If you have ever walked in on your dog sleeping with their eyes open, you know how unusually fascinating the sight can be. Your dog can be in a deep sleep, snoring and all, but still look like their fully awake.
To ensure that your dog is safe, happy, and healthy, you need to pay close attention to their behavior. However, when they’re sleeping and don’t have control over their muscles, the eyes will stay partially open.
Another reason why your dog’s eyes may remain open during sleep is their instincts. In the wild, dogs will sometimes sleep with their eyes open to fool passing animals . While hundreds of years have passed since most breeds have been in the wild, those instincts tend to stay.
So if your dog is sleeping with their eyes slightly open, how are they staying comfortable? It’s a light pink tissue that moves laterally over their eyeball, kind of like a windshield wiper. When your dog closes their eye, it moves back into the orbital socket a bit.
Even if your dog’s eyes are slightly closed, it’ll move to provide protection. For example , it’s not uncommon for dogs to bite down on their tongues so hard during a seizure that they may start bleeding. The best thing you can do is move hazards away from your dog to prevent injury and wait patiently.
Just keep an eye on your dog and pay close attention to their body language.
Is it normal for my dog to sleep with eyes open?
Your dog sleeping with their eyes open may be perfectly normal. By keeping a close watch on your dog’s eyes, you can quickly spot any issues. It is always better to make sure that your dog is healthy and not miss a medical issue.
Why do dogs have to touch you when they sleep?
Despite what some people argue, many dogs are instinctively pack animals. … As their pack leader, your pup sees you as their protector. So it stands to reason that he or she will want to stay right against the alpha for security and protection. Also, in a pack canines will sleep touching one another for warmth.
Why do dogs sleep with their owners at night?
It’s when they feel most secure and comfortable. No wonder they try to replicate that feeling of warmth and coziness with you even after they grow up! Your dog wanting to sleep next to you is also a sign of affection and closeness. It means they like your company and consider you a member of the pack.
Why do dogs roll their eyes back when they sleep?
When a dog sleeps with his eyelids open, the eyes may roll back in his head, leaving just the whites exposed. … This is a natural part of REM sleep that dogs go through, just like humans do.
A seizure will look different from dreaming despite them having some similarities. With a seizure, your dog will be tense, and often with snapping jaws instead of a relaxed look. Your dog may moan or howl and make noises of distress. One of the quick ways to tell if it is a seizure or a dream is to call their name. A dreaming dog will wake up and come to you, while a dog in the midst of a seizure will be unable to get up.
A dog sleeping with his eyes open is completely normal. This is a trait derived from their wild ancestors. Sleeping with their eyes open allowed dogs to appear awake and to thereby ward off any potential predators while taking a snooze.
Theres something relaxing about seeing your pooch stretched out beside you while sleeping. Its one of the best moments of the day for so many dog owners and their dogs. Some owners can become a little concerned when they notice that their dog is sleeping with his eyes open. However, this may not be anything you need to worry about, so heres what you need to know when you see your dog sleeping with his eyes open
One possible explanation as to why people no longer needed a third eyelid is because we have fingers, and can wipe debris out of our eyes. This is because dreaming occurs when the dog is in a deep state of sleep, which in the wild, would make him vulnerable to attack from other animals.
It seems likely that dogs developed the ability to open their eyes slightly, and become aware of their surroundings while sleeping. Its not usually a good idea to offer him anything to eat or drink until youve spoken to your veterinarian. If theres anything that makes you feel uneasy, you can ask your vet to examine your dog, and put your mind at ease.
Are My Dog’s Eyes Really Open?
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your dog’s eyes are actually open. There’s a big difference between wide-open eyes and partially closed eyes. In most cases, your dog’s eyes will be partially closed. Other than that, they may look relaxed and peaceful. If that’s the case, your dog is simply dreaming away.
