Dog Sleeps with Eyes Open: Why?

Have you ever seen your dog falling asleep, and then after a while, they are sleeping with their eyes open? Although this might seem a little weird, there’s nothing to worry about if you witness this. 

But why a dog sleeps with eyes open? They should have their eyes closed at all times – that’s the normal thing to do!

If you are concerned or worried that your dog might have a medical condition, then read this article so you can learn more about this matter and how to approach it.

Why Dog Sleeps With Eyes Open? 3 Possible Reasons

There are moments when your dog is so tired that they fall completely asleep, and they close their eyes in a natural and common movement that we all do.

So, if they have their eyes open while sleeping, it might seem weird at first, but what are the real reasons behind this? Before we continue, check out if Dogs Can Eat Banana in our related post.


1. Your Dog is Not Entirely Sleep

Perhaps your dog is “pretending” to be asleep and is still trying to count sheep to go to the Realm of Dreams. Since dogs are predators by nature, they want to always be aware of their surroundings, even if they are as tired as they can be.

This is not a major issue at all – some dogs even have the ability to rest with their eyes partly open, so they can quickly detect any danger in case they are somewhere they don’t fully trust.


2. Your Dog is Fully Sleep and In REM Cycle 

Another reason why your dog is sleeping with an eyelid open is that they are already in a full REM cycle. When the REM cycle hits your dog, they start dreaming, barking, and even twitching in their sleep.

They can also partially open their eyes, but they are, in practice, totally and utterly asleep. Do not wake up your dog if they are fully asleep – interrupting their REM cycle is one of the worst things that you can do, and it might also have a negative impact on their health.


3. There’s a Problem with Your Dog’s Eye

At last, perhaps your little dog has an eye condition. This might be hereditary or developed over time. Although this is not common to happen, you should be alert whether this condition affects their day-to-day life or not.

If your dog just suddenly started to sleep with their eyes open, then probably their eye is damaged, and you need to take them to the vet, so this matter can be resolved professionally.

Should I Worry About Dog Sleeping with Eyes Open?

You should not worry about eyes opening while your dog is sleeping unless you notice sudden changes in its behavior. For instance, if you believe that their eye is getting too dry, then it might be time to go to the vet.

It is highly unlikely that a veterinarian tells you that having eyes open while sleeping is a sign that something bad is happening to your dog. Needless to say, any worries you have must be talked with a professional as soon as you have a chance.

Some narcoleptic and epileptic dogs tend to sleep with their eyes open, but there are other signals regarding seizures and bad health episodes besides sleeping with eyes open, so this is not the main indicator that you should be worried about.

Why is Dog Twitching While Sleeping with Eyes Open?

Dogs start twitching and having sudden movements while sleeping because they have reached the REM stage of their sleep. 

This is nothing bad at all – in fact, it is an indication that your dog is dreaming! Perhaps they are dreaming about eating fish (Can Dogs Eat Fish anyway?).


Pet Recap: Why Do Dogs Sleep with Eyes Open?

Dogs sleeping with eyes opened is not a cause of major concern. We understand that you want your dog to be as healthy as possible, but this is just a canine behavior that should not alarm you.

The only moment when you should feel alarmed is that, besides sleeping with eyes open, they are showing signs of other diseases.

Other than that, let your furry friend sleep, and love them as much as you can!


Why Does My Senior Dog Sleep with Eyes Open?

Your senior dog sleeps with its eyes open because they are simply too tired and want to rest for a while. They are probably in a weird position on their bed, which makes them accidentally open an eye after a while. Don’t worry – this is nothing bad! Senior dogs need to sleep more, and they also need more care. They are like little puppies!

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