Can actually dogs have nightmares or dreams? Discover it, on Dogalize!
In fact, dogs can dream. Both ways: dreams and, yes, dogs have nightmares. Just like us, humans. They have eyes and a brain after all. They are perceiving the physical world through senses and these stimuli are being decoded by the brain.
What do dogs have nightmares about?
Scientific study has determined that dogs have nightmares, indeed. They believe, however, that the process is different from humans. The question that begs now is what do dogs dream about. Experts are left with more questions and speculations.
One idea suggests that dogs have nightmares about things they fear, just like us, humans. But here is when the similarities with humans bifurcate. We humans are able to imagine many possible scenarios, even non-existent. Dogs, on the other hand, are not good at imagining or anticipating events. So, their bad dreams are more connected with memories.
Then, dogs have nightmares about things registered in their memory. Most usually, these dreams come from their short-term memory. It is not a long shot to suppose, though, that dogs could also have bad dreams about traumatic events from the far past.
How to tell a dream from a nightmare
Distinguishing both is not that difficult. If your dog is kicking, twitching, or making soft noises, your dog is having a pleasant dream. If he is crying, growling, or even screaming, you can be sure he is having a not-so-pleasant dream.
What can you do?
The first thing that you are tempted to do if your dog is yelping or snarling is to wake him up. If a dog is abruptly woken up in the middle of a bad dream, he can very easily snap. He will be startled and display violent behavior.
If you still want to free your dog from the squirrel chasing him, wake him up by gently touching him or calling his name. Yes, nightmares are horrible but the truth is that they have no medical consequence. Nevertheless, if you feel that your dog is always under stress due to bad dreaming, contact your veterinarian.
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