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Pat, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1069
Experience:  10 years of veterinary experience in private practice and emergency care
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why my old dog suddenly jumps up while sleeping or resting

Customer Question

she is an old mutt, who has always been a nervous dog
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Pat replied 9 years ago.

This is pretty common is older dogs (and older people!)
(I know....)
Anyway, dogs as they get older have a more difficult time sleeping soundly in general. They more sleep more frequently, but they do not sleep as deep. This type of sleep is actually much closer to the dream state and dogs do dream. The jumping can be a nervous reaction to a normal stimulis made odd due to her loss of hearing and eyesight. It may also be a dream that she is repeating. You might be able to settle her by touching her very lightly, or saying her name very softly.

Another trick you can try is adding Valerian Root to her dinner. Valerian is an herb that you can purchase at a co-op or health food store. It is a powerful sleep aid. I would give her 1 dropperfull per 50 lbs (so 25 lb=1/2 dropperful). It is safe and I'll bet she sleeps through the night!

I hope this helps.

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Dr. Pat