Do you ever wonder if your dog is *dreaming* as it's sleeping? Although there's really no way of knowing what exactly goes through puppers' minds as they snooze, tons of scientific evidence point to the fact that they do dream—just like us. As if that news isn't enough to make you want to cuddle with your pup, experts believe that they're more than likely to be dreaming about their ~hoomans~, too. We're not crying, you are!
In 2001, researchers from MIT conducted studies with lab rats that successfully proved that animals go through similar sleep cycles that we experience. According to Healthline, the phases include periods of wakefulness, followed by Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. REM sleep where the mental activity is at its peak, and it's when our most *vivid* dreams occur.
So what exactly do our fur babies dream about when they sleep? According to Harvard psychologist Dr. Deirdre Barrett, "It is likely dogs dream about their everyday experiences, just like humans." And 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." Aww!
The size and breed of your doggo also play a role in their dreams, according to research done by Stanley Coren, PhD. A golden retriever or labrador would generally have less recurring but longer dreams, whereas a chihuahua or dachshund would have more frequent but shorter dreams. Puppies—regardless of breed—spend more time in the REM sleep phase than adult dogs do. This means they dream more often, due to the fact that they have to mentally process more new experiences. So precious!
Dr. Barrett also shared her advice on how to make sure your dogs get *good* dreams as much as possible. "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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This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.