8 Reasons Why Dogs Jump Up Suddenly When Lying Down

Dogs are curious creatures who do many things that make no sense to us. It is no surprise that your might suddenly jump up when lying down. This behavior may startle you and make you wonder if everything is alright with your pet. When it comes to the reasons for this behavior, there are many interesting answers, and we will discuss some of them below.

It can happen due to many reasons that are physical or psychological. Watchful dogs may display this behavior more often. Keep reading to learn more about why your dog jumps up suddenly when lying down.

Reasons For The Behavior

As a rule of thumb, consult your veterinarian if any behavior is excessive or seems unusual. Keep in mind that these explanations are to the best of our knowledge. They are not a substitute for the opinion of a licensed professional.

There are many reasons for the behavior, some more serious than others. We still start with the most common reasons.

1. Surprise

The most common reason dogs jump up suddenly when lying down is because something caught them by surprise. Many dogs jump up suddenly while asleep if they hear something unusual. You’ve probably noticed your dog’s ears perk up even while resting. It is not unusual for a dog to be startled by being touched or a loud noise and jump up suddenly.

If your dog engages in this behavior, the explanation could be something that happened before. It might seem like everything is fine to you, but dogs have a sharper sense of hearing. Your dog might have jumped up suddenly because it heard something unusual that you can’t.

2. Alertness

With the previous reason in mind, we can also say that some dogs jump up suddenly because they are on guard. Breeds like the German Shepherd, Dobermann Pinscher, and Australian Shepherd have a watchful and alert nature. They might jump up suddenly when lying down if they notice anything unusual. It could be something as simple as the mailman or another animal in your yard.

Your dog can perceive these situations as threatening, so they might jump up suddenly when they occur, and it is not a matter of concern if you have a breed with these tendencies. It is their temperament that causes this behavior to occur.

3. Dreaming

While we cannot be certain what dogs dream about, they may have dreams about the day’s events. Dogs have two sleep cycles like humans: the REM and non-REM phase. They dream during the REM phase and will show other signs while doing so. Dogs that are dreaming twitch, vocalize and move in their sleep. If your dog has a dream, you will notice the muscles of the face twitch and hear them whining, howling, or growling. If something startles them awake, they will jump up suddenly. Dogs having a nightmare may also jump awake due to the content of their dreams.

If you suspect your dog is dreaming, it is best to leave them be. If you try to wake up your dog by petting it, it could bite you unintentionally.

4. Osteoarthritis

Senior dogs and large breeds can suffer from osteoarthritis, a painful condition that affects their joints. The condition causes inflammation of the joints, which causes severe discomfort. It mostly affects the limbs and lower spine.

When your dog gets comfortable in their bed, immobility can pressure their joints. After sleeping for a few hours, the painful spots will make them very uncomfortable. They might struggle to find comfort and eventually jump up.

You will also notice restlessness and reluctance to jump and climb stairs. Your veterinarian can perform an X-ray to detect arthritis.

5. Anal Gland Impaction

A common reason dogs jump up suddenly while lying down is impacted anal glands. Two anal glands surround the rectum and eliminate foul-smelling liquid when dogs defecate. If there is trouble emptying the glands, they can back up and become inflamed. The condition irritates the anal region. Your dog may also lick the area excessively to soothe their discomfort.

Impacted anal glands will also cause other symptoms. You will notice your pet scooting, licking their anal region excessively, a foul smell from the region, and constipation.

6. Discomfort

If your dog jumps up suddenly when lying down repeatedly, he might be uncomfortable. After jumping up, he will burrow to find a comfortable spot for a while.

Various things can cause discomfort, such as health issues, parasites, and foreign objects. Perhaps something is wrong with your dog’s bed like a toy stuck in a spot he can’t reach. Bug bites, foreign objects, and skin allergies are all a source of discomfort for dogs. Ensure there are no objects in your dog’s bed or where he is lying down that could make him uncomfortable.

7. Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders that can cause your dog to jump up suddenly when lying down include REM Behavior Disorder, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. These disorders can disrupt your pet’s sleep. If you notice changes in your pet’s sleeping habits accompanied by worrying signs, it could indicate a sleep disorder.

8. Seizures

It is common for dogs to have seizures in their sleep or right after waking up. You will notice twitching, thrashing, and tremors. While dogs also twitch when they dream, twitching appears more uncontrolled during a seizure. Once the seizure is over, your dog could jump up suddenly and seem disoriented.

How To Help Your Dog Sleep Better

If your dog keeps jumping up while lying down, consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions. Provide a comfortable place to sleep and a calming environment. If your dog cannot sleep properly due to anxiety, you can use calming treats as well. A veterinary behaviorist can help with persistent sleep problems due to behavioral issues.

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