Skip to Content

Why Does My Dog Bark In His Sleep [4 Reasons Why!]

Dogs barking is a common act of action for them to communicate.

But most of the time, it’s because of excitement or a sense of danger.

The concern of hearing your dog barking in an odd situation is understandable.

Why does your dog bark in his sleep?

If you hear your dog barking in his sleep, it’s probably because he dreams. Dogs experience dreams just like humans. As they can’t communicate verbally, they might end up barking in their sleep. These barks are primarily harmless and happen to every other dog.

I have discussed this weird phenomenon about dogs in more detail in the article below. So, if you want to swim through the dog dreams, I’d suggest you dive right in.

Dogs Barking in Their Sleep: 4 Reasons to Lookout for

Your dog barking in his sleep might sound concerning to you. But trust me, it’s not that of a big deal. 

As we have cleared before, dogs bark in sleep due to dreaming. Like us, dogs tend to get weird dreams about weirder things. At least it isn’t them having diarrhea at night, or it would have been messy.

Their communication skills are limited to barking. So, this is why they bark in sleep if they dream of anything inconvenient.

Now, the reasons for dreams are still unknown to man as they could think of anything. Most are harmless except for nightmares and don’t require extra attention.

Some of these common dream elements that experts note are:

Reason 1: Tasty Treats: Just Like Us!

This is a common dream among every dog species and is nothing harmful. Usually, they would wag their tails, salivate and lightly whimper in happiness in their sleep. 

It’s nothing to worry about and is good. It indicates their good mental health and healthy and happy mind. Dreaming about them having tortillas or popcorn is cheery for every species.

Reason 2: Enemies and Huntings: Gotta Kill em All

If your dog is growling in his sleep, it could be because he dreams about fighting something. It could be a squirrel or a vacuum cleaner.

And just like us, they dream about defeating enemies even in their dreams. Nothing to worry about here. 

Usually, big dogs with a hunting past will have war flashbacks.

Reason 3: Protecting the Owner: The Super Dog

Yes, I am as shocked as you are as well. Our dogs dream about our safety in their sleep as well. How cute is that!

It’s noted among service dogs the most. And that’s because they constantly fear losing their human friend to some scary disease. 

So much that they’d end up dreaming about it and trying to protect it.

This isn’t anything to worry about until your dogs start attacking in their sleep. Until then, it’s best to train your dog to be a hitman and scare your enemies. But hey! you didn’t learn it from me.

Reason 4: Past Trauma: Unfortunate Events 

Nightmares are scary, especially when you’re a harmless puppy. Usually, during these episodes, they get all fussy, scared, and sometimes aggressive.

It could be due to past traumas like having abusive owners and forced breeding. Or else it could be abandonment by previous owners or fear of other animals.

Sadly, these kinds of nightmares are seen among shelter dogs the most. They are generally the most abused and least pampered. And so they get such nightmares and deserve so much love to recover.

What to Do If Dog Bark in his Sleep: 4 Ways to Comfort

Well, your favorite animal may get too fussy in his sleep. In that case, you can do a few things to help him.

Here are four things that might comfort your dog and his nightmares:

Option 1: Providing Comfortable Beds And Blankets for Dogs

Just like us humans, dogs deserve a warm and comfortable sleeping place. 

So, this is why it is essential to ensure the bed and blankets are clean and fuzzy. These would bring comfort to your dog. 

There are many dog-friendly beds out there with the best deals. Here are my favorite brands for dog beds:

Bed 1
Bed 2

These beds are helpful for your dog’s anxiety. And it will also calm them down during any manic episodes. Check them out if you are interested.

Option 2: Making a Dog-Friendly Environment

Your dog needs a place where they feel welcomed and warm. Don’t give them a dirty, cold palace to nest on. It would be a very cheap and unhealthy behavior.

So, ensure enough ventilation and insulation for your dog to be comfortable. Avoid places that are too cramped or too open.

Make sure their bed is placed in a clean and safe space. You don’t want them to have a yeast infection due to poor hygiene. 

Give them a plushie toy or fuzzy blanket if they need a companion.

Option 3: Allowing Them for Sleepover with You

I understand if you don’t like it if your dog invades your personal space. 

But, once in a while, let them crash in your bed with you. If not bed, then at least in the same room as you would help them to feel comfortable. 

Generally, dogs with troubled pasts require extra attention. Letting them sleep close to you would give them reassurance and peace.

Option 4: Separating Them from Everything Traumatic

Lastly, take away everything that can remind them of their traumatic past. No dog should feel unsafe in its own house.

It could be as silly as hiding your mop or as big as not touching them for a while.

Any small gesture of kindness towards them would make them forever appreciative of you. So, treat them with love and compassion.


Can I pet my dog in his sleep?

Maybe it’s encouraged that you shouldn’t unless it’s essential. Dogs are vulnerable when they sleep, so invading their privacy might cause a disturbance. But if you see your dog is having a psychotic episode or need to wake them up, you may gently pet them.

Can dogs get nightmares?

Yes, they can. Nightmares can affect anyone regardless of the species, and dogs are no different. Usually, shelter dogs with abusive pasts or problematic natures have shown signs of demons.

Is it possible for dogs to understand humans?

Yes, most definitely. Dogs are called man’s man and most loyal companions for this particular reason compassion. It is said that dogs can feel your emotions better and are known to be the most compassionate companion for humans.