The dreams of dogs are varied, frequent and important for their good mental health
Do dogs dream? And if the answer is yes, what do they dream of? Maybe they devour a delicious plate of gourmet food? Or that they play in the park? Or do jumping sheep count? These are some of the mysteries about the dog sleep that are solved below. But not only that. Other issues are also addressed, such as that dog dreams are very agitated and can be nightmares or why they are so light.
1. Do dogs dream?
The experts do not doubt: yes. And, in addition, they are varied and very healthy. The rest of these animals is not so different from that of people. Your sleep also goes through phases of different mental activity during rest hours. And it turns out that their encephalograms (pictures of brain function) are not so different from the ones a person constructs.
The phases of dog and human sleep are similar. When a dog falls asleep, its brain activity increases in the same way that it happens in people. This slow sleep is interrupted from time to time: these are the REM stages ( rapid eyes movement or rapid eye movement). At that moment, your brain activity multiplies. That’s when dogs dream.
2. What do dogs dream of?
The study of encephalograms that analyse brain activity has enabled scientists to show that dogs not only dream, but that their dreams are varied and very frequent. Dog dreams are as diverse as they are important, as they serve the animal to fix its experiences of the day and its knowledge. In fact, the fact that the dogs did not dream would have come as a greater surprise to us than knowing that they do.
Although the dog cannot tell what it has dreamed of, we can imagine it, compared to what people dream. This neurologist indicates that confronting the human’s sleep patterns with the drawings of the dog’s encephalogram allows us to understand, at least in part, what a dog thinks during its rest.
3. Are doggy dreams very agitated?
During the REM phase, the dog can flail, move its paws quickly, and even articulate sounds and bark. The animal is relaxed, but its brain is working harder than it has for the rest of the day.
We can assume that a dog that is shaking or moving its paws quickly dreams that someone, or something, is chasing it or playing. At other times, the dog will imagine eating a tasty plate of food (a delight for a gluttonous dog) or that it is he who is chasing another furry friend through the park.
4. Do dogs have nightmares?
So if a dog dreams, can he also have nightmares? Well also. By analogies with the human being , the dog, just as it can have pleasant dreams, can have nightmares or negative dreams.
In any case, proper rest is as important for a dog as it is for people. Sleep is very important in all stages of the animal. Lack of sleep affects both physically and mentally. As for humans, for the dog to dream is necessary.
5. Are doggy dreams light?
The dog wakes up frequently during its rest and alternates sleep with moments of wakefulness. The dog is awake longer than people during the night and wakes up considerably more times. The dog sleeps between five and twenty minutes in a row and stays awake for another five minutes and then falls asleep again.
This behaviour responds to the fact that he still retains many of the behaviours of its ancestor, the wolf. Dogs are defensive hunters and need to be alert. For this reason, their REM phase, of deep sleep, lasts little and, thanks to their sensitive hearing, they can wake up quickly if a threat arises. Sleeping too deeply can be dangerous for an animal alone in the competitive natural environment.