It can be scary when your dog suddenly jumps up when lying down.
So why do dogs do this?
Here you’ll find the answers.
Keep reading to discover:
- 12 reasons why your dog jumps up suddenly when lying down.
- How sudden jumping can be a bad thing.
- Why dogs jump in their sleep.
- And more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog jump up suddenly when lying down?
- Why does my dog jump in his sleep?
- 12 reasons why your dog is jumping up suddenly when lying down
Why does my dog jump up suddenly when lying down?
Your dog could suddenly jump up when lying down because of medical issues such as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, arthritis, anal glands, a slipped disc, high blood pressure, kidney stones, a kidney or a bladder infection. Or due to alertness, nightmares, or gas in the tummy caused by unsuitable food.
Why does my dog jump in his sleep?
Your dog could jump in his sleep if he’d just awoken from a nightmare or a sudden sound. Or, if he’s in pain. Disrupted sleep is common to dogs having some kind of painful health issue.
12 reasons why your dog is jumping up suddenly when lying down
#1: Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis
According to Debra L. Zolan hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is common in small dog breeds, affecting young (two to four-year-old) and middle-aged dogs.
Detecting your dog suffers from it is tricky because sometimes the signs could be subtle. This health issue can progress very quickly and lead to death if not treated timely and accordingly.
Signs of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis include:
- Lack of appetite.
- Change in behavior.
- Diarrhea with blood.
- Abdominal pain.
Reading tip: 18 reasons why your dog is acting weird or strange
If your dog is older and has arthritis, this could make them anxious.
What happens is that they may get comfy on the couch or in bed, and all of a sudden feel stiff and sore. Then, before you know it, you might see them running around the house, trying to feel their body and get control of their limbs.
Here’s the explanation.
When your dog’s walking around or running, they might not feel the painful spots in their body. But when the body goes into a static sleeping position, immobility puts pressure on the joints.
So, as a result, your dog sleeps for a couple of hours. Then, all of a sudden, they jump up, start pacing around the house and, after a while, try to get comfy and sleep again.
Your dog will be restless be it night or daytime. After repeatedly waking and jumping up several times, they’ll feel exhausted and try to make up for the lost sleep.
In addition to that, have you noticed your dog being reluctant to climb or go down stairs?
When there’s such a behavioral change, it’d be useful to do X-rays. This way your vet could detect arthritis.
#3: Anal glands
Maybe your dog needs to have their anal glands expressed. These can become full and as a result, the dog will need to get up, or suddenly jump because they feel uncomfortable.
Some people who have experienced took their beloved dog to a groomer for an opinion.
And while the groomer said everything with the glands was ‘fine,’ a check-up at the vet showed that they were full.
You should bear two things in mind before you seek a groomer and a vet’s opinion:
- Groomers only perform exterior expressions with pressure.
- Vets perform internal cleaning of the glands.
Here are some more signs pointing to the fact that the glands need to be squeezed (expressed):
- Your dog drags their bottom on the floor.
- The dog licks their bottom area.
- There’s an odor coming from your dog’s anus.
- There’s a trace of a brownish substance left where your dog was sitting.
Is your dog treated against fleas?
If so, they might not have a big flea problem but several fleas that are not yet dead. These could be causing discomfort.
When fleas are the cause of your dog’s discomfort, the dog will start scratching or biting a spot where they felt the flea bite.
In such a case, your vet could use a flea comb to check for fleas. Even if it comes out clean, it’s still not a 100% guarantee that there aren’t a few fleas left.
#5: Having nightmares
Let’s be clear. This can happen from time to time. But if you witness your dog behaving like this more often, then the cause could be more serious.
After your dog wakes up from a scary nightmare, they might change their resting spot. Many dogs would do this. After all, they can’t talk to you about what it was that frightened them.
And when you think about it, you probably get out of bed too after having a nightmare.
It’s always refreshing to take a walk to the bathroom or the kitchen to splash your face with water or have a sip of water.
Dogs would do something similar after waking up suddenly. The common thing is that both humans and dogs would remove themselves from the place where the nightmare occurred.
You might also enjoy: 5 reasons why you shouldn’t bother a sleeping dog (no petting, please!)
#6: Sleep behavior disorder
It’s not only humans who could be affected by it. Dogs get it too.
Have you already ran a series of tests such as general blood and urine profiles, blood pressure, ultrasound, X-rays?
If they don’t seem to lead to an answer, maybe your dog suffers from sleep behavior disorder.
When the cause for the sudden jumps is a sleep disorder, the vet might prescribe potassium bromide. But since potassium bromide takes longer (months) to be absorbed by the system, the vet could also prescribe Clonzepam.
#7: Slipped disc
If your dog has a slipped disc, it means they could be feeling a lot of pressure on their spinal cord and nerves.
A sudden slip of a disc could mean bleeding in the spine. This pressures the nerves even more.
Additional signs to recognize whether your dog has a slipped disc include:
- Lack of coordination.
#8: High blood pressure
Dogs suffer from high blood pressure when there’s an underlying disease process in their body.
High blood pressure in dogs usually points to a kidney disease. The kidneys are responsible for regulating the blood pressure.
When a kidney is diseased, it cannot adjust the blood pressure.
#9: Kidney stones
If your dog has small kidney stones, they might not show signs for it at all.
Kidney stones are detectable by X-rays.
So, what’s so dangerous about kidney stones?
If they become big or a part of them breaks off, your dog could start feeling a lot of pain. This could also damage the kidney.
Signs of kidney stones (besides jumping up) are:
- Abdominal discomfort.
- Urine with blood.
- Kidney pain.
- Lack of appetite.
- Weight loss.
#10: Urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI) usually affect older dogs or dogs suffering from diabetes.
Keep in mind though that there are different types of bladder stones that tend to form either in males or females, older dogs, or even in certain breeds.
These infections are not only painful but also dangerous to the health of a dog.
Signs which can help you recognize an UTI are:
- Difficulty urinating.
- Bloody or cloudy urine.
- Frequent need to pee.
- Whining during peeing.
- No control of the bladder.
- Weight loss.
- Intense back pain.
- Urine with a strong odor.
- Licking the urinary opening often.
Dogs sleep lightly in general as they’re always ready to protect.
Maybe your dog hears a nearby sound that your ears fail to ‘catch.’ And as soon as they do, you see them jump up like a kangaroo.
Do they look in a certain direction after that? As if something has drawn their attention?
When your dog is alert, their ears will be pointed up, and the forehead will get a bit wrinkled.
#12: Gas in the tummy
This one is relatively easy to find out on your own.
Especially when you’re resting on the couch or on bed, cuddling with your pooch.
Sometimes this could be the cause for abrupt waking up. At times gas would pass unnoticed, while other times you’ll hear it just right before your dog wakes up.
To deal with this, consult your vet for a more appropriate diet.
Some dog owners have tried switching to dog food whose first 3 ingredients were some kind of meat. Previously they’d get food with grains and vegetables. The end result was a better-feeling dog.
Note: Dog food that contains more meat is usually more expensive than one that consists of mostly grains and veggies.