Can Dogs Dream?
No doubt you have been hanging out with your dog at some time or another and noticed them running, or growling, or twitching in their sleep. Sometimes they may seem happy or at peace, while other times they may seem frightened, anxious, or even defensive. Are they really chasing squirrels through doggy dreamland, or are these just random actions they do while they sleep? Can dogs dream? And if so, what do they dream?
A dogs brain is actually very similar to a humans, right down to the core structure. Dogs actually go through the same stages of sleep (REM and not REM sleep) that we do! We dream when we enter the REM state of sleep, in studies done on REM sleep, humans have said they were having a vivid dream when awoken from REM sleep. So it is pretty safe to assume that dogs do dream, just like us, but what are they really dreaming about? Well, that is also not too different from humans. Like us, their dreams are normally a review of what they saw or did during the prior day. At MIT, a group has shown that this dream-effect is not just for dogs and humans, but is actually fairly widespread among the animal kingdom. Dreams are very complex things, and are still not entirely understood by science. What science has found, is that basically every higher-intelligence animal has the capability of dreams, and they use them for memory efficiency. Dogs are also very animated in their sleep patterns, even more so than humans. So yes, if they look like they are chasing a squirrel through doggy dream land, they really are!