It is very troubling watching your dog being uncomfortable all day long. A normal afternoon would entail you and your dog relaxing, a quiet time for you to reminisce on human things and your dog or doggy things. Instead of this, you have your dog jumping suddenly in the middle of the relaxation.

This may be occurring frequently and you are getting worried for your dog. What can be causing your dog to jump up suddenly when lying down? Well, the answer is in two parts, there is the psychological reason and there is the physical health problem reason.

The psychological reason for your dog jumping up suddenly when lying down or sleeping are: Fear, Being on Alert, REM Behavior Disorder, and nightmares.

The physical health reasons or problems that can cause your dog to jump up suddenly when lying down are: Anal Gland problems, Osteoarthritis, High blood pressure, Kidney stones, Fleas and ticks, Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, Slipped disc, Urinary tract infections, and Bloated stomachs.



Let’s explain each of them, how they affect your dog and how you can help them out.


  1. Fear

Your dog may be jumpy because of fear. This fear can be linked to something that happened to them when they were young or some stimuli that they have not learned to deal with properly. Take for example a dog that was stepped on as a puppy or had their tails pulled regularly by a naughty kid would be very fearful of people coming around him or her. This will show itself in your dog jumping up suddenly when someone comes near him or her.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fear stages in a dog’s life. The first stage is usually between eight to eleven weeks of age and the second stage is between six to fourteen months. For the first stage, it usually goes unnoticed because they are puppies at this stage but the second stage is troublesome. Your dog is bigger and heavier now. Being jumpy at this stage can lead to an accident either to your dog, yourself, or someone else.

Socializing your dog early will go a long way in helping your dog to manage this condition.

  1. Being on Alert.

While fear of harm to itself can make your dog jump up suddenly, being on alert makes your dog jump up suddenly for you. Everybody’s dog takes up the natural role of a guard dog. They want to take care of us and protect us. This is what being in a pack means to them.

Your dog is a light sleeper naturally, and their sense of smell and hearing are operating at a higher level, much higher than we can comprehend. So, if your dog startles for no reason and jumps up suddenly while you guys are relaxing. He or she is probably sensing something which they perceive might be a danger.

If you notice your dog acting jumpy best use your sense of observation to investigate what external activity that is likely causing them to do so. Who knows there might be actual danger out there or it’s just a stranger passing by.

  1. REM Behavior Disorder.

This usually happens to some dogs when they are in a deep dream state. They tend to act out what they are experiencing in their dream. They might be playing with another dog or chasing a cat. They’re trying to act out what they are experiencing in their dream will look weird. Jumping up suddenly while laying down is one of the ways in which they act out.

Even though the cause of this behavior is their dream, taking your dog to the vet doctor and getting medication that can help your dog sleep better will go a long way in managing if not totally solving the problem.

  1. Nightmares.

Every dog is susceptible to nightmares as far as they dream. While not all dogs exhibit REM Behavior Disorder, all dogs can have a nightmare. To be clear a nightmare here is experiencing something bad or dangerous happening in a dream state.

A nightmare can be terrifying enough to scare your dog out of sleep. You will notice if your dog jumps up suddenly from a nightmare that the first thing they do is to change their sleeping spot. Just like we humans tend to wash our face, calm down and go back to sleep.

A dog having a nightmare once in a while is normal, but for a dog, the incidence occurring often should be a thing of concern, and it’s very probable in the long run that the cause would not be just nightmares.


  1. Anal Gland problems.

If your dog suddenly jumps up and starts dragging his but on the floor, licking her bottom, you perceive an odor coming from his anus area, have traces of brownish substance left from wherever they sat, then it is highly likely that your dog has anal gland problems.

This problem can only be solved by having your dog’s anal gland expressed. You can do this yourself but it’s better to get it done by a professional vet doctor.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Another physical ailment that causes your dog to suddenly jump up is Osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative joint disease that affects dogs as they get older. A healthy dog’s joint has something called cartilage. The cartilage is what makes movement easy and smooth for them. The wearing down of the cartilage will make movement painful for your dog just like a rusty hinge on a door.

Imagine this scenario, your dog lays down to sleep or relax. Now because of Osteoarthritis, the joint would not relax smoothly. This leads to your dog feeling like some heavy load is being put on his legs, after a little time the muscles get that spike feeling as if experiencing a muscle pull making your dog jump up at the pain. Now, this scenario plays itself over and over again leaving your dog jumping up every now and then to shake off the time and also leaving you with a tired and lethargic dog.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Osteoarthritis, it is a progressive disease that gets worse with age. The good thing is that treatment for it has gotten better and better in modern times. This condition can be managed with diet, exercise, and joint supplements. A session or two with your vet doctor would put you on the right path to managing this ailment.

  1. High blood pressure.

Your dog can startle for no reason or jump up suddenly due to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is usually linked to kidney issues. The inability of the body to adjust the blood pressure due to a faulty kidney will make your dog hyperactive and jumpy to small sensations.

