Do you ever look at your adorable pooch sleeping soundly next to you and just think for a second what they could be dreaming? Harvard psychologist Dr. Deirdre Barrett’s expands her study on human behavior also sheds light on animals’ behavior, too.
Most mammals, like dogs, have a similar sleep cycle as humans. This means that they, too, move fluidly through deep sleep and onto a less brain-active state, then towards the Rapid Eye Movement stage. During this last stage, the brain’s neurons work quite similar like that during waking hours, which means it’s where dreams occur.
“That certainly makes it the best guess that other mammals are dreaming, too,” she told People in an interview.
Next question is, what do they dream about? Barrett once again looks over to humans as her guide to get an answer.
“Humans dream about the same things they’re interested in by day, though more visually and less logically,” Barrett explains. “There’s no reason to think animals are any different. Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”
While this could not be proven to be 100% proven, Barrett recommends that human interaction with their animal companions could certainly influence what they dream about.
“The best way to give ourselves or our children better dreams is to have happy daytime experiences and to get plenty of sleep in a safe and comfortable environment. It’s a good bet this is also best for pets’ dreams,” she adds.