Picture this: your furry friend, curled up in a cozy ball, is fast asleep when suddenly their tail starts wagging vigorously as if they just spotted a delicious treat!
But wait, something is off… their eyes are fluttering, their body is twitching, and you start to realize that your pup is experiencing some wild dreams!
Well, if you’ve noticed your dog wagging its tail in sleep, it is time to find out why they do this! Here are 9 reasons behind snoozy tail wagging!
9 Reasons Why Dog Is Wagging Tail In Sleep
Ever wondered why dogs wag their tails in their sleep?
Well, there are a few reasons, from dreamy excitement to fearful nightmares, and even some potential health alerts such as seizures.
Let’s explore the intriguing reasons behind this common phenomenon!
1. Your Pup Is In REM Sleep Cycle
REM stands for “Rapid Eye Movement,” and it’s a phase of the sleep cycle that both humans and animals experience. During this phase, your pup’s eyes move rapidly beneath their closed eyelids, which is where the name comes from.
We can also call this phase deep sleep because it is when all the dreams start happening!
All dogs, especially young puppies, spend about 20% of their sleep in the REM phase which is when they have no control over their muscle movements.
During REM sleep, your pup’s brain is super active. In fact, it’s almost as active as it is when they’re awake!
This part of the sleep cycle is very important for your pup’s overall health and well-being. It helps their smart brains process information, collect and review all of their memories, as well as regulate their emotions while being completely relaxed.
If your pup sleeps for 10 hours a day (which is pretty normal), it means that they are spending around 2 hours a day in REM sleep!
So, the next time you catch your pup snoozing and wagging tail in their sleep, you can rest assured that they’re getting some much-needed brain work done!
2. Your Pup is Having Happy Tail Dreams
When your pup is having happy tail dreams, it’s a pretty adorable sight! Their tail is wagging like crazy and their tiny feet are twitching back and forth!
So, what kind of dreams might your pup be having when their tail is wagging in their sleep?
Well, it is very likely that their tail is wagging in response to whatever positive things they are experiencing in their dream.
Maybe they are chasing a ball, trying to catch that darn squirrel, getting belly rubs, or simply hanging out with their favorite human. They might also dream about playing, eating, going for walks, or even just snuggling up in their favorite blanket. Who knows!
The reason why your pup wags their tail during happy dreams is because their brain is releasing feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
This is why they might be wagging their tail, twitching their ears, or even making little barks or whimpers in their sleep – they are feeling great!
3. Your Pup’s Sleepy Tail Tells A Tale Of Contentment
We have already said a few things about happy tail wags your dog is exhibiting during deep sleep, but there is a subtle difference between happy dreams and content dreams or feelings.
Happy dreams might be more high-energy and exciting, while content dreams are more peaceful and serene. Additionally, content puppy dreams are long-lasting.
Similar to happy dreams, your pup might be wagging their tail in response to positive stimuli.
But this time, their brain releases oxytocin which helps them feel more calm than excited. They are feeling relaxed and zen, and you might even hear them snore loudly!
This is why you might notice their tail wagging more slowly or gently, rather than the frenzied wagging you might see during a more exciting dream.
And as any dog parent knows, there is nothing better than seeing your furry companion feeling happy and relaxed!
4. Your Pup Is Shaking During Sleep
Who enjoys being cold in their sleep? I don’t know about you, but I think your puppy would prefer being warm and snug!
Puppies can feel chilly when they’re sleeping, especially if they’re in a cold room or not snuggled up with a cozy blanket.
Another possible reason for shaking and tail wagging during sleep is that your pup might be feeling sick or uncomfortable. Pups can catch a common cold which can cause fever and shivers. In this case, the tail is shaking, it is not wagging happily!
This could be a way of trying to regulate their body temperature, or just a general sign of discomfort or unease.
In addition to their tail wagging, you might feel that their nose and ears are cold. Or in case of high fever, their ears might be super-hot to the touch.
This calls for some extra comforting, warm blankets and snuggling!
