Do Dogs Dream?

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Dog sleeping on carpetOur dogs are so cute when they are asleep. Sometimes, my dog, Sally, will start twitching or whimpering in her sleep. I always say, “She must be dreaming about chasing squirrels,” but is she really? Do dogs have dreams and if so, what do dogs dream about? Read on to learn more about what might be going on inside their heads and how to tell if your doggy is dreaming when it dozes off.

Do Dogs Have Dreams?

Yes, dog dreams are real, and they dream just like we do. We know this because researchers at MIT measured rats’ brain activity which can be linked to dogs. Are you asking yourself, “What is my dog dreaming about?” Your dog is most likely dreaming about everyday dog activities: going for a walk, chasing the frisbee, running after a squirrel, etc.

How Do I Know My Dog Is Dreaming?

If you watch your dog from the time she begins to doze off, you’ll notice her breathing will change. It will become more regular, and, for an average-sized dog, after about 20 minutes her breathing will become shallow and irregular. It is at this moment that your dog’s first dream begins. You may notice some quivering and your dog’s eyes moving behind her closed eyelids. The eyes are moving because she is looking through the images in her dream as if they were images in real-life. Humans have this same sleep phase known as rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep. If awoken during this time, humans almost always say they were dreaming and can recall details about their dream.

What About Puppy Dreams?

Why do puppies shake when sleeping? The same reason adult dogs shake while sleeping. It’s actually believed that puppies and senior dogs dream more often than middle-aged dogs because they tend to move in their sleep more than adult dogs.

Video: Doggy Dreamin’

Our very own Bella and Lily were dozing off and we caught them on camera. Bella is snoozing, but someone is not amused (ahem, Lily).

Do All Animals Dream?

It’s hard to say whether or not all animals dream, as there is still research that hasn’t been conducted. However, it is safe to say that cats, dogs, rats, horses, sheep, cows and others dream while they sleep. We will be sure to update this article as researchers learn more about animals and that dream. Finally, make sure your pup is having sweet dreams on the best doggy bed for them.

What do you think your dog dreams about?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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How can I tell if my dog is having a good dream or a bad one? Or can you tell the difference?


My dog is so cute when she dreams, it’s like you can see the squirrels running through her head, she gets so excited.