Do Dogs Dream? If So, What Do Dogs Dream About?


According to the National Sleep Foundation, our dogs spend roughly twelve to 14 hours per 24-hour period snoozing. Often, dog owners think those little leg twitches or tiny “yips” that comes out while their pups are sleeping have to do with the things their dogs are dreaming about. But do dogs dream? Or are those little twitches completely random? And if they do dream, what do they dream about?

The answer to that question, according to most researchers, is that dogs are most likely dreaming. Matt Wilson, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explained to PetMD that dogs have a sleep structure that’s very similar to humans.

Dogs, like humans and other mammals, experience REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the stage of sleep in which we experience dreams. Humans and dogs both have similarly high levels of brain activity during this stage of sleep, which suggests that dogs dream, just like we do.

Lastly, both humans and dogs also have a brain structure, called the Pons Varolli, that paralyzes our major muscles to prevent us from physically acting out our dreams. The fact that dogs also have this structure means it’s likely there for a reason: to keep them from acting out their dreams.