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Do Dogs Dream Like People?

October 22, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 145

For anyone who has watched their dog sleep, the obvious answer is yes.But the scientific answer is, "we don't know."We know that dogs experience REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep. REM sleep has been associated with dreaming, but we know that, at least in people, rapid eye movement during sleep is not always indicative of dreaming.Our best guess is that dogs do dream, but there is no way to prove it since we cannot ask them.

How would we recognize REM sleep in a dog?

Watch the eyes of a sleeping dog and you will note that periodically, the eyes move back and forth in a quick rhythmic motion.This is recognized as Rapid Eye Movement, or REM, sleep.Many dogs will also move their whiskers and lips, and make licking and chewing motions when they sleep.They may paddle their feet, almost like they are running.Some dogs will vocalize, making little yips or howls.

Are owners sometimes concerned about this behavior?

Some people have seen this behavior when their dog was sleeping and worry that it was a form of a seizure. So how can you tell if what your dog is doing is normal?

If a dog is sleeping normally, he will be easily awakened by calling his name or by jostling his body.If a dog was having a seizure, you would not be able to stop a dog from seizing using those same methods.

But a word of caution:be careful when waking any dog from a deep sleep.When disturbed from a sound sleep, many dogs will instinctively try to bite before they are even awake.

A native of Oklahoma, Dr. Marrinson graduated from Oklahoma State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985 and has spent his entire career practicing in Central Florida. Dr. Marrinson has been the owner of Longwood Veterinary Clinic since 1994. In addition to his regular practice, Dr. Marrinson has worked extensively in emergency medicine and has special interests in soft tissue surgery and endocrinology. Visit his website at and sign up for his article "The 10 Services Your Veterinarian Must Recommend, Perform, and Believe In." You can find his clinic on Facebook too.!/pages/Longwood-FL/Longwood-Veterinary-Clinic/330838001148?ref=ts&ajaxpipe=1&__a=28

Source: EzineArticles
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