Updated: Nov 20
Do you think your dog dreams? Do dogs dream?
The answer is YES, according to the recent scientific data.
The researchers claim dogs have the similar type of sleeping patterns as human beings.
Therefore, at the beginning of sleep they have Slow Wave Sleep, which is a light sleep and dogs can be easily awakened. The breathing of the dog is regular and slow, but it is ready to jump up and into action if necessary.
The next stage of sleep is REM sleep which is familiar with most of people. Dogs have this type of sleep as well. When you notice your dog is moving his paws or twitching, he is in this type of sleep. He could growl, whine or bark in his sleep. Humans and dogs have almost the same EEG reading while they are in this sleep and as we all know, humans dream during REM sleep. So it is quite possible that dogs are dreaming too.
When your dog is in REM sleep, he is in a deep and relaxed state in his sleep and quite possibly dreaming. It may be really hard to wake him up in this state unless you shake him hard many times. You have to be careful when you wake up your dog when he is in deep sleep as he may be confused and unstable at first.
Highlighting the resemblances to humans, dogs can have sleeping disorders like narcolepsy as well. The most common sleeping disorder among dogs is sleep apnea, mostly common among brachycephalic and overweight dogs.
Puppies are considered to dream more than grown up dogs. Maybe it is because puppies sleep a lot in their first few weeks after they were born. On the other hand, puppies have to process huge amount of new information every day as they learn things in daily life. They have to learn how to use their muscles, how to interact and socialize with other dogs and humans, how to think and so on. The list goes on. Puppies are growing at an extreme rate in their first few weeks. There is no mystery that they spend a huge amount of time dreaming and sleeping as they need to organize things they are learning.
Dreaming is supposed to help humans to process information, so it quite possible it is the same with dogs.
Do dogs have nightmares? It is possible. Dogs sometimes become defensive or growl in their dreams, maybe they are having bad dreams. Do dogs have happy dreams? Quite likely so. Some people joke about dogs dream about chasing a rabbit, but it could be true. Probably your dog is dreaming about happily playing with you, getting ear scratches or eating treats.
As a matter of fact, we just can’t tell what dogs dream about it can be anything. Still, according to the scientific evidence, it is true that dogs do dream. Probably, the day will come that we are able to find a way to transform the brainwaves to visual images and we all can see what our dogs are dreaming about. Or asking an animal communicator could be another way. However, at present no one can find out what dogs dream.