According to Pet Wave, there are several ways to tell the difference between dreams and seizures. During a dream, a dog’s eyes may be open or closed, or they may flicker open from time to time. During a seizure, a dog’s eyes are usually wide open, like a deer in headlights, with a blank look in its eyes.
Dreaming happens only while dogs are asleep; seizures can happen at any time. They can even occur during moments of alertness and activity. The motions that the body makes during a seizure tend to last longer than the short bursts that occur during a dream. Also, during a seizure, the body goes rigid; during a dream, the body often looks playful and relaxed. The movements associated with a seizure are also more violent than those that happen during a dream.
When having a seizure, dogs may foam at the mouth, vomit, urinate or defecate. This shouldn’t happen when dogs are dreaming. Dogs that are having seizures will be impossible to wake up until the seizure is over. Although it may be hard to wake your dreaming dog, it’s not impossible. If you do try to wake a sleeping dog, try not to touch it, instead use only your voice.
Should you let a sleeping dog lie? If you have a dog that moves around a lot in its sleep, you probably shouldn’t try to wake it up. Dogs need plenty of uninterrupted sleep for optimal brain development. A few barks, twitches, and yips are perfectly normal for most dogs. If you’re ever concerned about your dog’s sleeping patterns contact your vet.