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Does Your Pet Dream?

Have you ever seen your dog’s paws look like they are running in his sleep? Or your cat’s whiskers twitch while snoozing? If it’s not obvious enough from the video of Bizkit, research now shows that pets do dream during sleep.

Matthew Wilson of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory in Cabmridge, MA, told USA Today, ”As dogs and cats doze, images of past events replay in their minds much the same way humans recall experiences while dreaming. That’s because the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, is basically wired the same way in virtually all vertebrates and mammals.”

With people, non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) dreams occur shortly after falling asleep and images of that day’s activities are often present. During REM sleep, dreams are longer and events from months or even years past are present. Research shows that the same holds true for cats and dogs.

Maryann Mott reports in USA Today, “REM occurs approximately every 90 minutes in people, and every 25 minutes in cats.”

Psychologist Stanley Coren, author of “How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind and The Intelligence of Dogs” has said, “the frequency and length of dreams is dependent on their physical size. The larger the dog, the longer the dream, but the less frequent.”

A Labrador may be dreaming about chasing balls every 45 minutes for 5 minutes, while a Jack Russell Terrier might dream about chasing a squirrel every 10 minutes, with sixty second sessions.

Have you seen your dog’s tail wag in his sleep, or heard him whimpering while in deep slumber? Or maybe you’ve heard your cat chirping while sleeping? What do you think your pets dream about? Thanks for sharing experience of your pet’s dreams in a comment below.

Have you seen the Adoptable Pets page on Care2? Please also share with your friends. We’d love your help in finding homes for these adorable animals!

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time!

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Dogs, Humor & Inspiration, Pets, , , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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3:55AM PDT on Jul 5, 2013


3:50AM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

9:23AM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

poor dog!

4:36PM PDT on Jun 22, 2013


12:56PM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

I'm sure that my dog Piper dreams...

11:31PM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

I have watched my kitty dreaming and twitching while she does...

9:28PM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

I know mine do

9:01AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

I got teary eyed reading this. Our fury kids are such a blessing each and every day and it would be so wonderful if they had a life span of humans. Like with anyone in your life that you love it is important to never take them for granted.

8:55AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

Interesting that the larger the dog the langer they dream. My baby boy dreams a lot. Sometimes like he is running but he will also growl a little but when. Ever he whimpers in his sleep we gently wake him so he can go back to sleep and dream sweet dreams of digging and running and swimming and finding a treasure trove of chew sticks :)

12:29AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

Just caught this "Spirit" I would love to think that all of Nature Dreams! For all of you that see this comment I DID NOT WATCH this video, was rushing and have my rescue snoring next to me - was just thinking about her twitching, running in place and thinking about her going on Point looking for the gophers! The snoring is my fav though since is soft, but when it gets loud and I mimic her snore (while she is sleeping soundly ~ can't help it) she stops. I still LOVE it....will take her snore over the Jack Leg I was married to WAY IONS ago!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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