Every so often, I notice Ryder sleeping soundly only to start whimpering or moving his legs like a sewing machine at some point during the night. I just assumed that like we humans he must be dreaming of something. I became curious and wondered do dogs dream or was I just making this up? And if so, what on earth do they dream about? And, what should I do when I hear my pup crying out? Is there any way to calm him?
Quite a few studies have demonstrated that dogs INDEED DO dream. In fact, scientists have discovered that most mammals do. Just like us, dogs enter into an REM sleep and that’s when dreaming occurs. What exactly they dream about is still a mystery and will most likely remain that way since our pups can’t talk. But according to www.pawposse.com “The whimpers could be muted versions of barking at the delivery man that came by. The twitching of his paws could be a dream of romping through the dog park. Though the body’s natural paralysis during sleep keeps your dog from actually barking or running, we see small signs that clue us in to the topic of his dreams”. So the next time this happens to your little baby, try to think back to what he did that day and maybe you can make a correlation between reality and his dreams.
Now, as a dog mom, the first thing I want to do when I hear Ryder crying out is wake him up. I guess it’s just my maternal instinct to want to reach out and gently wake him, but apparently this is not what we SHOULD do. This could really startle him. The experts suggest ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. As tempted as you are to abruptly wake him, try not to. Just like us, they need uninterrupted sleep for healthy brain activity. But, if you find the whimpering unbearable (as we dog moms and dads do) and that it’s absolutely necessary to wake him, just try to coax him gently from his deep sleep by softly saying his name over and over until he awakens. Then, touch him. Soothe him by giving him cuddles or rub him and let him know that everything is OK!