Dog sleepwalking is not as common as in the case of humans. Perhaps you have heard of someone who, in their sleep, got out of the bed, went to the kitchen, and ate a whole burger, and the next day when asked, they do not have an idea of what you are talking about. But you took a photo, and you can prove they are the culprits. The person cannot be blamed as they did so while asleep.
Animals rarely exhibit this behavior. Sleepwalking in dogs is referred to as Somnambulism. The behavior takes place when a dog in their deep sleep gets up, walks, or even runs and engages in activities only done when awake.
Usually, when a dog sleeps much like a human being, the physical body and the conscious mind is shut down by the brain, suspending movement, and relaxing the muscles. However, sometimes this function is altered, and it results in sleepwalking. When this happens, the dog jumps up in their sleep and runs into a wall only to wake up, shocked by what happened.
Dogs and Dreams
The brain of a dog is not much different from that of a human being. Because of that, many people have been asking, ‘do dogs have dreams?’ Extensive research has been done on the topic, so let’s see.
The structure of a dog brain is similar to that of a human being, and therefore brain activity and brain waves when asleep is the same. According to 2000 MIT, rats dream while sleeping, and if that is the case, cats and dogs also dream. It’s during the dreams that dogs sleep bark and twitch.
Dogs can have pretend play. However, it is not scientifically proven that their imagination is active. They may dream of activities that occur during the day, like chasing dream squirrels and imaginary birds. This may be the reason for running into a wall while sleeping.
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Dogs and Nightmares
We all know that nightmares are bad dreams. If dogs can replay daily activities when sleeping, they can also have nightmares replaying traumatic happenings while asleep. In case you suspect your dog could be having nightmares, you should see a vet because there could be an underlying medical condition. During such nightmares, the dog may jump up and run as if chased by someone only to hit a wall.
Sleepwalking can happen with dogs the same way it happens with human beings. When that happens, you must establish the cause. When a dog runs into a wall, they can hurt themselves. While the cause of sleepwalking may not be preventable (like in the case of a replay of daily activities), matters related to nightmares can be worked on even if not entirely.
For instance, if your dog was once rescued from a traumatic event, you can ease them by making their sleeping place comfortable. In case it is an indication of an underlying medical problem, you can have a vet help your dog overcome it.