Do Dogs Eyes Roll back When they Sleep

As a pet owner, it’s only natural to be curious about your furry friend’s sleeping habits. Dogs are known to sleep for long hours, and it’s not uncommon to find them curled up in a ball, snoring away. However, have you ever wondered why dogs’ eyes roll back when they sleep? We’ll explore this fascinating topic in detail and answer all your burning questions.

Understanding the Anatomy of a Dog’s Eye

Before we delve into why dogs’ eyes roll back when they sleep, it’s essential to understand the anatomy of a dog’s eye. A dog’s eye is similar to a human’s eye in many ways. They have a cornea, iris, lens, and retina, which all work together to help the dog see. However, dogs have an extra layer of tissue called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back into the eye, allowing dogs to see better in low-light conditions.

Why Do Dogs’ Eyes Roll Back When They Sleep?

Now, let’s answer the question that brought you here: Why do dogs’ eyes roll back when they sleep? The answer is simple. Dogs’ eyes roll back when they’re in the deep sleep phase, also known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. During this phase, dogs experience intense brain activity, and their bodies may twitch or shake. It’s also common for their eyes to roll back, but there’s no need to worry. This is a completely normal and natural part of the sleep cycle.

Can Dogs Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

While it’s rare, some dogs can sleep with their eyes open. This is known as nocturnal lagophthalmos and can occur for several reasons. For example, some dogs may have a nerve or muscle condition that prevents them from closing their eyes fully while sleeping. This can make their eyes appear wide open, even when they’re fast asleep.

Sleeping with their eyes open can be concerning for pet owners, but it’s not usually a cause for alarm. However, if you notice that your dog’s eyes are dry or irritated from sleeping with them open, you should speak to your veterinarian. They may recommend eye drops or ointments to help keep your dog’s eyes moist and comfortable.

Do Dogs See Dreams in Color?

While we can’t be sure exactly what dogs see in their dreams, it’s believed that they do see in color. Dogs have two types of color receptors in their eyes, just like humans, which allows them to see a range of colors. However, their color vision is not as advanced as ours, and they see the world in a more limited range of hues.

What to Do if You Notice Abnormal Eye Movement in Your Dog

If you notice abnormal eye movements in your dog, such as rapid or involuntary movements, it’s essential to speak to your veterinarian. They can examine your dog and determine the underlying cause of the issue. In some cases, it may be something as simple as dry eyes or a minor infection, which can be treated with medication. In more severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend further testing or treatment.

Do Dogs Need Darkness to Sleep?

While dogs don’t necessarily need complete darkness to sleep, it’s important to create a comfortable sleeping environment for them. Dogs are sensitive to light, so it’s a good idea to create a dark and quiet sleeping area to help them get a good night’s rest. If your dog is sleeping in a room with lots of light or noise, they may be more likely to wake up during the night or have trouble falling asleep.

Do Dogs Have Better Night Vision Than Humans?

Yes, dogs have better night vision than humans. As we mentioned earlier, dogs have an extra layer of tissue called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back into the eye. This helps them see better in low-light conditions, such as at night or in dimly lit rooms. However, dogs’ vision is not as sharp or detailed as ours, and they rely more on their sense of smell and hearing to navigate the world around them.


In conclusion, it is entirely normal for dogs’ eyes to roll back when they are sleeping. This is simply a result of their muscles relaxing and their eyelids not closing tightly. It is a sign that your dog is in a deep sleep and is getting the rest they need. While it is possible for dogs to sleep with their eyes open, it’s not very common, and if you notice your dog’s eyes open while they are sleeping, it could be a sign of a medical condition or injury. It’s important to pay attention to any changes in your dog’s sleeping habits, including eye movement, and discuss them with your veterinarian..