Every pet owner has already seen their dog bark nervously or their cat's ears moving frenetically in their sleep - are they dreaming?
Do pets dream?
Like humans, pets enter a deep sleep stage during which their breathing becomes more irregular and they have rapid eye movements (REM). It is during REM sleep that actual dreaming and, often, involuntary movements take place.
In dogs, research shows the frequency and length of dreams is linked to their size, for example Great Danes might dream every 45 minutes, while smaller dogs like pugs or chihuahuas enter a dream state every 10 minutes.
Owners can tell if their dozing pet is dreaming by looking for these clues: whisker twitching, paw tremors, irregular breathing and occasional high-pitched yips ( for dogs).
What do our pets dream about?
Researchers believe that they know the answer. What researchers witnessed is sleepwalking cats doing things they'd normally do while awake — walking, swatting their forepaws, even pouncing on imaginary prey. Dogs did the same. Thus our pets dream about emotional moments they have experienced, and do not have nightmares!