The only way to handle this issue is by getting proper medication for your dog.

  1. Kidney stones.

Kidney stones are one of those things which can go unnoticed in our dogs till they get to critical mass. When they get big, they break up in the kidney area leading to a lot of pain to your dog. Some symptoms of Kidney stones are fever, weight loss, blood in urine, vomiting, and the symptoms which cause your dog to jump up suddenly which are Kidney pain and abdominal discomfort.

There are different methods of treating this health issue from medication and dietary adjustment to surgery and much more. Contact your vet doctor to examine your dog and suggest the proper treatment.

  1. Fleas and ticks.

Why is my dog flinching all of a sudden? Why is it that your dog will be sleeping then jumps up suddenly and starts scratching himself or herself? Well, you really don’t need to look far for this answer. Fleas and ticks are a major cause of discomfort for your dogs.

Your dog’s soft and warm fur is the perfect environment for fleas and ticks to operate, the feed of our dog’s blood and leads to so many other health problems like Anemia, joint problems, reduced appetite, and more.

Flea and ticks problems can be dealt with and treated properly by properly grooming your dog, a good diet, and proper medication from your vet.

Learn more about dog grooming tools and tips here MUST HAVE! ESSENTIAL DOG GROOMING TOOLS AND TIPS

It is also important to know that Fleas and ticks can also affect human beings latching themselves onto us and feeding of our blood, so if you suspect that your dog has fleas and ticks, you must take control and make sure that not just your dog is free from this problem but also your immediate environment is cleaned up and disinfected against this.

You can learn more about fleas and tick here YOUR DOG’S HEALTH BASICS

  1. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis.

This is a dog disease which symptoms include jumpiness, Vomiting, bloody diarrhea, Anorexia, Abdominal pain, Dehydration, Lack of appetite, and more. This disease is common in small dogs and sometimes young dogs coming into adulthood.

It is important to note that Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a fatal disease and should be treated immediately.

  1. Slipped disc.

This is a situation whereby the dog’s discs in the spine are not aligned properly putting pressure on the spinal cord. This condition leads to the damaging of the nerves around the spinal code. If it progresses more, it can lead to internal bleeding which puts more pressure on their nerves.

Other symptoms of slipped disc are Loss of coordination, paralysis, loss of sensation in their leg, weakness, and more.

  1. Urinary tract infections.

This is usually prevalent in older dogs, the summary is that your dog’s body is not able to hold urine for a long period leading to him or her wanting to urinate often. This act of getting up every now and then makes it look like your dog is always jumping up all of a sudden.

Urinary tract infections are usually painful to our dogs and need to be treated as soon as possible. Some of the symptoms of UTI include finding it hard to urinate, whining during urination, strong odor in urine, inability to control their bladder, urinating frequently, blood in urine, fever, vomiting, licking their urinary opening, weight loss, etc.

  1. Bloated stomachs.

A bloated stomach can just be a full dog stomach, but in relation to your dog jumping up suddenly when laying down it can be an indication of excess gas in your dog’s system or a problem with digestion. The bloated stomach in this regard would make it hard for your dog to lie down and relax. Each time your dog tries to do so, he or she is likely going to experience sharp abdominal pain.

For the gas, a little pressure on the tummy would help to release the built-up gas in their tummy and aid their relaxation. For digestive problems, it’s better to contact your vet doctor immediately for an immediate solution. There is likely going to be a change in the dog’s diet to make sure that the food that causes the problem is not consumed again.


i.) First, take your dog to your vet doctor or clinic to confirm there are no underlying health conditions. If there is an underlying health condition, then let your dog get the appropriate medication or treatment whichever applies.

ii.) Switch up the exercising routine to the sleep time or rest period. The aim is to make your dog tired enough to just relax properly or fall asleep whichever one applies. See also how you can switch your other dog activities to help make the rest or sleep period more feasible, these include feeding time, bonding times like daily walks, and training times.

iii.)Provide a comfortable spot where your dog would sleep or relax, whether it is to get a dog bed, dog crate, or a comfortable spot of their own. You can go the extra length and provide them with a warm blanket, one carrying your scent preferably. This way whether your dog sleeps with you or away from you there is always that comforting feeling that you are not far away.

iv.) You can use supplements like Melatonin or natural remedies like valerian roots, St John’s Wort, or Chamomile to aid your dog in relaxing properly. You need to get directives from the experts especially your vet doctor on how to apply these remedies, the dosage, the timing, etc.

v.) You can also consider trying out other remedies like using music, massage therapy, and calming aids.

vi.) When all these fails, seek out an animal behaviorist or dog specialist for some help, of course, this should be in conjunction with your vet doctor.


The only way you can properly deal with this situation is to be observant of your dog and act immediately. Some of the reasons for their jumping is usually a life or death situation. You now have all the necessary information to understand what your dog is going and hopefully, you will act on this newly acquired knowledge. Have a nice day.

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