Have you ever seen your dog running or heard your cat chattering in their sleep? Maybe you’ve wondered what is going on, and the question is does your pet dream?
Since we can’t ask them whether or not they dream, we have to use what we know about humans. For us, dreams happen when you reach REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movements, and scientists have discovered that almost all mammals have a REM sleep stage while cold-blooded animals do not!
So, the short answer is yes! Your pet (as long as your pet is a mammal or a bird) probably dreams just as much as we humans do! Since dogs and cats sleep so many more hours a day, scientists also assume that your pets dream more than you!
While all dogs dream, it is theorized that not all dogs dream the same. Research suggests that small dogs dream more than larger dogs since smaller animals enter REM sleep more often. A Chihuahua may dream once every ten minutes, while a Golden Retriever may only dream once every 90 minutes. Cats can enter REM sleep every 25 minutes!
Dr. Stanley Coren, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of British Columbia and the author of ‘Do Dogs Dream? Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know’, told DailyMail.com that: ‘It turns out that small dogs dream more frequently and have shorter dreams and larger dogs dream less but have longer dreams’. Dreaming also seems to occur more frequently in puppies. Probably because they need that dreaming time to process all the new information they acquire every day!
What is Your Furry Friend Dreaming Of?
So now that you know your pet is dreaming, you might be curious about what pets are dreaming of. Cats and dogs probably dream about the same sorts of things that we do. They probably dream about their day-to-day activities and occasionally they have a super-exciting dream about something out of the ordinary – like chasing a squirrel!
We may never know exactly what is going on in our pets’ minds while they sleep but we can always guess. Since most of your pet’s life revolves around you or your family, it’s probably safe to assume that the main character of your four-legged friend’s dreams is you!