Mi perro tiene pesadillas: a qué se debe

My dog ​​has nightmares: what is it due to?

Do you know why dogs dream and have nightmares? The brain waves of our canine friends are very similar to human ones, which is why it is very common for dogs to dream in their sleep, as we do. We are going to analyze nightmares in dogs, why a dog can have nightmares and what we can do to help him rest better.

Do dogs have nightmares?

Indeed, dogs do dream , and science has confirmed that dogs can dream in their sleep, just like us.

A study published in the journal Neuron in 2001, undertaken by two researchers from the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and supported by the studies of Stanley Cohen, an expert in canine behavior, concluded that dogs have brain activity similar to ours.

The analysis of a large number of encephalograms performed on dogs while they were sleeping revealed that dog sleep is divided into two major phases:

  1. Slow phase . It corresponds to our light sleep (duermevela). In it, the brain waves relax, but the muscle tone is maintained, so that any external stimulus can wake up the dog.
  2. Deep phase . In this stage, the opposite happens, the brain waves reach peaks of activity and the muscles relax. It is at this stage that dreams (and therefore nightmares) occur.

It is not easy to check if a dog is having nightmares, but it is quite possible to assume that he will dream during its deep phase. When dogs are dreaming, they usually have spasms in their legs, ears and eyelids (they may even open their eyes), show signs of agitation and even make sounds similar to crying and moaning.

These signs do not have to imply that the dog is having a nightmare. The agitation and movement of the legs may appear in any dream in which the dog is performing a physical activity, even fun, such as playing with us or running towards a ball.

However, since we know our pet, we must apply a certain dose of intuition : we can never know for sure if what our dog is dreaming is something bad, but it is possible that excessive agitation or a few too plaintive moans suggest otherwise.

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Why does my dog ​​have many nightmares

When a dog has restless sleep is usually for reasons analogous to ours. It is possible that our best friend is subjected to some frustrating situation , or that it is destabilizing him.

Some examples of these situations are separation anxiety , loss of his favorite toy, having problems with other dogs or with a member of the household, or having had a good scare because of the explosion of firecrackers or fireworks.

Also, a newly adopted dog will tend to have restless dreams, evoking memories of his previous life. Dogs that have suffered animal abuse will be more likely to relive those unpleasant moments in the form of nightmares; It is also possible that the reason for the nightmare does not necessarily come from the memory of abuse, but from a trauma suffered in some accident (with us or with its former owners).

Another classic reason (and one of the most common) of poor rest is usually the bed If the dog does not sleep in an appropriate place, it is very possible that the sleep is not restful and consequently, restless dreams and nightmares proliferate.

How to help my dog ​​if he has nightmares

Do not interrupt his sleep

Wake up your dog while he is having a dream or a nightmare is not a good idea. For a few seconds he will remain confused and scared, trying to distinguish between the real world and the universe depicted in his dreams. It is even possible for to react erratically until he manages to collect himself and realize where he is.

We recommend that do not intervene , because he may be pass in a few seconds. If not, pet him gently and address him in a very soft and loving tone. If he does end up waking up, keep talking to him and caressing him, because your mere presence will always comfort him.

Give him a comfortable mattress to sleep on

The place of rest is as important for us as it is for our best friends. We strongly recommend that you invest in a good mattress for dogs like the ones you will find in Baluka, where your pet can adopt a comfortable sleeping position, and give him freedom of movement during sleep.

It is also essential that the materials of these mattresses are resistant , both to possible snags with your dog's nails, and to mites and bacteria : rest and hygiene have not of being at odds!

Our best friends also share with us the same type of brain activity and, therefore, the same sleep patterns. If you think your dog may be having nightmares, don't hesitate to help him rest with lots of love and a comfortable mattress appropriate to his size.

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