You may have wondered if dogs dream at night just like humans do, and whether they picture their favourite tasty snack or person whilst they sleep.
Research suggests that pooches do dream on a regular basis, and scientists believe this is the case for all vertebrates – including fish and flies.
To delve a little deeper into nap time, we spoke to Adem Fehmi, a canine behaviourist and trainer working with natural dog food brand Barking Heads, to share his expert knowledge about sleep.
How do I know if my dog is dreaming?
There are lots of physical ways you can recognise that your dog is in the middle of a dream.
Adem told The Mirror : “You may sometimes see your dog’s face or body twitch when they sleep, or even kick their legs around as if they are running.
“They may also make small yelp or bark-like sounds whilst sleeping.”
What do dogs dream about?
“It is not known for certain, but it is thought that dogs dream just like us, perhaps replaying moments from their day or dreaming of favourite activities such as chasing their favourite toy in the garden or house,” Adem explains.
Previous research supports the belief that dogs dream about their everyday experiences – so there’s a good chance they could be dreaming about their owners.
What should I do when my dog is dreaming?
“Try not to disturb your dog when they’re dreaming,” Adem advises.
“If you are concerned and feel like you must intervene, use your voice only, be calm, and give them lots of space.
“Remember that dogs may be shocked and react if suddenly disturbed, especially if they wake up thinking they’re in danger.”
How do I make sure my dog sleeps well?
“It is important to remember that a dog’s diet can affect their quality of sleep, with a lack of water or nutrients drastically reducing their energy levels,” Adem reminds.
“A good quality, complete food made with natural ingredients can help to guarantee they receive the nutritious benefits needed to set them up for both day and night and keep their energy levels from spiking and/or crashing.
“Timing your dog’s dinner in the evening is also key to ensure that they don’t feel too hungry or full around bedtime.
“Before lights out, my dogs enjoy a bedtime denti style stick such as Barking Heads’ Floss n Gloss, which helps with dental hygiene.
“This routine helps them to be able relax and settle down for the night.”
What type of bed should my dog sleep in?
“To ensure your pup has a comfortable surrounding when dreaming, it is important to consider certain aspects in a dog bed,” Adem says.
“It should be comfortable for the breed type, age and size of your dog.
“An older dog might benefit from an orthopaedic bed, whereas a puppy might benefit from a bed that can absorb water.
“For puppies, you may also want to consider a type of bedding that is not too precious or expensive due to the higher risk of being chewed as they play and explore.
“For me, it is also important to choose a bed that is robust and can be easily washed.
“This helps the environment by limiting the need to frequently replace a smelly or very worn dog bed with a new version.
“It also ensures any accidents or dirt brought into their bed can be easily cleaned away, keeping the area hygienic and inviting.”