Most dog owners would have experienced this – You are busy in an activity and suddenly you hear noises of whimpering or scratching. You suspect something wrong with your beloved dog. You rush to his/her side only to find he/she is in deep sleep. The dog was probably dreaming! You heave a sigh of relief.
So, do dogs really dream?
The brains of dogs are structurally similar to those of humans. In fact, their brain wave patterns during sleep match ours too. Researchers at the famed Massachusetts Institutes of Technology, U.S.A., determined concretely that the functioning of brains of sleeping rats suggests dreaming. Just as is the case with humans, rats too seem to dream about the activities they undertook during the day. As a dog’s brain is more complex, we can reasonably assume that dogs dream too.
Moreover, dogs’ sleeping pattern suggests that they too, like humans, enter a “deep sleep” stage. This is the stage where humans are known to have dreams. All this confirms that dogs do dream.
What do dogs dream about?
Dogs dream about what they should i.e. “doggy things”. This includes digging holes, chasing a cat or bird and even fighting with burglars. And some of them would surely be busy chewing a bone or eating food. To top it all, dogs have nightmares too, probably! Dog experience a lot of emotions similar as humans.
How to tell when dogs are dreaming?
Dogs enter deep sleep stage in about twenty minutes after snoozing off. During this stage, you may notice that the dog’s breathing becomes irregular and they may start whimpering. You will notice their eyes moving rapidly beneath their eyelids and may see occasional movement of their legs too. The key takeaway for a dog owner is that these are perfectly natural activities and there is nothing to worry about.