Why is My Puppy Shaking in Their Sleep?

Last updated on: Jan 18, 2024

By: Stephanie Dunne

Short-coated Brown Puppy Sleeping on Brown Mat

Ever noticed your puppy shaking like a little leaf while they're snoozing?

They might look like they're dreaming about chasing squirrels or being in a dog version of Dancing With The Stars! But really, is it normal or something to be concerned about?

Doggy Dreams and REM Sleep

Believe it or not, dogs go through sleep stages similar to us humans, including REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This is the stage where dreams occur for us, and it's no different for dogs.

When your pup is in REM sleep, you may notice them shaking, twitching their paws, or even making soft noises. It's like they're living out their daytime adventures all over again in dreamland!

Common Reasons for Puppies Shaking in Sleep

So, dreaming is a pretty common reason why your puppy might be shaking. Dogs, just like us, have dreams. Ever noticed your pup making running movements or whimpering softly in their sleep? These are prominent signs that they're just dreaming.

Even a cold environment can make your pup shake. Puppies, especially the small and short-haired breeds, can get chilly easily. So, ensure your pup's bed is cozy and warm!

Uncommon Reasons for Puppies Shaking in Sleep

Now, onto the not-so-common reasons. If your pup is shaking more than a maraca in a salsa band, it might be due to some health-related issues like hypoglycemia, distemper, or even a neurological problem.

Distress and anxiety can also cause shaking. Just like us, dogs can suffer from stress too. Changes in the environment or traumatic events can cause them to shake even while asleep.

When Should You be Concerned

So, when should you start to worry? Some behaviors, like shaking or making noises, can be both normal and signs of something serious. It's all about context.

  • Persistent shaking or trembling that doesn't stop after they wake up is a concern.
  • If your puppy starts making weird noises like intense whining or moaning along with shaking, you might want to consult your vet.
  • Is your pup breathing heavy during sleep? This could be a sign of respiratory issues or pain.
  • Crying in sleep could mean distress or discomfort. Frequent crying shouldn't be overlooked.

What Can You Do

Alright, now onto the stuff you can do. Creating a calming environment can do wonders. Soothing music or a soft toy to snuggle with can help ease any stress.

Most importantly, don't hesitate to visit a vet if you notice any concerning signs. When in doubt, always check it out!


In the end, a bit of shaking or twitching while your puppy is dreaming away is quite normal. But if it’s coupled with other unusual signs, it's time to call the vet. Remember, your little pup relies on you to keep them happy and healthy!

And hey, if you're still in the planning stages of getting a puppy, it's essential to know what questions to ask the breeder beforehand. Make sure you're fully prepared by checking out our next article: 23 Important Questions To Ask a Dog Breeder Before Picking Up a Puppy. Don't miss it!

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