Partially Open Eyes
Some breeds are more prone to keeping their eyes open at night than other. Short-faced dogs, such as Pugs and Shih Tzus, often have a condition known as Lagophthalmos. Essentially, it’s a condition that prevents their eyes from closing all the way.They can blink normally to keep debris out of their eyes. However, when they’re sleeping and don’t have control over their muscles, the eyes will stay partially open.
Another reason why your dog’s eyes may remain open during sleep is their instincts. In the wild, dogs will sometimes sleep with their eyes open to fool passing animals. They look awake, so they’re less likely to be bothered by larger beasts who are looking for their next meal.While hundreds of years have passed since most breeds have been in the wild, those instincts tend to stay.
The Hidden Third Eyelid
So if your dog is sleeping with their eyes slightly open, how are they staying comfortable? Dogs have a third eyelid. It’s called the nictitating membrane. It’s responsible for producing about half of your dog’s tears.When your pooch is awake, that membrane retracts to the inner corner of their eye. However, you may still see it from time to time. It’s a light pink tissue that moves laterally over their eyeball, kind of like a windshield wiper.Even if your dog’s eyes are slightly closed, it’ll move to provide protection. The third eyelid works to keep the eye lubricated and free of debris.
The Dangers of a Damaged Membrane
While we don’t see the membrane that much, it does a lot to keep your dog’s eyes healthy and comfortable. It’s important that issues with the membrane are addressed immediately. One of the most common issues is Cherry Eye.Essentially, the cartilage that supports the eyelid falls. It can’t support the eyelid’s movements. You may be able to see the eyelid at all times, even when your dog is awake. Because it can’t move, it’s constantly exposed to dirt and grime. This could lead to infection.Dogs with Lagophthalmos need to have a healthy third eyelid. Otherwise, they’re at risk for experiencing serious ocular issues.
When Should You Be Concerned?
If your dog’s eyes are only partially opened while they sleep, there’s usually no need to worry. Their third eyelid is working to keep them safe. However, if there is movement associated with the open eyes, there may be something else going on.These movements may indicate that your dog is dreaming or having a seizure. To make sure that you can get your dog the help they need, you must be able to distinguish the two.
Dogs will often twitch while they’re having vivid dreams. Canines are a lot like humans in that sense. It’s believed that dogs twitch when they’re in the REM stage. The REM stage, or rapid eye movement stage, is the deepest state of sleep.For humans, this is when dreaming occurs. It’s theorized that the same is true for canines. Your dog may be dreaming of running around an open field or chasing a bunny.The movement caused by dreaming is completely normal. You may notice your dog twitch aggressively or kick at the air. Sometimes, it’s even accompanied by soft moans or muffled yipping.In most cases, this strange behavior only lasts for a few moments.
Waking the Pup
As a last ditch effort to know for sure that they’re only dreaming, you can wake your pup up. The behavior they exhibit after waking up can be a good indicator of what was really going on.After they’ve woken up, they should have no problem popping back up and returning to their normal routine. They’ll act as if nothing strange was happening at all.
Seizures are a neurological disorder that can be very frightening to witness. The things your dog does during a seizure are completely involuntary. Seizures can occur at any time without much warning.Sometimes, they happen when your dog gets very excited. However, other times, they can happen when your dog is sound asleep.
Seizures vs Twitching
There’s a distinct difference between jerking from a seizure and twitching. The movements will seem more aggressive. Dogs can start thrashing around, kicking, and shaking. They can also cause other bodily harm.
What to Do When it Happens?
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do during a seizure to provide your dog with relief. It’s recommended that you don’t try to restrain them. You have to let it run its course.If you suspect that your dog is having a seizure, you can take a close look at their eyes. Instead of being partially open, the eyes may be fully opened with a blank stare. Your dog’s eyes may not be responsive at all. As for breathing, it will be labored.After the seizure has passed, your dog will not return to normal right away. They’ll be disoriented and very scared. Most dogs aren’t even able to walk immediately after a seizure.