Do Dogs Dream? Every Fur Parents Want To Know


Do Dogs Dream? A dachshund sleeping in bed with eye mask

As usual, your lovely pets (dogs) sleeping beside you and you just notice that he/she twitching, chattering, or moving paws while sleeping. You might think if there is something wrong with your dog or he/she might be dreaming…. Wait, Do dogs dream?

Scientists believe that dogs not only dream as we do but also dream similarly to us, which means that they recall events from their day while they’re fast asleep.

While we know that people dream while sleeping, it was unknown for many years whether animals did as well. As a result, scientists studied the brains of rats when they were awake and performed tasks like scurrying around tracks looking for food. They then compared their brain activity when sleeping and found that it was the same. Rats were indeed dreaming, as evidenced by this. Because rats are less intelligent than dogs and cats, researchers assume that dogs and cats dream the same way rats do. In fact, all mammals are prone to dream.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep are the two basic forms of sleep. The dreamer’s eyes move rapidly and randomly during REM sleep, and their brain activity resembles that of while they are awake. While the dreamer appears to be fairly active during this stage of sleep, waking them is quite tough. Dreaming is more common during the REM stage of sleep. Cats are the same way. Due to the need to assimilate new knowledge, a puppy will spend more time in dream sleep than an adult dog.

Do Dogs Dream?

Scientists now know that dogs go through several stages of sleep throughout a typical night’s sleep and that during REM sleep (rapid eye movement), they dream like people do, complete with twitches and whimpers.

After roughly 20 minutes of sleep, dogs enter the REM period. There have even been studies that show dogs sleep better on their own bed than in an unfamiliar bed, and that they sleep better after activity than when they are inactive. 

What Do Dogs Dream About When They Sleep?

Like in humans, no one knows for sure what your lovely dog dreams about, however, studies believe it is possible that they dream about the things they do during the day like playing fetch with you, chasing small animals (like rabbit or squirrel), or eating their favorite treats.

However, while dogs might have good dreams involving fun activities, they can also have nightmares or bad dreams. They may relive traumatic incidents or have nightmares about concerns such as being alone, fighting another dog, or being in a thunderstorm.

How To Tell If Dogs Is Dreaming?

During REM sleep, dogs frequently growl or quiver their legs, according to the Sleep Foundation. However, observing a dog sleep might sometimes reveal his/her breed. Owners who want to see if their pets are dreaming can start watching them around 10 to 20 minutes after they fall asleep. They’ve started to dream if you can see their eyes moving under their eyelids.

How Often Do Dogs Dream?

Some canines have more dreams than others. Furthermore, when it comes to his dreams, a dog’s size matters.

  • Small dogs and pups dream quickly and frequently, with 60-second dreams occurring every ten minutes or so.
  • Larger dogs had longer dreams, lasting up to five minutes, with an hour of non-dream time in between.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Dreams?

If you don’t think your dog will be started if he is dreaming and jerking or whining softly in his sleep, you might try to gently rouse him/her up from his/her awful dream.

If your dog is snarling or acting violently in sleep, though, you don’t want to rouse him in case he nips you in his dazed state. In this instance, either keep a close eye on him or use vocal cues like saying his name to see if you can jolt him awake. A good snuggle is all he needs for consolation and beautiful dreams once he’s completely woken and shaken off his dream.

Frequently Ask Question (FAQ):

How do you tell if your dog is having a nightmare or a dream?

Like in humans, if your dog is merely paddling his or her legs and making excited noises, they’re most likely having a wonderful dream about food or playing with you or other dogs! However, if your dog is whimpering, crying, or snarling, it’s possible that they’re having a nightmare in which they feel frightened or anxious.

Do dogs have nightmares about their owners?

Dogs are likely dreaming about their owners, according to Dr. Deirdre Barrett, a Harvard Medical School teacher, and Clinical and Evolutionary Psychologist. Because dogs are so attached to their humans, it’s possible that your dog is dreaming of your face, your scent, and how to please or annoy you.

Butler Oh
Butler Oh
Butler Oh is a long time dog lover. Dogs are always part of her family since she was young and she grows up as a loving and caring fur parent. She has been part of our team here at ohmylovelypets since 2019 and has provided a lot of great research and information about dogs.


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