eat and drink if he seems attentive and can stand on his feet without wobbling or seeming bewildered.

Call your vet

Dog seizures while sleeping If this is your dog’s first seizure or if the seizure lasted longer than usual, contact your veterinarian straight away for help. Follow the advice of the veterinarian. If your dog is diagnosed with epilepsy by your veterinarian, he may be prescribed epilepsy medication. You’ll need to contact your veterinarian for further information on administering this medicine to your dog and what to anticipate in terms of adverse effects.

If you miss it, your dog may suffer from seizures again.


What does a dog seizure look like while sleeping?
Dog seizures typically occur when they are awake or soon after waking – though they can seize when they are asleep.  During a sleep seizure, limbs would be stiff and rigid, with movements that are more aggressive and last for more than a few minutes; if they are dreaming, you’ll find they are kicking their legs out, paddling, or twitching instead, usually only for thirty seconds or less.
How long does it take for a dog to recover from a seizure?
Dog seizures while sleeping. It depends on several factors: the breed of dog, their age, the severity of the seizure, why it happened in the first place… it’s challenging to offer an exact estimate for a recovery period, though most pups tend to have a prolonged time of around 24 hours or so where they are in the post-ictal phase. At this time, you’ll find them generally confused, unaware of their surroundings, and appearing to pace back and forth with no real purpose, wandering about the house or outside. It’s possible that with more severe seizures, your dog may also show increased urination, increased thirst, or temporary blindness during this time. Hopefully, in a day, your beloved furry friend will be back to their usual, waggy-tailed selves. Some pooches only take a few hours to recover, whereas others need the entire 24 hours – it depends on the individual and the other factors mentioned above.
Can certain foods cause seizures in dogs?
Yes, they can. One example would be foods too high in sodium, as these can eventually cause salt toxicity, one of the primary symptoms of this being seizures and pancreatitis. Dairy products featuring casein, a protein found in cow’s milk, are also likely to increase the possibility of seizing and should be avoided. Other research suggests that bulky, carbohydrate-rich meals or a primarily rice-based diet (even more so when the food constitutes both categories) dogs are more prone to seize afterward. It’s also possible that the actrice-based itself, rather than the food that the dog is eating, could be causing their seizures.

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