8 Definitive Reasons Why Your Puppy Shivers When Falling Asleep

Welcoming a new furry friend into your home is a heartwarming experience, but sometimes, you might notice some peculiar behaviors. One such behavior that can leave puppy parents curious and concerned is when their adorable little pup shivers as they drift off to dreamland. It may seem odd when your puppy shivers when falling asleep, but it is common and often harmless. In this article, we’ll explore eight reasons your puppy may experience these delightful shivers while dozing off. So, let’s dive in and unravel the mystery behind your puppy’s adorable sleep-time trembles!

8 Reasons Why Your Puppy Shivers When Falling Asleep

It’s a Natural Reflex

Like humans, dogs have a natural reflex known as the “hypnic jerk” or “sleep startle.” These involuntary movements can include muscle twitches, shivering, or jerking, and they are believed to result from the brain transitioning between wakefulness and sleep. So, if your puppy occasionally shivers as they fall asleep, it’s likely just a normal part of their sleep cycle.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

Dreams and Active Sleep

Like adult dogs, puppies experience REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when dreaming occurs. During this stage, brain activity increases, and muscles may twitch as if your pup is acting out their dreams. Shivering can be a manifestation of these dream-induced movements, making it a genuinely adorable sight.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

Temperature Regulation

Puppies have more difficulty regulating their body temperature than adult dogs. When a puppy drifts off to sleep, their body temperature may drop slightly, causing them to shiver momentarily. As long as they are in a warm and comfortable environment, these shivers are usually nothing to worry about.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

Emotional Responses

Puppies are susceptible and easily influenced by their emotions. Like humans, they can experience excitement, anticipation, or even anxiety. During moments of emotional intensity, your pup may shiver as a physiological response. So, if they’ve had an exciting day full of new experiences, their little bodies might still buzz with excitement as they doze off.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

Pup’s Individual Quirk

Every dog, just like every human, is unique. Some puppies may have a predisposition to shivering when falling asleep due to their temperament. This quirk can be entirely harmless and should not cause concern. Embrace it as a charming characteristic of your furry companion.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

Tiredness and Relaxation

Like us, puppies can experience muscle relaxation as they start to doze off. The shivering you observe could be a natural response to their body relaxing and becoming more at ease. It’s akin to a contented sigh in humans, indicating they are entering a deep and restful slumber.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

Nervous System Development

Puppies’ nervous systems are still developing, and their bodies adjust to new sensations and experiences daily. As a result, occasional shivers during sleep can be a manifestation of their developing nervous system. Over time, these shivers are likely to decrease as your puppy grows and matures.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

Joyful Anticipation

Puppies are full of boundless energy and enthusiasm, and the world is exciting for them. When settling down for a nap, the anticipation of what’s to come can generate a mix of emotions, leading to those delightful shivers. It’s a sign that your furry friend enjoys life to the fullest, even in their dreams.

puppy shivers when falling asleep

What To Do When Your Puppy Shivers While Falling Asleep

If your puppy shivers when falling asleep, there are a few things you can do to ensure their comfort and well-being. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Create a Warm and Cozy Sleeping Environment: Ensure your puppy’s sleeping area is warm, comfortable, and free from drafts. Provide a soft and cozy bed or blanket where they can curl up. You can also use a heating pad designed for pets to provide gentle warmth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use it on a low setting to prevent overheating.
  2. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Establishing a regular sleep schedule can help your puppy feel secure and promote better sleep. Aim for consistent bedtimes and waking times, which will help regulate their sleep patterns and reduce any potential stress or anxiety that may contribute to the shivering.
  3. Provide Gentle Soothing: If you notice your puppy shivering when falling asleep, offer them gentle soothing. You can softly stroke their back or head, speak to them calmly and reassuringly, or even gently massage. These actions can help your puppy relax and feel safe, which may reduce shivering.
  4. Minimize Stress and Anxiety: Puppies are sensitive beings, and stress or anxiety can contribute to shivering during sleep. Create a calm and peaceful environment for your pup by minimizing loud noises, sudden movements, and excessive activity before bedtime. A secure and predictable routine can help them feel more at ease and reduce shivering episodes.
  5. Consult with a Veterinarian: While occasional shivering during sleep is usually harmless, if you have any concerns about your puppy’s behavior or if the shivering persists or is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. They can assess your puppy’s overall health, address any underlying issues, and provide specific guidance based on your puppy’s needs.

Remember, each puppy is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Pay attention to your puppy’s behavior, adapt your approach accordingly, and always prioritize their well-being and comfort.

puppy shivers when falling asleep


If you’ve been puzzled seeing that your puppy shivers when falling asleep, rest assured that they are typically nothing to worry about. Whether it’s a natural reflex, dream-induced movements, temperature regulation, or simply a unique quirk, these shivers add to the charm and innocence of your growing pup. However, if you notice any other concerning symptoms or behaviors accompanying the shivers, it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian for a thorough check-up. Until then, cherish these moments and embrace the joy of having a puppy full of life, even in their sleep!