June 11, 2020

Do pets really chase rabbits in their sleep?

Do pets really chase rabbits in their sleep?
Dr. Chris Brown

It’s one of the cutest yet most confusing sides of the furry family. When they fall asleep and start whimpering, are they dreaming? And if so, is all that twitching them living out their doggy dreams of chasing endless tennis balls. The answer might surprise you!

Well, thankfully you’re not alone in wanting this question answered. Scientists studied the brain activity of dogs as they fall asleep and made a remarkable discovery. Their brain activity is almost identical to ours.
After reaching deep sleep, both pets and people enter something called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is the stage where we dream. So yes, it is possible!


Own a pet and chances are you’ve seen and heard it all; everything from running, to barking and even whimpering. Basically, all the research says that this ‘rabbit chasing’ is actually a dream spilling over into real life.

Just as it does with us, their brain NORMALLY paralyses their body so they don’t actually act out their dream. But importantly it’s not always 100% successful. So when those actions and words (or little whimpers) spill over into real life, that’s when they’re almost certainly running after those rabbits or scoring the ultimate job as ball-dog at the Australian Open tennis. Maybe dreams can come true…

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