Do dogs dream? The answer to this question has been debated for a long time. Some believe that they do, while others think that it is nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of dog owners. In this blog post, we will discuss why people believe dogs may dream, what types of things they might dream about and how to help your pup get a great night’s sleep!
What Are Dreams and Why Do They Happen to Us?
When we look at if dogs dream, it’s important to first figure out what dreams are. Dreams are our brain’s way of processing information that we experience while we’re awake. They happen to us because humans were not created for the sole purpose of being alive, but rather so they can enjoy life and all it has to offer. Dreams give us a chance to look at what has happened in our lives and reflect on it, and they also let us relive our favorite memories.
Are dogs very much different? They smile when you pet them. They seem to read our feelings and respond to us accordingly. They seem to enjoy our company and want to spend time with us, just like we do with them! Dogs are as much of a companion in life for humans as they are for themselves and it isn’t hard to believe that they can also dream about the things that happen during their day.
Do Dogs Dream Like Humans?
Current ideas say that dogs do in fact dream like humans. That is to say, they dream about their waking life while they sleep. The biggest difference between dog and human dreams is the complexity of their thoughts.
A dog’s brain is a little different from ours, and it has been shown that they use about one-fifth as much energy when sleeping due to less complex thought processes in comparison to humans. Dogs also sleep differently than humans.
Most adults need to get about eight or nine hours of sleep each night. Normally, these sleeping hours are done in a large eight-hour chunk. This dedicated sleep helps our brains cycle through the different stages of sleep. During our sleep, the Rapid Eye Movement stage is where we experience our most vivid dreams.
Dogs tend to sleep differently than humans. Rather than sleeping in a single eight-hour chunk, dogs sleep for about two hours and then wake up to do some work or playtime before going back to sleep again. Because they don’t normally sleep for an extended period of time, it is unlikely that they dream during this time. This means dogs may not experience the REM stage of sleep where most dreaming occurs. It’s only when dogs are exceptionally tired or overworked that they’ll sleep consecutively for an extended period of time.
This means that dogs may not have vivid dreams, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t dream at all!
How Can I Tell If My Dog’s Dreaming?
Often, we can see a dog is dreaming because they start making sounds or movements while they sleep. Your dog may start to see your dog’s paws or face twitching. Your dog may also start yipping or making other strange noises. If your dog “looks like they are running” while they are sleeping, they are probably having a dream.
Should We Wake a Dreaming Dog?
Sometimes these sounds can be concerning. It might seem like your dog is having a nightmare. When our dogs make these sounds, you might be tempted to wake them up.
You shouldn’t wake a dog up even if they are having a bad dream. Would you like to be woken up from a deep sleep even if you were having a nightmare? If you wake your dog up from a deep sleep, that could disrupt their sleep cycle.
It’s much better to let your dog sleep rather than wake them. Remember that dreams are your brain’s way of dealing with daily stress. They also help you work out ideas in your mind. You shouldn’t be depriving your dog of this mechanism even if it seems like they might be having a nightmare.
Things You Can Do to Help Your Dog’s Quality Of Sleep
There are a few things you can do if you want to help increase your dog’s sleep quality. Give these tips a try:
- Leave out familiar objects like a toy or blanket that your dog sleeps with regularly to make their space more comfortable.
- Keep the room at a temperature that would be comfortable for you too, maintaining this will help regulate body temperature and keep them calm.
- Feed your pet closer to bedtime so they don’t get hungry.
- Be sure your dog gets enough exercise.
Follow these tips and your dog should sleep well and be much happier.
So, do dogs dream? It seems like they do, but what is unclear is the extent to which it’s important to their sleep health.