Do Dogs Have Nightmares?

Do Dogs Have Nightmares?

Dogs can have nightmares. An owner may notice leg twitches, jerking, growling or barking when the animal is sleeping. Subtler and quieter movements may indicate a good dream.

A dog's brain is structurally similar to a human's, and a dog goes through the same stages of sleep as humans. A dog may have nightmares because of certain stresses or changes in his life. Nightmares, however, may occur for no apparent reason.

As a dog falls asleep, breathing becomes rapid. After about 20 minutes of deep sleep, a dog may enter the period of REM sleep. During this period, dreams occur in humans and animals with complex brains.