Do dogs dream?



Only if you have or have had a dog as a pet will you know the family connection that these adorable animals transmit. Not in vain are they considered the best friends of man, because, despite the notable differences, dogs and humans have many traits in common that make them adapt to each other in a perfect way.

The sensitivity you have felt for these spoiled family members has surely made you question many things about their behavior, behaviors, habits and instincts. One of the main concerns of any owner in relation to their dog and its natural acts is know if dogs can dream and what they do.

How do dogs dream?

At some point you have surely seen a dog turn, make gestures or make sounds while sleeping. Therefore, the first question that comes to mind is whether dogs dream. The answer to this question is yes, or at least that is what can be deduced. All those physical signals that you perceive in dogs while they are in their hours of rest are indicative that dogs, like humans, dream.

The explanation for this fact is based on the fact that dogs, like all mammals, go through different stages of sleep, necessary for their brain to function properly. It is well known that REM (or rapid eye movement) phase, which humans also experience, is the stage of rest in which information from the outside is captured and there is high brain activity.

It is precisely at this stage of the dream in which, supposedly, every living being experiences combinations of past events and strengthens its learning, on many occasions through what we know as a dream. Dogs do not escape this experience, because, according to some studies, it can be said that dogs dream during this phase of rest and that in this way they reinforce all the new experiences that they live on a day-to-day basis. (Aniorte, 2018).

How it has been advanced, the rest of the dogs does not differ much from that of the people. Like humans and other mammals, the dogs go through phases of sleep that alternate while they are in their resting time. One thing that is certain is that the rest of these pets is interrupted more frequently than that of humans, which is why dreams are also shorter.

During the dog’s resting periods, which usually alternate throughout the day and night, you can see the behavior of your pet and identify when it may be dreaming noticing particular gestures, movements or sounds, as well as your reaction upon waking up. The most common thing is that, from then on, your interest or curiosity arises to know the content of their dreams and, above all, if you as the owner are present in them.

Do dogs dream of their owners?

Although dogs do not speak and you will not be able to guess what things they dream of, an approximation can be made in comparison to what humans dream of. Just as man dreams of individual experiences, acquaintances and even his own pets, it can be deduced that dogs meet similar patterns.

If you notice your dog very agitated during his hours of rest, or you see him moving his paws, it is very likely that the canine is recreating a scene in his dream, be it an afternoon in the park, a fun walk or playing at home.

There are many situations that a dog dreams of, as diverse as humans. They can also represent their relationship with other dogs with whom they coincide on the street, with food and, of course, with you.

Still, just as they dream of pleasant things, they may also experience negative dreams of things that frighten them.

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Can dogs have nightmares?

Dogs go through very similar sleep patterns to humans. In fact, experts in the study of encephalograms and the functioning of the brain of these animals they defend the idea that dogs dream and, of course, they also have nightmares. (San Martín, 2019).

Some of the traits that will allow you to identify if your dog is having a nightmare are mainly his gestures. If the dog is very agitated, moves its legs very quickly, emits growls, howls or cries, or even barks, it is very likely that your pet is not enjoying the experience in the dream very much. The important thing in these cases is let the dog complete this stage by himself and help him relax once he is awake.

Veterinary Technical Assistant specialized in canine ethology

Animals have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I combine my work as a copywriter at Kiwoko with volunteering in shelters, sanctuaries, and reserves. I have participated in numerous seminars and courses, being lucky to have attended all kinds of events related to the animal world.

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