Your Dog Loves You So Much It Dreams About You

Have you ever watched your snoozing dog and mused about what he must be dreaming about? A great meal, an exciting squirrel chase, the world’s greatest game of fetch, and… you? Dr. Deirdre Barrett, a teacher and clinical and evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School, is convinced that dogs dream of their humans when they are sleeping. (We dream about them—why shouldn’t they do the same?)

sleeping dogs photo
Photo by john shortland

As People explains, dogs and other mammals have similar sleep cycles to humans that include deep sleep followed by REM sleep. Humans dream during REM sleep and it is assumed that other mammals do as well. “Humans dream about the same things they’re interested in by day, though more visually and less logically,” Dr. Barrett told People. “There’s no reason to think animals are any different. Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”

And if you were wondering, it turns are when you see a dogs moving its legs frantically during sleep, it probably is dreaming about running, People says.

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Of course, this is all theoretical, since dogs have no way of telling us what they dream of. There are animals that have told us about their dreams, though. The famed signing gorillas Koko and Michael have both done this.

sleeping dogs photo
Photo by Harry Thomas Photography

So what’s the best way to give your dog (or kitty for that matter) sweet dreams? “The best way to give ourselves or our children better dreams is to have happy daytime experiences and to get plenty of sleep in a safe and comfortable environment,” Dr. Barrett told People. “It’s a good bet this is also best for pets’ dreams.”

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Photo by p2bg