What Do Dogs Dream About?


Have you ever wondered what do dogs dream about? Do dogs dream like humans? Or even they can be having nightmares?

Do dogs dream?

In fact, they dream like us, dogs or other animals, going over some sleep cycles. There are periods of vigilance, followed by Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. One of the most studies about dreams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that rats dream about the activities they performed earlier in the day, so these rats spent all day running in a maze. They had the same unique brain activity while they were sleeping, which means that they were likely having a dream about running through the maze. This suggestion led the researchers to know that animals dream about things they did during the daytime, just like we do.



The American Kennel Club reports that puppies, larger breeds, and senior dogs spend about half their day sleeping, which means about 18 and 20 hours per day. The dogs have experience in deeper REM, canines usually enter the REM stage of sleep about 20 minutes after they get to sleep.

Are dogs dreaming when they twitch?

The scientists at MIT concluded that animals such as cats and dogs have more complex dreams, they can replay and remember long sequences of events when they in asleep, and also you can see dogs tend to move more in their sleep or heavy breathing, murmuring, barking, sleepwalking, running and nipping at the air.

Do some breeds dream more than others?

The researchers believe that the size of a dog actually plays a part in how dogs dream. Small dogs and puppies have more frequent dreams but are shorter in duration about 60-second dreams every 10 minutes, while large dogs have fewer dreams, but longer about 5-minute dreams every 1 hour, says Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, a veterinary health expert with Rover.


Do dogs have nightmares?

Just like humans, they have good and bad dreams, dogs can also have nightmares. Being able to know if your dog having a good dream or a nightmare can be difficult at first, so there are some signs if your dog having a pleasant dream is by seeing his paws twitching, his eyelids twitching, and his ears flicking, but in nightmares the signs change, you will see a twitching, a gentle whining, or sounds of distress and if the nightmare is stressful a lot, your dog can suddenly shake awake just like a human.

The American Kennel Club advises to do not to wake your dog in the middle of a nightmare to comfort her, just like we do with our children, there are some risks dogs can react aggressively toward the person waking them, causing a nip or bite. Most of the recorded cases of dog bites in children happen because the child woke up a dog in a sudden manner.



The best way to do not your dog from having a nightmare is to give him a loving household and healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, when your dog gets to sleep and goes into the REM progress, with a head full of good memories like playing fetch, eating treats, and getting a good belly rub.