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    Do Dogs Have Dreams?

    Do Dogs Have Dreams?

    by Behavior / 3 min read

     

    Estimated Read Time: 2 minutes

    Summary: In this blog, we look into if dogs dream. Discover if dogs dream just like us, if their breed affects how they dream and if our furry four-legged friends can have bad dreams, too! Keep reading to find out…

     

    Watching your dog sleep can make your heart feel like it’s going to burst - they’re just so cute! Although, sometimes, your peaceful and angelic pup can suddenly change...  

    …their stillness is broken by unconscious howls, growls, whines, twitches, and wild running legs… 

    Well, turns out these random sleep-induced behaviors could be a sign that your dog is dreaming!  

    Now, if your pup is dreaming, what are they dreaming about? And do they dream just as we do? 


    So, Do Dogs Dream? 

    Did you know that it is widely believed that most mammals dream? Which of course will include our canine companions… 

    It turns out, when it comes to dogs, their brain is structurally quite like our own, sharing similar brain wave patterns and activity while asleep. Which tells us that our pups may actually go through several sleep cycles just like us; including Rapid Eye Movement (REM) - increasing the chance that they do dream… 

    So, if dogs dream, what are they dreaming about?  

     
    A chocolate-colored medium-sized dog sleeps on a large cream pillow

    What Do Dogs Dream About?

    Now, this question may feel a bit problematic since our pups can’t tell us what they’re dreaming about. So, we can only take a guess… 

    According to Dr. Richter, “dogs most likely dream about everyday activities such as chasing birds, running after squirrels, or even interacting with you and other dogs,” 

    Or, they could be thinking of their favorite treats, drooling at the very thought of enjoying them when they wake up… 

    Twitching, whimpering, barking, running, or growling in their sleep are all common signs your dog is dreaming - and these unconscious behaviors and the position your dog is sleeping in could indicate what type of dream they’re having! 

    Can Dogs Have Bad Dreams?

    So, if dogs can dream, can they have bad dreams, too? Unfortunately, there is a chance that your pup might be having a bad dream.  

    Nightmares can be common. It might be best to let the bad dream run its course, standing by to comfort your dog once they wake up. Disturbing a startled dog is just one of the mistakes every dog owner makes! 

    Sources

    Author Cutolo, Morgan, “What Do Dogs Dream About”, Reader’s Digest, April. 19, 2022, https://www.rd.com/article/what-do-dogs-dream-about/

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