Do Dogs Have Nightmares?
Recent studies have shown that dogs dream just as much as humans do. What’s more surprising is that the whole process of dreaming is quite similar. If you are a long-term dog owner, you’ve probably noticed your dog’s paws twitching and heard growling sounds while s/he’s asleep. These are normal movements that show that dogs dream.
Once in a while we all get nightmares and since dogs do have the same dream patterns as us, they sure have some fair share of nightmares too. S/he might experience a bad dream derived from some unpleasant imagination or a horrific experience it had in the past or simply dreaming of running away from something he’s afraid of.
We’ll take a sneak peek as to why dogs have nightmares and the measures you can take once you notice this.
Signs that your dog is having a nightmare
There are plenty of signs which can tell you whether your dog is having a pleasant dream or a horrifying dog nightmare. If a dog is having a good dream you will notice eyelids twitching, moving ears and twitchy paws—and it’s all peaceful; probably with sound mild sound. If it’s all peaceful and comfortable in its sleep you have nothing to worry about—if anything, be happy for it.
On the other hand, if your dog is experiencing a nightmare, it will do everything to express the horror it is undergoing. This is evident in barks, growls, and whimpers in its sleep. The dog might wake up suddenly in a startled or confused state. If yours is the furious type, you may not want to be next to it when it breaks free from the mental trauma. Immediately after it wakes up, you might feel its paws are wet or sweaty. This is a clear indication that they have dreamt or seen something scary and must have been scampering for safety in its dream.
How can you ease your dog’s nightmares?
Basically, you can’t prevent a dog from having nightmares. And even if it is having one of those bad dreams, you should always let the nightmare run because it serves some purpose in mental development and it doesn’t have any long-term effects. However, if the dreams seem so intense and get you really worked up–and you are more concerned about your dog’s well-being than the purpose that the nightmare serves, then you can wake it up by calling its name at a safe distance. Waking your dog up by touching or patting him is not a good idea since it might bite you unintentionally.
Other measures you can take are diffusing natural oils such as lavender where your dog sleeps; this is handy in relaxing and calming him down.
You can also play Relaxing dog music for sleep which creates an ambient environment for relaxation.
If you notice your dog is experiencing a nightmare, there is no need to freak out; just let the dream run. But, if you feel there is something wrong, ensure your dog gets proper treatment since some pets can succumb to sleeping disorders.
I hope you find this post helpful, for any question feel free to get in touch with us.