Do dogs dream?

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Although it’s nearly impossible to know exactly what goes on in our animal’s minds, many scientists and psychologists do believe that dogs dream. The brain of a dog is similar to that of a human, and dogs sleep in many of the same ways that humans do. Both humans and dogs have REM sleep and slow-wave, deep sleep cycles. If you’re ever noticed your dog twitching while asleep, making audible noises, or suddenly jerking away, it’s likely that he was dreaming.

What dogs dream about is a little more uncertain. Humans most often have dreams that are related to memories of what they have done in the past, even as recently as that day, or of things they fantasize about doing in the future. Since dogs live in the present, with no real episodic memory or ability to anticipate the future, their dreams are most likely related to habitual activities in which they participate. These could include playing with toys or other dogs, eating, or being around their owners.

A dog begins to dream about 10-20 minutes after they fall asleep. Their breathing will slow down and they will be very relaxed for a period of time before a dream starts. Muscle twitching, eyelid fluttering and noises are common occurrences while a dog is dreaming.

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