Dog Screaming Into Pillow

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 01/17/23 •  6 min read
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Dog Screaming Into Pillow

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A while back, there was a meme of a small dog screaming into a pillow. We’re not sure if that was real or not; however, one thing is sure. Dogs do sometimes scream, and they may scream into a pillow or blanket. But why?

That’s a question we wanted to answer. So, we did some research to see what could cause a dog to cry into a pillow. If you’d like to learn more about this issue, read on!

Can Dogs Scream?

Dogs don’t cry the same way we do. They don’t produce salty tears when they’re said; however, they can scream, whine, whimper, and more. But what causes a dog to scream?

If you’ve never heard your fur baby scream, it can be very unsettling when it happens for the first time. Dogs can and do scream. The sound is something intense, primal, and loud. It’s hard to believe your canine companion can even produce such a sound.

When you hear it for the first time, it can be scary. It can be challenging to discern what’s causing your fur baby to scream like that.

What Causes a Dog to Scream?

When your dog suddenly screams for no apparent reason, there is a reason. Here are the most common reasons that can cause a dog to scream and scream into a pillow.

1. Nightmares

Dogs can have nightmares, just like we do. When your dog has a nightmare, you may notice he’s whimpering or crying. He may also be twitching in his sleep. It’s also possible that during his nightmare, your canine companion may scream into his pillow.

If you’ve adopted your dog from a shelter, he’s dreaming about some traumatic event from his past. It could also be something that makes your fur baby especially anxious. Dreams of this nature are common in dogs who have been abused, in danger, abandoned, and more.

2. Illness

Dogs may scream into a pillow or blanket if they’re ill. Symptoms of illness in dog can take various forms, including:

If your dog shows any of these or other concerning symptoms, it’s a good idea to call the vet. Your fur baby needs a checkup to see if his screaming and symptoms could be caused by an underlying health issue. It’s not always easy to tell when your dog’s sick, but the vet can run tests to determine what’s going on and how to treat any issues they may find.

3. Anxiety

Dogs experience anxiety and may scream if they feel very anxious and scared. Some dogs can develop separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. They may also develop other unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking, clawing at things (such as the door, floor, and more), chewing on everything in sight, and more.

If your dog shows signs of anxiety, it’s probably time to see the vet. They can check your dog to see if there’s any medical condition causing the anxiety. If not, the vet may prescribe medication that can calm your dog and help him feel calmer and less anxious.

And if your dog must be left alone for long periods, it’s beneficial to take him for a long walk before you leave. This works to create a bond between you and your dog. And he gets a chance to release pent-up energy. When he’s more relaxed, your fur baby may sleep a good part of the time he’s alone. In addition, it’s helpful to leave toys for your dog to keep himself occupied. Chew toys, squeaky toys, dog puzzles, and more are great options to help your dog feel less anxious.

You may also want to consider having someone, such as a family member or friend, check on your dog in the middle of the day. A little attention can go a long way to release your fur baby’s anxiety.

4. Syringomyelia (SM)

There’s a painful condition that’s called syringomyelia (SMI) that may cause a dog to scream into a pillow. SMI is a progressive condition that happens when the skull size and brain size don’t match. This can cause pain in the back of the dog’s neck, making the head and neck extremely sensitive.

The pain of SM can be so intense that a dog screams. The dog may feel pain when:

This condition can also be found in humans.

Symptoms of SM may include:

Scratching of the neck, chest, and shoulder—on one side of the dog’s body. Certain dog breeds are more prone to developing SM, including:

5. Seizures

Dogs can also develop seizure conditions caused by certain issues in the brain. The seizure can make a dog scream in pain until it’s over.

Seizures are involuntary muscle movements and are not controlled by your fur baby. They are usually caused by brain cancer, chronic epilepsy, or metabolic disease.

The good news is that seizures are usually not life-threatening; however, the condition causing the seizure must be treated.

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has a seizure:

6. Bacterial Ear Infections

Bacterial ear infections can be intensely painful in humans and dogs. The pain can sometimes be so bad that it makes a dog scream. Some dogs may even wake up from sleep and scream in pain.

Certain dog breeds are more apt to develop ear infections, including:

Each of these dog breeds has floppy ears, which can more easily harbor bacteria.

Summing It Up

These are only a few of the reasons that may cause a dog to scream into a pillow or in general. If your dog is screaming at any time, it’s best to have him checked by the vet. Many underlying health issues can be diagnosed and treated successfully. Then your fur baby can have relief and feel much better!

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.