Have you seen your dog or your puppy twitching a little and wondered what he or she is up to? What if he is dreaming about his heroic deeds when he fetched a ball for you that day and chased squirrels? If you’re thinking dogs do dream, you’re absolutely right!
Science Behind Dog’s Sleep and Dreams
If we look at how a dog’s brain works during his sleep, we can fairly predict what he may feel and see in his dreams. The brain structure of a dog is quite similar to that of a human and also the wave patterns of his brain matches with a human’s brain when he is asleep. Moreover, dogs go through the same stages of electrical activity during sleep.
In addition to this, a dogs’ sleep includes stages like wakefulness, rapid eye movement stage, and non- rapid eye movement stage. Which is again similar to the stages of a human’s sleep. Though there has not been any specific experiment done on dogs so as to test their sleeping pattern, there have been many tests performed on rats and cats which gave similar results. Not to mention, the results were quite comparable to humans.
These results led to a conclusion that all mammals have similar dream patterns and that dogs actually dream, they see things like what humans see when they are dreaming.
Just like in humans, it is in the rapid eye movement stage or the REM sleep that dogs travel to the world of dreams and start viewing dream images.
What Do Dogs Dream About?
Having been said, dogs have a similar brain structure to that of the humans and their sleep goes through the same stages, scientists have concluded that dogs dream about their daily life events.
And these claims fairly seem to be true as you will see your dog motioning his legs as if he is a protagonist in his imaginary world and chasing the burglar or twitch his muscles, and even whine in sorrow. There is a video on YouTube where you can see a sleeping dog ran into a wall!
When you see your doggie twitching and barking a little in a deep sleep, you can observe his body language and can think what he might be dreaming because all they can or would do to tell his hooman about his dream is ‘bow wow and woof’.
However, the question may rise whether dogs have nightmares or not. Well, the nightmare is actually a bad dream and dogs whine out of the pain and sorrow which resulted from a nightmare. In a nutshell, they will be dreaming about everything they can think of whatever their life revolves around.
Do You Have To Worry About It?
When your canine friend is dreaming you might see him uncomfortable. And the situation seems worse when he is whining and barking out of pain because of the nightmare. So do you have to interrupt their sleep or just let him lay on his dog bed undisturbed? Go through the following sections to know what you should do. And yes, there’s no need to worry about your furry friend’s dreaming.
1. Don’t Touch Him While He’s Dreaming
When a dog is dreaming, his brain activity plays a big role. For instance, your dog is chasing a burglar in his dreams, you might see him motioning his legs. If you touch them, the reality collides with his imaginary world and maybe he can scratch or bite you.
If you have come to wake your dog up for a walk and he is sleeping not sure whether he’s dreaming or not, try to read him. Dogs may dream with partially or fully closed eyes and eyeballs moving under the eyelids as if he is moving his eyes to see what’s happening in his imaginary world.
The next thing you might see his limbs moving and twitches a bit or making different sounds like barking or crying in pain. There is nothing to worry, when you feel your fido is calm now and had enough sleep, you can call him by his name first and then touch to wake him up.
2. Don’t Wake Him up in the Middle of His Dream
This precaution is pretty much similar to that of the former one we have discussed. The former one was concerned with your safety. This one is for your dog’s. What happens to you when someone wakes you up from your super happy dream? You will feel a bit sad that the dream ended and that too because someone interrupted it.
Dogs are different than humans. If you wake them up in between he will not be able to fathom the fact that his dream has ended abruptly and may react to it in action or might feel sad and depressed for not knowing what has just happened to him.
3. Don’t Get Confused Between Nightmares and Seizure
Nightmare is a dream too after all. So the question always revolves around whether dogs have a nightmare or not? Of course, yes. We have defined the bad horrific dreams as a nightmare and this is no different for your pooch.
Well, you might be worried because your dog might bark, yelp, twitch and shake weirdly while dreaming. But it’s okay. He will be normal soon. If you are not sure whether your dog is experiencing a seizure or not then know about dog seizures.
Dogs do dream and they mostly dream about the events from his daily life. The science behind a dog’s sleep makes sense and we can fairly claim about their dreaming. Moreover, you don’t always have to worry about them while they’re asleep. Go through all the tips I’ve shared with you and if you’re still puzzled with what to do when shooting a video of your four-legged friend when he is dreaming and showing it to your vet for advice is a more safe way to eliminate the confusion.
Only buying a dog harness and other accessories to your canine pal are never enough. A happy and sound sleep is a crucial part of their life. Selecting right dog bed and placing it at the right spot is a must to not interfere while they are in their fantasy world. Keep these things in your mind and never worry about what your dog does when he’s asleep.