Do Dogs Dream?

Dec 11, 2019 | Pet Health, Pets

My Question and Answer yesterday sparked some interest with readers on another subject “Do Dogs Dream” and so I thought I’d put together another Q & A!  I’ve always believed that animals dream just like we do.  I’ve also believed that a dreaming dog should be left alone to wake up on his own.  Who wants to be woken out of a dead sleep for nothing!!!  Right?  Animals are just like people and although we don’t bite people when they wake us up, this is how a dog might show that they are startled or agitated.

Big day for the pups!

Jake and Maggie spent 3 hours getting groomed at Paradise Paws in Imperial, :PA today.  They got new Christmas bandanas from their favorite groomers!  They never fail to keep the same routine…fall asleep on the ride home, get home, go outside, then tell me they want water, food, and treats, and then fall asleep!  LOL!  

"Work for a cause, not for applause; Live life to express, not to impress"

Do Dogs Dream?

A. Yes.
B. No.
C. Not sure.

Answer:  A. Scientists think so—in fact, they believe that dogs not only dream as we do, but also that they dream similarly to us, meaning that they replay moments from their day while they’re fast asleep. It is noted that after a period of about 20 minutes for an average-sized dog, his first dream should start.

What to do if your dog is dreaming?

A. Laugh at them.
B. Wake them up.
C. Leave them alone.

Answer: C. Leave them alone. Dogs dream as we do in REM sleep. Think about how startled you are when you are sound asleep and you get woken up. It is the same for dogs.  Also, another point to think about is that the number of times you wake up during a dream and can’t fall back to sleep.  Dogs dream similar to humans and need the REM deep sleep we do.  If you are constantly waking your pup up when they are dreaming interrupts their deep sleep patterns which is not good for their health.  Dogs sleep 14 to 16 hours a day and they need that deep and uninterrupted sleep.

Do dogs have nightmares?

A. Yes.
B. No.
C. All of the time.

Answer: A. Dogs replay images in their dreams from their day-to-day activities just as humans do. For example: take a dog who does not like baths. In a Harvard study, a dog owner reported that her dog was having a very rough dream and when the dog woke up, she bolted towards her and hid behind her owners legs just like she does after getting a bath.  We do not dream all of the time nor do dogs dream all of the time.  

Do small dogs dream more frequently than larger dogs?

A. Yes.
B. No.
C. Size of the dog does not matter.

Answer: A. Small dogs tend to dream more frequently than larger dogs. Research by Psychology Professor Stanley Coren indicated that the length and frequency of dreams may be linked to the dog’s size. For example, a Toy Poodle might show signs of dreaming up to once every 10 minutes, whereas a dog the size of a Golden Retriever may only dream once every 90 minutes.

More about dreams:  We all have dreams!  What if “you” dream about a dog?

Dogs in dreams often have to do with friendship, loyalty, protection, instinct and generosity. The dream dog may be a symbol that represents you or someone in your life who exhibits these qualities. A dog in a dream might also be a “stand in” for a friend or family member you want to protect.

Have you dreamt of a dog lately?  If so, sounds like a good thing!  Hope you enjoyed this post.  Let me know how many you got right!!!  I got the last question wrong.  I had no idea that the size of the dog determines the frequency of dreams.


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  1. Sharon

    I got the size question wrong too. Cute whimsical blog.

    • Bobbi

      Thank you!


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