5. Nightmare On Doggy Street
When your pup is experiencing a nightmare, they might start to shake, whimper, and of course, wag their tail in their sleep. This could be a sign that they are feeling scared or stressed out, even in their dreams.
While it’s hard to know exactly what your pup is dreaming about, it’s possible that they’re reliving a stressful experience from their past, or they’re imagining a worst-case scenario that’s causing them to feel scared.
When your pup is feeling scared or stressed out during sleep, it’s not uncommon for them to lose control of their bladder and pee themselves.
This can be embarrassing for your pup, but it’s nothing to be too worried about, just make sure to clean up any messes and reassure your furry friend that they’re safe and loved.
While canine nightmares can be scary and unsettling for your pup (and for you!)It’s important to remember that they are a natural part of the sleep cycle.
Therefore, give your furry companion some extra love and snuggles, and rest easy knowing that they are dreaming of chasing squirrels or snuggling up with their favorite human – not just the scary stuff!
6. Puppy Nightmares? More Like Anxiety Dreams
Some dog breeds are more prone to anxiety than others.
Anxiety dreams can be caused by a variety of factors, including changes in routine or environment, separation anxiety, or fear of certain noises or experiences.
If your pup is having anxiety dreams, it is important to identify the root cause of their stress and work to address it as soon as possible.
For example, if they’re anxious about being left alone, you might need to gradually get them used to being alone for longer periods of time, or provide them with comforting toys or blankets to help ease their anxiety.
Anxiety dreams can be unsettling for both you and your furry friend, but they are also a natural part of the puppy sleep cycle.
With a little patience and understanding, you can help your pup feel more relaxed and content, both during the day and when they’re snoozing at night.
7. They’re Feeling Like Top Dog
Believe it or not, your dog wagging their tail in sleep might be because they are feeling extra-confident and in control!
When your pup is feeling confident, you might notice them wagging their tail in a relaxed, rhythmic pattern, both in sleep and when awake. This is usually a good sign which means that they are feeling happy and at ease, even in their dreams.
On the flip side, it can be a bit troublesome if your dog is trying to be the boss of you, so it is important to assert dominance to your pup when he’s awake.
What kind of dreams might inspire this tail-wagging confidence? Maybe your pup is dreaming of being the alpha, successfully catching that squirrel, or winning first place in a doggie contest!
Whatever the dream, it is clear that your pup is feeling pretty good about themselves!
8. Sleepy Tail Wagging Signals Submissive Surrender
When your pup is feeling submissive, both in the awake world and in dreamland, you might notice their tail wagging in a slow, gentle pattern, or even a tucked tail!
This is a sign that they’re feeling unsure or even a little scared, even in their dreams.
In the wild, dogs show submissive behaviors through various tail positions. But, tail tucking and slow tail wagging are the most common signals that they mean no harm and are willing to surrender.
In a dream, these behaviors might reflect your pup’s desire to avoid conflict or stay out of trouble.
What kind of dreams might inspire this submissive tail-wagging behavior?
If you notice your pup exhibiting submissive tail-wagging behavior, it’s important to show them love and support.
9. Dog Tail Wagging In Sleep During Seizures
A not-so-normal reason why your dog wags their tail in sleep is that they might be experiencing a seizure. Mind you, seizures are quite different from simple eye-twitching and tail wagging during the REM phase.
During a seizure, dogs may experience involuntary muscle movements, including those in their tail.
The part of their brain that controls tail movement is located in a different area than the part of the brain that controls the rest of the body. So even though the rest of the dog’s body is experiencing the seizure, the part of the brain that controls tail movement can still be active.
The most important thing is to stay calm, keep your dog safe, and contact your vet. Make sure your pooch is in a comfortable position and away from any potential hazards, like sharp objects or stairs.
Our pups are truly amazing creatures, and their brains work in mysterious ways.
The phenomenon of dog wagging tail in sleep is just one example of the fascinating things that happen in their minds.
So the next time you see your pup snoozing and their tail starts wagging, remember that they’re probably off on some exciting dream adventure!