Treats And Cats? What Does Your Dog Dream About When It Sleeps?

Paws trembling, paws twitching and facial muscles tremble: this is a common condition when your dog is sleeping. So is your loved one asleep? So: is your dog dreaming, and if so, what about? This is exactly what the researchers studied.

Of course, we will most likely never know what kind of nighttime adventures our dogs sleep on. But we’re at least one step closer to the animal dream puzzle. About 20 years ago, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that other mammals go through the same or similar sleep phases as humans, including dogs.

In so-called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, mental alertness is at its peak. In this phase of sleep, humans and animals dream especially vividly.

What Kind of Dreams Does Your Dog Have?

If your dog howls, flinch or runs in its sleep, it is likely that it is processing the daytime experience in its sleep. And since dogs are often with their people during the day, it is very likely that your dog will dream of you at night.

However, we can, of course, only guess what exactly the dogs dream about. “The only animals that ever talked about their dreams are the gorilla’s Coco and Michael, who can speak in sign language,” explains the doctor. Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, told the American magazine People.

But there is good reason to believe that dogs do not dream the way we do. “People dream of things that keep them busy during the day, but are more visual and less realistic,” says Dr. Barrett. “Since dogs are usually very attached to their people, your dog is probably dreaming about your face, your scent, and how to please or annoy you.”

What if your dog moves as if he is running in his sleep? “It may well be that he is running in a dream.” The clearer and faster the movement of the paw, the more likely it is that the dog is actually sleeping.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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