Have you recently experienced waking up to find your dog staring at you? While this could seem adorable, you may need to pay close attention to your dog from here on.
Your dog may stare at you while you sleep because they heard you wake up, are trying to communicate with you, want to inform you of danger, or confirm that you’re safe.
While it may not be too difficult to figure out the reasons why your dog stares at you while you sleep, there comes a time when you should worry about what this may mean for your dog.
Read on for more details.
Why does your dog stare at you while you sleep
Some dog owners may consider it creepy that their dog stares at them when they sleep. They want to know why their dog is suddenly picking up this habit. Let’s discuss some of the reasons.
There is no issue with your dog wanting to spend more time with you. They could stare at you while you sleep because they desire your company.
When you’re asleep, your dog, if awake, is typically inactive. If your dog has some things it’d like to do with you, it may stare at you while you sleep or as you wake up, hoping you will do those things with them.
Another reason why your dog may stare at you when you sleep is that it’s hungry. It could be a routine to feed your dog early every morning, but your dog’s dietary needs may change as it grows.
It may also stare because your nap time could be interrupting their feeding schedule. Some dogs would even make noises on purpose to wake you up when they get too hungry.
One reason for sleeplessness is boredom. Dogs that feel lonely and bored with nothing to do may stare at their parents while they sleep to keep themselves engaged.
They could also stare, hoping you’d notice them and realize what they want: permit them to roam or play with them.
Also, energetic dogs may stare at you while you sleep in anticipation of a play or walk routine. They may get excited and eager by getting you out of bed.
Dogs feel the need to protect and look out for their parents and the people closest to them. Hence, staring at you while you sleep is a way of looking out for you.
Dogs that sense danger may stare at you to make sure you are safe. When dogs perceive danger or feel slightly uncomfortable, they may come to their owner’s side for comfort.
Among other things, your dog stares at you as a sign of love and admiration.
Your dog staring at you while you sleep is as much an expression of affection as staring while you eat, cook, study, or play with them.
If you notice this habit recurring in your dog more than usual, ensure they are not beginning to get too attached to you.
How should I respond?
Dog owners ask numerous questions to know how to deal with this situation. How do you react to your dog picking up the habit of staring at you while you sleep? Should I encourage it or get worried?
Know your dog
Figure out your dog’s needs because it was likely important enough to wake them up from sleep. You also need to ensure your nap time is not interrupting your dog’s daily play or feeding schedule.
The solution may not always have to be to feed them or play with them. You may need to pay less attention to them or spend less time with them to ensure that they don’t have separation anxiety.
Among other things, you may need to adjust your dog’s feeding schedule to meet their dietary needs. In contrast, you may have to restructure your own routine for this.
A way to ensure your dog sleeps more, gets bored less often, or roams less at night is to get them engaged in more physical activity.
This will reduce their chances of being awake while you sleep, thereby keeping them from staring at you.
Ensure your dog sleeps comfortably
Your dog leaving their beds or pens to come to stare at you while you sleep may be because they are uncomfortable with their sleeping arrangements.
As a dog owner, you must make sure your dog feels safe and comfortable. Make sure where they sleep still meets their personal needs.
For example, your dog may be uncomfortable sleeping in its pen if the pen is getting too small to fit into.
See a professional
When your dog begins to act in very disturbing ways that may signal over-protection or attachment, you should see a professional.
Don’t assume this is normal behavior in your dog. There are specific things you’ll need to do to help and treat a dog that shows signs of over-attachment or separation anxiety.
When should you get worried?
Your dog may not only stare at you while you sleep to show affection or communicate. Certain changes in your dog may lead you to begin to worry about their health.
Your dog may be unable to sleep because of discomfort, illness, pain, anxiety, or a condition experts call “sleep apnea.”
Your dog staring at you when you sleep and causing a nuisance are only some signs pointing to the fact that something may be wrong with it.
If, after providing all you think your dog may need, it still retains this staring habit alongside some disturbing behavior, you should consider taking your dog for a checkup.
Your dog may have become too overprotective by always wanting to be around you or play with you even when you’re asleep.
Some dogs pick up new disturbing habits apart from just staring. They may show signs of separation anxiety when they get separated from you.
Dogs with separation anxiety and a fear of being without their owners will express some disturbing symptoms, like being destructive or aggressive with little or no provocation.
This could also suggest your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort. Hence, you cannot afford to put off your dog staring at you while you sleep as just a sign of affection or protection.
Other disturbing symptoms
Other signs like sleeplessness cause dogs to possibly roam or stare while you’re asleep. Sleep apnea is a disorder that restricts airflow, making it difficult for your dog to breathe while they sleep.
Sometimes, dogs may not only stare at you while you sleep; they could wake you up by turning things over, kicking things, or making noises.
These are signs of anxiety and could be nature’s way of saying there may be something physically or mentally wrong with your dog.
Dog checking on you while you sleep
The reason your dog stares at you when you sleep can be categorized into two folds, as I have mentioned.
Your dog will check up on you from time to time while you sleep because they are very sensitive even to the softest sounds and quickest movements.
When they perceive danger, dogs may constantly check up on you while you sleep to ensure that you are safe.
Apart from this, when their owners are sick, dogs could keep watch by their side while they sleep. Some testimonies have allowed us to believe that dogs can tell when their owners are critically ill.
In this case, dogs could just keep staring at their owners because they can sense that something is off.
Dogs that are overly attached to their owners always want to monitor them even while they sleep. They also seek their owner’s attention and want to be around them all the time.
This habit is unhealthy for dogs because over-attached dogs don’t do too well in their owner’s absence.
As a dog parent, you must spend only a moderate, reasonable, and healthy amount of time alone with your dog.
Another reason your dog would stare at you when you sleep may be because they are curious.
They may have heard you stir, snore, or talk in your sleep, which makes them stare in a bid to read your expression or movement because they’re concerned about you.
At this point, you could wake up and begin to wonder how long they must have been staring. When you keep giving them a show in your sleep, they are bound to watch.
Usually, you may not need to worry about why your dog stares at you when you sleep; however, you should not be too indifferent about it. You have to make the right decisions when this situation presents itself.
Provide your dog with whatever they may need: time, attention, food, checkup, less attention, or even denying them access to your room.