What Do Dogs Dream About?

All mammals that experience the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep are believed to dream, and that includes your dog. University of British Columbia professor Stanley Coren says canines usually enter the REM stage of sleep about 20 minutes after falling asleep, and usually stay there for two to three minutes—and that’s when they can dream.

Harvard’s Dr. Deirdre Carrett says that studying the way humans sleep and dream has led her to believe dogs dream about things they did during the daytime, just like people do. She adds that it’s pretty likely your dog dreams about you, which makes sense as you’re responsible for the animal’s well-being. Basically, anything and anyone your dog interacts with regularly is likely to end up in their dreams.

While your pet is asleep, dreaming can look like twitching, heavy breathing and even nipping the air. The experts add that they’ve found large breeds experience longer dreams while small breeds experience shorter dreams, and that small breeds dream more often than larger ones. To ensure your dog doesn’t have nightmares be sure to provide him or her with a loving household and a healthy lifestyle.