Can Dogs Get Sleep Paralysis

Dogs are man’s best friend and we love them for their loyalty, companionship, and adorable personalities. However, like humans, dogs can also suffer from various health issues. One such condition that has been gaining attention lately is sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis in humans is the feeling of being conscious but unable to move during sleep. But can dogs get sleep paralysis too? Let’s find out!

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is a condition in which a person or animal is temporarily unable to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. This occurs when the brain experiences a disconnect between the body and mind during sleep. During REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the body becomes paralyzed to prevent physical movements while dreaming.

However, sometimes this mechanism can malfunction, causing temporary paralysis even after waking up. This can be a scary experience for humans as they feel trapped in their own bodies unable to move or speak.

Can Dogs Get Sleep Paralysis?

Yes, dogs can get sleep paralysis too. However, it is relatively rare in dogs than in humans. Unlike humans, who experience sleep paralysis due to various factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, etc., the cause of canine sleep paralysis remains unknown.

While there isn’t much research conducted on this topic, some veterinarians believe that certain breeds of dogs may be more prone to this condition than others. Breeds with smaller heads such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers may be more susceptible as they have smaller brains and spinal cords.

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Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis in Dogs

The symptoms of sleep paralysis in dogs are similar to those in humans. The dog may appear awake but unable to move or respond to commands. They may also whimper or cry due to fear or confusion.

Another symptom of canine sleep paralysis is hypnagogic hallucinations – where the dog appears awake but sees images that aren’t there. These hallucinations can be scary for the dog as they may see monsters, people, or other animals in their surroundings.

Treatment and Prevention of Sleep Paralysis in Dogs

There isn’t a definitive cure for sleep paralysis in dogs. However, there are some ways to prevent it from happening. One way is to ensure that your dog gets enough restful sleep. This means providing them with a comfortable bed and environment where they can sleep peacefully without any disruptions or distractions.

Another way to prevent sleep paralysis is by reducing stress and anxiety levels in your dog. Stress can trigger sleep paralysis episodes, so ensuring that your furry friend is happy and relaxed can help prevent this condition from occurring.

If you suspect that your dog has sleep paralysis, it’s essential to take them to the vet immediately. The vet may prescribe medication or recommend behavioral therapy to help manage the symptoms.


Sleep paralysis is a rare but possible condition in dogs. While it can be scary for both the dog and its owner, it’s not life-threatening if managed properly. If you notice any symptoms of sleep paralysis in your furry friend, don’t hesitate to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

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Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Ensure that your dog gets enough restful sleep and reduce their stress levels to prevent this condition from occurring. With proper care and attention, your furry friend will be happy, healthy, and free from any health issues!