Seeing dogs dreams with scientific certainty, but it is certainly difficult to imagine that they do not. We have all observed how our dogs display sleep behaviors similar to what they do when they are fully awake. Paws, moans, grunts, wagging tails, chewed jaws and twitching of the nose make us think about what our dogs dream about.
What we know about dogs and dreams
Although our knowledge on this topic is very limited, the following known information helps us to believe that dogs really see dreams. Matthew Wilson, a professor of neurology at MIT, and Kenway Louis, a graduate student in 2001, studied the relationships in the middle of memory, sleep and dreams, according to MIT News. They found that when rats were trained to walk on a circular trajectory to receive a food reward, their brains produced a distinctive pattern of neural excitation (brain cells). The researchers repeated the monitoring of the brain while the rats slept. And now they have observed the same characteristic pattern of brain activity associated with running, regardless of whether the rats are awake or asleep. In fact, during sleep, the memories reproduced about as quickly as when the rats were awake.
Can we apply it to dogs?
Can we apply what is known about dreams in rats and humans to dogs? Wilson thinks we can. “I assume — unless rats and humans have something special -that cats and dogs do exactly the same thing,” he said, according to the USA Today website.
The hippocampus, the part of the brain that collects and stores memories, is known to be arranged in almost the same way in all mammals. According to healthday.com . Professor Wilson says: “If you compare the hippocampus of a rat to a dog; cats to humans, they all contain the same fragments.”He believes that when dogs sleep, images of past Events are reproduced in their heads, just as people remember what they experienced in a dream.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it is known that in humans, most dreams occur during REM sleep (rapid eye movement). Dogs also experience periods of REM sleep. The Psychology Today website points out that your breathing becomes more irregular and shallow during REM sleep. Muscle twitching can be observed during REM sleep, and if you take a closer look, you can often observe rapid eye movements behind closed eyelids. During REM sleep, behaviors that are considered associated with dreams (leg tremors, tremors, dubbing, etc.) are most often observed.).
What we want to believe about dog dreams
When we observe our dogs while they are sleeping, it is almost impossible to imagine that they are not seeing dreams. Just like the rats studied by Wilson and Louis, it is tempting to think that our best four-legged friends are reproducing their recent experiences: playing in a dog park, sniffing in the woods, gnawing on a precious bone and hunting squirrels.
The National Institute of Health claims that Sigmund Freud hypothesized that dreams are a “safety valve” for our unconscious desires. Maybe he’s right, and when our dogs are sleeping, they dream of catching the annoying neighbor’s cat, constantly rubbing their bellies with an unlimited number of dog treats and taking the Thanksgiving turkey from the dinner table.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always consult or call your veterinarian – this is your best Resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.