Your Dog Does Dream!
Do you ever wonder what your dog is dreaming about? Although there’s no way to know precisely where their mind is going (at least not yet), scientific evidence supports the idea that dogs do, in fact, dream! Many experts affirm that not only do dogs dream, but mostly they dream about their humans.
How Do We Know That Dogs Dream?
In 2001, researchers at MIT conducted studies with lab rats that proved that animals go through similar sleep cycles as humans do. REM sleep is the phase of sleep when mental activity is at its peak, when our most vivid dreams tend to occur.
Because of studies like MIT (along with studies by The National Sleep Foundation and others), we know that our sleeping dogs’ brain activity is remarkably similar to ours in many ways. Not only do our fur babies experience REM sleep just like we do, but it’s also safe to assume they dream as well.
What Do Dogs Dream About?
Similar to us, our dogs are likely dreaming about activities they do while awake. From eating and playing to interacting with their humans, our pups’ sleeping minds are probably replaying the different events of their days. In 2016, Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett, PhD, suggested that “since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell, and of pleasing or annoying you.”
Can Dogs Have Nightmares?
Unfortunately, it is conceivable that dogs experience unpleasant dreams on occasion. There has been little research suggesting that dogs have developed imaginations. So, while your dog is not likely to have nightmares about zombies or ghosts, things like taking a bath, thunderstorms, and past unpleasant experiences could be plausible.
While it can be upsetting to stand by as your dog twitches or whimpers in their sleep, it’s best to leave them be. Most of their dreams are not nightmares, and uninterrupted sleep is vital for your dog’s health.
We’ll have to wait for technology to translate barks into human language so we can know precisely what they’re dreaming about, for now, know that it’s all part of a good night.