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Dogs likely dream of their humans when their day ends, suggests Harvard psychologist

While there's no concrete confirmation, it is likely that the paw pals who cling to their owners all day are dreaming about them at night too.

Dogs likely dream of their humans when their day ends, suggests Harvard psychologist
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| Hilary Halliwell

Dog lovers and dog parents know the joy and fulfillment they receive through the furry creatures. Their presence and warmth are enough to feel just at home let alone their loving mischief, wagging of their tails and more. Dogs love their owners beyond measure and pet owners have undoubtedly seen the immensity of the same. However, studies now suggest that dogs love owners to such an extent that they even dream about them when their day is over. People shared the views of a Clinical Psychologist, Dierdre Barrett, from Harvard Medical School. The expert who has studied human sleep behavior has thought about dogs' sleeping behavior too. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Christian Domingues
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Christian Domingues

From her experience, she thinks that dogs may have dreams and think about their experiences just like humans do. The psychologist explained that humans think or dream about the same things they’re interested in during the day. The only difference is, these may be less logical. “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,” she added. While Barrett acknowledges that there is no way to confirm the claim, the paw pals likely engage in similar behavioral patterns. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Ivan Babydov
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Ivan Babydov

It is not a sure fact that animals dream but many do have sleep cycles similar to that of humans. To add to this, when humans go into their deep sleep, they enter the Rapid Eye Movement phase where dreams are likely to occur. Barrett added, “That certainly makes it the best guess that other mammals are dreaming, too.” While cats have a whole different theory to explain their dreams, they’re likely chasing mice instead of thinking about their humans. Barrett shared from research, “Cats lay quietly through the other stages of sleep, and when REM began, they leaped up, stalked, pounced, arched their backs and hissed. They looked like they were hunting mice in their dreams.” Even without having much background, a pet owner would find it completely normal that dogs dream of them given that they’re attached to them even during the day.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Meruyurt Gonullu
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Meruyurt Gonullu

A dog wants nothing more than to greet its owner as soon as the person wakes up and simply be around them irrespective of the activity. For cats, they prefer being by themselves except at certain times of the day. Barrett suggests that dogs, too, may be giving signs about their dreams like cats through the motion of their paws or so but it’s much more subtle and generic compared to cats. Barrett concluded that though it is not confirmed what dogs dream about or whether they even dream at all, it is best to ensure that their dreams are peaceful. Sharing a way to maintain the same, she said, “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. It’s a good bet this is also best for pets’ dreams.”


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