Why Do Dogs Moan in their Sleep? 16 Common Causes

Dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and love. But did you know that they also moan in their sleep?

Many dog owners notice this when they share a bed with their furry friends or let them sleep on the couch.

But why do dogs moan in their sleep, well the most common reason is because they are experiencing a dream.

Dreams in dogs work the same way as they do in humans, during REM sleep the brain is active, and neurons fire which causes muscle movement and sometimes vocalization.”

However, there could be other causes for your dog moaning, restless sleep, strange sounds or usual behavior or breathing pattern that I will explain in this article.

So, let’s get started!

Why Do Dogs Moan In Their Sleep

Dogs sleep differently than humans, but the periods of their slumber or sleep behavior are similar. As dogs rest deeply and quickly, they wake up very easily if awakened by something sudden or alarming such as pain in an area where there is none.

An unusual moaning or rapid eye movement can be an alert that requires attention because it could mean serious trouble has happened near them while they were sleeping peacefully before waking themselves up with these weird noises.

There are many reasons why do dogs moan in their sleep. The following 16 are some of the most common:


Why do Dogs Moan in their Sleep

Dogs moan in their sleep when they are feeling some degree of pain. This is why it is important to make sure your dog sleeps on a comfortable bed at room temperature that is not too cold or warm. Now it could be joint pain or maybe bone pains that are causing the dog to moan.

Dogs may also moan when they are experiencing pain during the day, so if you notice your dog moaning while he/she sleeps, it might be time to give him some medicine for his discomfort.

Lack Of Oxygen

If your dog is sleeping on his back and starts moaning or making strange noises, it might be a sign that he is not getting enough oxygen.

This could be due to the position he is sleeping in or because of an illness that hinders his respiratory system. Ensure your dog sleeps on his side rather than on his back to avoid this problem.

Furthermore, there could also be a respiratory infection in nasal passages that could be causing a sort of pain and leading to moaning. In this case, you would notice other symptoms such as your dog’s snoring, loud breathing, and possibly sneezing.

Nasal washes might help to clear the infection and stop the moaning at night.

Heart Problems

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from medical conditions like heart problems that may cause them to moan in their sleep.

Heart problems are more common in older dogs, but they can also affect younger ones. Heart disease may be the reason for your dog’s constant moaning while he’s catching some shut-eye.

If you notice your dog moaning, irregular breathing patterns, increased breathing rate, and panting heavily, it might signify that he is not feeling well, and you should take him to the vet for treatment options.


Dogs may also moan and have disturbed sleep cycles while they are sleeping due to a cough. If your dog has been coughing a lot during the day, he may continue coughing in his sleep.

This can be a sign of many different health problems such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or even heart disease.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Dogs can also moan in their sleep because of gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers.

If your dog is constantly moaning and you notice that he has lost his appetite or if he refuses to eat, it might be a sign of gastric ulcers or liver damage.

If your dog is constantly moaning, you should observe his body language, facial expressions and try to find out the source of pain that is causing body of dogs twitch and help him feel better.

If that doesn’t help consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Ear Infections

Dogs can get ear infections just like humans, which can cause them to moan constantly in their sleep.

If you notice your dog is always restless and snores heavily, or has a breathing issue it might be a sign of an ear infection or other health problems.


Dogs can also moan in their sleep because of stress. If your dog is stressed about something, he may moan in his sleep as a way of releasing the tension.

Make sure your energetic puppy has a comfortable place to sleep and try to reduce the amount of stress in his life.


If your dog moans every time he is about to fall asleep, it might be a sign of insomnia.

Insomnia can be caused by many different things, such as stress, pain, anxiety, or an abnormal brain activity level. If your dog is having trouble sleeping, it might be a good idea to take him to the vet, sleep specialist or a sleep doctor.

Allergies Or Asthma

Dogs can also moan or show sleep disorder in their sleep because of allergies or asthma. If your dog is constantly gasping and moaning, it might be a sign that he is not breathing properly.

If you notice your dog has a heavy coat of fur, it might be time to take him to the groomer to get it shaved. This will help him breathe better, and he will stop moaning in his sleep.

Abdominal Effusion

Abdominal effusion occurs when fluid builds up around the abdominal organs. This condition can cause dogs to moan because of discomfort and pain, but it often occurs when dogs are asleep.

If your dog is moaning and groaning in his deep sleep, there might be fluid around his stomach that causes him pain.

Make sure you check your dog’s symptoms, body language, and behavioral conditions, and then visit the vet if he is always moaning in his sleep, as it might be a sign of a more severe illness or condition.

The Issue With Their Teeth

Dogs can also moan while they are sleeping if there is a problem with their teeth. If your dog’s breath smells bad and he groans when he is sleeping, it might be a sign that his teeth are infected.

If your dog’s teeth are in bad shape, they may need to be cleaned or even extracted by a veterinarian. The cost of treatment will depend on the severity of the problem.

Dental disease is one of the most common health problems in dogs, so it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s teeth and gums.

Proper dental care is essential for your dog’s health, so make sure you brush his teeth every day and take him for regular checkups.

Dreaming About Chasing Prey Or Being Chased By Predators

Dogs sometimes moan in their deep sleep because of the dreams they are having. If your dog is constantly making moaning noises, it might be because he is dreaming about chasing prey or being chased by predators.

