What Do Dogs Dream About? A Look Into Dog Dreams

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what do dogs dream about illustration of dog dreamingPicture this: your dog is laying on the couch, sleeping, and they start twitching and moving their legs. Does this sound familiar to you? The majority of dog owners have asked themselves “Do dogs dream?” Today, we’re taking a quick dive at what goes down in a dog’s brain when they’re asleep.

First of All: What Are Dreams Exactly, and Why Do Dogs Dream?

What are dreams, exactly? There’s still a lot we don’t know about dreams, but we’re sure of a few things. First of all, dreaming is caused by electrical activity in the brain during sleep. Then, we know that dreams are a succession of images.

This happens during any stage of sleep, but the most vivid dreams take place during deep sleep. This is also known as “REM” or “rapid eye movement” sleep. Lastly, we know that dreaming is completely normal and that most (if not all) vertebrates do!

Do Dogs Dream and Do Animals Dream in the Same Way Humans Do? Understanding Their Sleep Cycle

For hundreds of years, people believed only human beings were able to dream. But now, thanks to studies that looked at a dog’s brain wave patterns and at their sleep patterns, we know that is not true. Dogs have dreams, too!

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Humans and dogs experience a different sleep cycle. Unlike humans, dogs don’t naturally sleep for one long stretch. Some will learn to copy our sleep cycle. Generally, dogs sleep longer than we do but their sleep is broken up into shorter periods.

We see them snoozing throughout the day because they don’t get all their hours in when they’re sleeping during the night.

How Much Do Dogs Sleep and How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?

Dogs sleep a lot. It differs from dog to dog, but on average dogs sleep between 12 and 14 hours. Adult dogs and pups have shorter dreams. But other than that, they dream almost in the same way we do! They, too, see a succession of images while asleep. Plus, their dreams are heavily centered around what they see and feel while they are awake — just like ours!

How Many Hours a Day Do Dogs Sleep?

The duration of a dog’s sleep during the day may vary. Age, size and most of all the sleep pattern of their human’s effect how long a dog sleeps during the day. It may also seem to us as though they sleep all day, but it’s more like they take naps every now and then to catch up on sleep.

How Many Hours Do Dogs Sleep During the Night?

Most dogs settle down for the night when their people do, and become more active once they get up in the morning. If you are a person who sleeps only 6 hours, that is how long they will sleep until the first of many daytime snoozes.


jack russell terrier with mask and alarm clock having vivid dreams

We’ve Seen Them Dream, But What Do Dogs Dream About and What Do Dogs See When They Snooze?

We already know the answer to “Do dogs dream?” But can you guess what our four-legged faithful companions dream about? What are they thinking when we see their muscle twitches? And why do they bark during their sleep?

Seen a Dog Twitching in Sleep? 

It looks like twitching to us, but your dog is probably doing the most glorious things in their dream. They may be digging, scratching or running off to chase the Golden Goose.

Do Dogs Dream About Their Owners? 

Researchers found that doggie dreams recall events that happened in their awake state. In a dream, birds, cats, other dogs, and even humans probably make an appearance. Everything a dog or pup does during the day may pop up while they’re asleep. That probably explains why they twitch so much — they just want to play!

How Long Do Dreams Last for Our Canine Companions?

How long a dog dreams depends a lot on their size and age. Older dogs and larger dogs have longer but fewer dreams during their sleep. Young pups and small dogs have more dreams, but they’re shorter. On average, their dreams last anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes each.

There is an easy way to tell if your pup is off to dreamworld without needing to look at brain waves. You’ll notice that their breathing is calm and rhythmic. But once their dreams start (during the REM sleep) about 20 minutes after they fall asleep, it’s a whole different story.

Irregular breathing, muscle twitches, and low noises are all signs your pup is living inside a dream. Don’t be surprised or worried about this, though! It’s just their natural reaction to whatever they’re dreaming of. Plus, doggies who sleep and have uninterrupted sleep live longer and happier than dogs who don’t!

dog sleeping in bed having dog dreams

Bad Dreams? Do Dogs Have Nightmares?

Sadly, just like humans can have a bad dream, dogs and puppies may have them too. This hasn’t been completely proven yet, however. But any dog owner can tell you at least one story about their furry companion kicking and crying or barking loudly in their sleep.

Seeing Your Dog Have a Bad Dream Can Crack Your Heart But Should You Wake a Sleeping Dog?

It’s sad seeing our canine friend have nightmares. But it’s important not to freak out over it! Think back to the last time someone woke you up from a bad dream. Didn’t you feel disoriented and confused? Well, that’s what puppies feel too.

Waking up a pup from a nightmare might cause more harm than having them live it out in the first place. Young dogs especially feel very disoriented and groggy if you wake them up abruptly. The last thing you want to do is give them a fright!

One way to ease dreaming dogs and their nightmares, is to give them something like an Honest Paws CBD dog treats and CBD oil. They are completely natural, well-trusted by customers and veterinarians, and loved by dogs! They’re great at calming anxious and scared puppies down.

Benadryl can also help pups who tend to have a lot of nightmares. It helps regulate their sleep pattern. This is good not only to avoid nightmares but also to help them have a peaceful, uninterrupted dream. It makes them live longer, be more happy and energetic!

Happy Vivid Dreams: Hoping Those Dreams Last for So Long!

Dog dreaming is a very good thing! While they’re asleep, their brain activity doesn’t stop. This means they’re constantly trying to understand their surroundings. Young doggos, especially, benefit greatly from dreaming.

It’s thought that dogs who dream are generally happier and more energized. This makes sense, as dreams are a result of deep sleep — which is very healthy!

Do Cats Dream?

Remember how we said that most vertebrates dream? Well, as cats are vertebrates we know that they dream. If the science doesn’t make sense to you, at least seeing your cat twitching while asleep is proof that they dream.

What Do Cats Dream About?

Like with humans and dogs, cats dream about cat things. Perhaps they are chasing critters, or playing with cat toys!

How Long Do Dogs Sleep in Comparison to Cats?

The hours that cats and dogs sleep is quite similar. Dogs sleep between 12 – 14 hours, whereas our feline friends sleep 12 -16 hrs a day.

do animals dream adorable puppy sleeping

Watching Dogs Dreaming Can Be Hilarious, and Extremely Cute!

We all know how adorable dogs can be — and this is also true of dreaming dogs! They twitch, move their paws as if they’re running, and they make cute sounds. What more could you ask for?

Dreaming dogs are not only adorable but also to be expected. Just like humans, they have dreams about what they experience while awake. They can be about that new fascinating bird in your backyard, their favorite food, or the treats you give them!

No matter what they dream about, though, they’re most certainly happy. After all, dreams are just a part of healthy, uninterrupted deep sleep!

Common Question on Dog Dreams

Why do dogs dream?

How can I know if my dog is dreaming?

Is dreaming healthy?

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