Posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Dogs in Dreamland: What Happens when your Pet’s Snoozing?


We’ve all told the story before – usually to dog lovers who have their own version of the same exact story – about how our pet was napping on the floor or in his or her dog bed and the back leg just started kicking. Who hasn’t witnessed a dog moving his or her legs as though running in sleep? And who hasn’t immediately been reminded of our own weird sleep quirks – waking up in absurd positions, jerking out of sleep at the end of a falling dream or delivering the winning serve at Wimbledon only to wake up to the crash of the bedside lamp. But is it the same for our dogs? Do dogs dream?


According to the zoology writers at How Stuff Works, many mammals (including humans) experience rapid eye movement levels of sleep – or what we call REM. This stage of the sleep cycle is when dreams are the most potent and, since dogs share brainwave similarities to humans during this REM stage, it’s likely that they, too, experience dreams – or at least, dream-like sensations, notes the source. The fact of the matter is that our dreams have distinctively narrative-like threads, even if they seldom make logical sense. Whether a dog (whose concept of time and memory is so vastly different) would experience the same sort of dream is up in the air.


A write-up on Pedigree.com asking the very same question, “Do dogs dream,” shines a little more light on the topic. According to the source, research suggests that small dogs might have richer lives in Slumberland than larger dogs. It also implies that puppies dream more frequently than older dogs, perhaps because their brains are processing an extensive amount of new information.


For better or worse, chances are you won’t ever know where your pet’s brain goes when he or she is asleep. Maybe our dogs truly are chasing endless tennis balls during those long hours. Of course, if most of their dreams are just recapping the courses of their ordinary, day-to-day lives, there’s also a good chance they’re dreaming about napping on the couch! One thing’s for sure, when they wake up, they’re always glad to see you. This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.