What Does Your Dog Dream?
When your beloved pup closes his eyes and heads off to sleepy town, just what is he experiencing? How can you make sure he has sweet dreams, and what does your dog dream about? Experts now believe he probably dreams about. . . you!
Dr. Deirdre Barrett, a Clinical and Evolutionary Psychologist at Harvard Medical School, studied humans’ sleep behavior for years. Now, she’s weighing in on what our fur-babies probably dream about.
“What we do know for sure is that most mammals have a similar sleep cycle to humans, going into a deep sleep stage, in which the brain is much less active, and then into periods of activity called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, in which dreams occur for humans,” the psychologist said. “That certainly makes it the best guess that other mammals are dreaming, too.”
“Humans dream about the same things they’re interested in by day, though more visually and less logically. There’s no reason to think animals are any different. Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”
“We actually know more about cats’ dreams . . . Cats lay quietly through the other stages of sleep, and when REM began, they leapt up, stalked, pounced, arched their backs and hissed. They looked like they were hunting mice in their dreams.”
Dr. Barrett shared advice to pet owners who want to make sure their beloved four-legged friends have sweet dreams.
“The best way to give ourselves or our children better dreams is to have happy daytime experiences and to get plenty of sleep in a safe and comfortable environment. It’s a good bet this is also best for pets’ dreams.”