This is a completely normal sleep-related groaning occurrence, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Don’t worry; your dog is not in any pain.

They’re Uncomfortable On The Floor

Dogs will sometimes moan in their sleep because they are uncomfortable. If your dog is constantly shifting position, it might be a sign that he is not comfortable.

Make sure your dog has a nice place to sleep, whether it’s in his own bed or on the couch with you. Furthermore, a comfortable position will help him sleep better and will reduce the moaning.

Their Body Systems Are Telling Them To Urinate

Dogs will sometimes moan in their sleep because they need to go to the bathroom. If your dog is shifting positions and moaning, it might be because he has fluid buildup and needs to go pee.

Make sure you take him outside regularly and put him on a potty schedule so he can avoid having accidents in his sleep.

They Have Separation Anxiety

Dogs will sometimes shift positions and moan in their sleep because they are separated from their pack or bed partners. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time, he might start moaning in his sleep as a way of coping with the separation.

Make sure you spend plenty of time with your dog and try to leave him alone for short periods of time.

They Need More Exercise

Dogs will sometimes moan in their sleep because they need more exercise. If your dog is constantly restless and moaning, it might be because he needs to burn off some energy.

Make sure you take him for walks and play with him regularly so he can get the exercise he needs.

How Can I Help My Pet Feel Better?!

If your dog is moaning in their sleep, there are a few things you can do to help them feel better.

1. First, make sure they are in an environment that is perfect for your pet to feel comfortable. If they are cold, you can provide them with a blanket or pillow to ease their discomfort.

You can also check to make sure they are happy with their location, whether on the couch or in bed with you!

2. Second, you should always consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet’s health.

There could be an underlying issue causing them to moan in their sleep, and only a professional can help you address the problem.

3. Give your pet some extra attention and love when you see them moaning in their sleep. If they are groaning because of pain or discomfort, the best thing you can do is help them feel better.

Your dog will feel much better once they are in perfect health.

4. You should also feed your dog on a regular schedule, so they do not have to go too long without food

5. You can also try to train him not to moan in his sleep by using positive reinforcement, but understand that it might take time for this method to work.

Dogs moan in their sleep for various reasons, but most of the time, it is nothing to worry about. If you are concerned, make sure you consult with your veterinarian.

Finally, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and is in good physical health. If your pet is not getting enough exercise or sleep, that could be a major cause of the noise.

Dogs need at least one hour of exercise per day, so make sure you provide that for your furry friend!

Other Solutions and Considerations

A groan from your dog might result from boredom or hunger, which can be prevented by keeping him occupied when he begins to groan.

Feeding your dog regularly, providing him with a comfortable place to sleep, and giving him plenty of attention may help prevent this behavior.

If your dog’s groaning is out of control and you have run out of solutions, you might seek the assistance of a behavioral therapist or a trainer to help you keep his groaning at bay.

Going easy on your dog is key to his well-being. An old pet can only withstand so much, and giving him too many activities will tire him out quickly without the right care for pain relief in mind.

It’s also important not to overwork a puppy since exercising them when they hurt their joints may cause arthritis later, just as it does with humans – something you don’t want to make a habit of.

Consult your dog trainer for suggestions on appropriate physical therapy and a pleasant exercise and rest routine for your dog or puppy.

It’s critical to demand a CT scan during your veterinary appointment to discover any underlying medical causes of dog groaning that can’t be found by touch or the naked eye.

Ascites can be reduced by decreasing the amount of salt in your dog’s diet and keeping him leashed or confined to a safe location to avoid him getting into an accident.

 Why Does My Dog Twitch And Moan In His Sleep?

As any dog owner knows, our furry friends sometimes do some pretty strange things. One of the most common and puzzling behaviors is when dogs twitch and moan in their sleep.

While it might look like they’re having a bad dream, there’s actually a perfectly good explanation for this behavior. Dogs are descended from wolves, which are hunting animals.

In the wild, it’s not uncommon for wolves to chase down their prey for hours at a time. As a result, they need to be able to take quick naps in order to conserve energy.

When dogs twitch and moan in their sleep, they are replaying the hunt in their dreams and trying to build up muscle memory. In other words, it’s just their way of practicing for the real thing!

Furthermore, it can also be a sign of respiratory infection that could be causing a change in his body language and normal sleep movements. If this is the case, you’ll likely see other symptoms like lethargy, a decrease in appetite, and fever.

If your dog is showing any of these signs, it’s important to take him to the vet right away.

Why Do Dogs Groan When In Pain?

Groaning is a way for dogs to communicate that they are in pain. By moaning, they can let their owners know that something is wrong and that they need help.

There could be a wide range of reasons but dogs will usually moan when they are hurt or when they are having a difficult time to move around. Groaning can also be a sign of frustration, as when a dog is trying to get up but can’t because of an injury.

In some cases, groaning may be a way for dogs to self-soothe, as the act of moaning can release endorphins that help to ease the pain.

Whatever the reason, it is important to take notice if your dog starts groaning and to seek veterinary assistance if necessary.


In the end, I hope now you have a better understanding that why do dogs moan in their sleep and what you can do about it. Moreover, if you think your dog is in pain, then it’s essential to seek professional help as soon as possible.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us. We are always happy to help!

Thanks for reading!
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