Can dogs have nightmares? Causes, what to do, explained.

It turns out that bad dreams aren’t just a nuisance to humans, our furry friends can experience them too. While man’s best friend’s sleeping habits differ in some ways from ours, there are some striking similarities, including our ability to be scared at night.

But dogs probably don’t dream of showing up to school naked or losing all their teeth. These are uniquely human fears. So what populates their dream world?

Here’s what to know about dog nightmares, what to do if your dog has a nightmare, and what he might be dreaming about:

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Do dogs have nightmares?

The American Kennel Club reports that dogs can have nightmares as well as other types of dreams.

Small dogs dream more often than large dogs, says AKC, their dreams last less.

Do dogs dream?

Yes. AKC reports that your pup’s sleeping habits aren’t all that different from yours.

Dogs experience both slow wave sleep, or SWS, and rapid eye movement sleep, or REM. Dogs spend about 10% of their total sleep in the dream or REM phase.

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How do you know when a dog is having a nightmare?

Indications that your puppy is having a nightmare include:

  • growl
  • Tears
  • growling
  • Loud barking
  • Tremor
  • jerks

What causes nightmares in dogs?

Dogs aren’t able to imagine scary monsters like we AKC report, so if your dog is having a nightmare, he’s most likely remembering a traumatic experience.

Wag Dog Walking Company! reports that dogs that have experienced more trauma in the past are more likely to have nightmares.

If your dog often suffers from nightmares, trying to make his sleeping space more relaxed and safe can help.

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Should we wake dogs from nightmares?

What to do if your dog is having a nightmare – resist the urge to wake him up.

AKC reports that your pup might go wild if you wake him from a nightmare, perhaps without realizing he’s been awoken and disoriented.

Again, creating a comfortable environment can be a preventative measure. Nightmares in dogs can be triggered by noises or chronic pain, Wag! explains, so eliminating catalysts can help your pup rest better at night.

Just curious?:Answers to your daily questions.

What do dogs dream of?

Dogs dream of their daily activities just like us.

In recent studies, dogs have been shown to dream of pointing at birds or running. Dog dreams tend to depict activities they often participate in, Wag intercourse, or sometimes a replay of a particularly formative experience.

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