Why Do Puppies Dream a Lot?
Puppies dream a lot, and when they dream, they do so quite vividly, but what causes pups to spend so much time into Dreamland? To better understand the behavior it helps to gain a deeper understanding into what happens in those little puppy brains.
A Matter of Developed Brains
First of all, let's consider that puppies aren't the only ones to dream. Cats, adult dogs and humans dream too. Truth is, all animals equipped with a highly developed brain will dream, so it should not be surprising why puppies dream too. But why do puppies seem to dream a whole lot, and most of all, why do puppies dream so vividly? You can literally see their little legs move, their muscles twitch, they may vocalize and some puppies even chew while dreaming as if munching on some imaginary treats.
Puppies Sleep a Lot!
One reason why puppies may seem like they dream a whole lot is the simple fact that young puppies are often sleeping. What's happening is that, when puppies are born, the area dedicated to keeping them alert and awake is poorly developed. leading to puppies sleeping about 90 percent of the time, while the remaining 10 percent is dedicated to nursing.
Why do puppies twitch in their sleep though? All that muscle twitching ultimately exercises those young puppy muscles, helping the puppy increase muscle tone in the legs so the puppy's legs can gain sufficient strength to allow him to stand and eventually walk around.
It is unclear though whether in young puppies, all that twitching involves any dreams. It is possible that, since puppies don't open their eyes until when they're 12-14 days old, all the twitching is just meant for neural and muscular developments. One important question though would be: can dreams include tactile ( pertaining the sense of touch) elements other than visual?
Rehearsing Life Events
What really happens when we dream? Most of our dreams are a re-enactment of things that take place during our day. Once puppies are more developed and see, it is therefore natural for them to start dreaming. Maybe they're dreaming of chasing those squirrels they saw earlier or they're munching on that sandwich you forgot on the table.
Generally, dreaming and twitching appears to be more intense during early puppy hood, and then as puppies develop, this tendency appears to lessen, however, owners of senior dogs often witness a return to vivid dreaming again. Regardless, of why dogs dream, let's face it: dreaming puppies look funny and they are super adorable! So enjoy puppy hood for as long as it lasts!