Does Your Pet Dream?

More on PawNation: Behavior, Cats, Dreams, Kittens, Psychology

Have you ever seen your dog's paws look like they are running in his sleep? Or your cat's whiskers twitch while snoozing? If it's not obvious enough from the video of Bizkit above, research now shows that pets do dream during sleep.

Matthew Wilson of MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory in Cabmridge, MA, told USA Today, "As dogs and cats doze, images of past events replay in their minds much the same way humans recall experiences while dreaming. That's because the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, is basically wired the same way in virtually all vertebrates and mammals."

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With people, non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) dreams occur shortly after falling asleep and images of that day's activities are often present. During REM sleep, dreams are longer and events from months or even years past are present. Research shows that the same holds true for cats and dogs.

Maryann Mott reports in USA Today, "REM occurs approximately every 90 minutes in people, and every 25 minutes in cats."

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Psychologist Stanley Coren, author of "How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind and The Intelligence of Dogs" has said, "the frequency and length of dreams is dependent on their physical size. The larger the dog, the longer the dream, but the less frequent."

A Labrador may be dreaming about chasing balls every 45 minutes for 5 minutes, while a Jack Russell Terrier might dream about chasing a squirrel every 10 minutes, with sixty second sessions.

RELATED: How to Keep a Dream Journal

Have you seen your dog's tail wag in his sleep, or heard him whimpering while in deep slumber? Or maybe you've heard your cat chirping while sleeping? What do you think your pets dream about? Thanks for sharing experience of your pet's dreams in a comment below.

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