The answer is yes: dogs dream when they sleep, just like people.
So if you have a dog and you have ever heard them make strange sounds when sleeping or moving, it means that they’re dreaming.
Several studies have indicated that, while dogs are sleeping, their brain waves are similar to people’s.
Dogs go through the same stages of sleep. Dreaming even helps to reinforce everything they have learned during the day.
Do all dogs dream the same way?
Small dogs and older dogs spend more time in REM sleep.
This is the deepest phase of sleep.
This REM phase is the dream phase, and because they spend more time in it, they dream more, although their dreams are short.
The opposite is the case with larger and adult dogs.
For example, mini-breed dogs, such as a Chihuahua, can dream once every 10 minutes, while a large breed dog, such as a Golden Retriever, can dream every 90 minutes, only once.
Dogs that are adults can spend between 50 and 60% of the time sleeping, as long as it’s in a place where they feel comfortable and safe.
On the other hand, dogs that are puppies need to sleep much longer. They can sleep between 80% and 90% of the time.
This is because puppies need to grow, and the hormone that helps growth is secreted during times of sleep.
Note: Puppies dream more because they are exposed to much more stimulation during the day. Everything is constant learning for them. They learn something new and have new experiences everyday.
Phases of dog sleep
Sleep is an active activity because, during sleep, their brain is always working.
In the dream, postural relaxation occurs.
It’s also the time where sensory thresholds are raised. This allows the dog to disconnect from its environment and reality to sleep. There are two phases:
Slow sleep (NON-REM):
This first phase is also called numbness and is where the transition from waking state occurs. It’s a short and light cap and comprises about 10 minutes of the complete sleep cycle.
REM sleep phase or deep sleep:
It’s at this time that the dog goes to sleep soundly, and dreams occur.
In this phase, which means “Rapid Eyes Movement” or “Rapid Eye Movement”, the dog’s breathing will be irregular and rapid and, as the name suggests, you can see how the eyeballs move quickly under the eyelids.
Note: In this deep sleep phase, the dog picks up a lot of information from his environment due to the activity of his brain. This brain activity is the same as when the dog is awake.
What can dogs dream about?
Bark and chase
The face of its owner
They may also have nightmares. In that case, it’s essential to:
-Not wake them up. It’s best to wait for the dog to calm down.
-Pet them. In this way, the dog will feel your presence and will be able to relax.
-Call them by their name using a soft, calm tone of voice little by little. This will help to calm them or to wake them up without abruptness.
-When the dog wakes up and is calmer, they can be allowed to sleep again so that they can relax.
Remember, it’s normal for dogs to dream, don’t panic.
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