Behavior, Health

Can Dogs Have Wet Dreams?

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Author: Jacob Kay

As a dog owner, you may have at least wondered once about your furry friend’s dreams and secret lives. You may have thought about whether they dream of chasing other animals, see fetching balls or cuddling with you. Also, do they experience sexual arousal like humans during their sleep?

So, if you are curious about this prospect and your curiosity will get resolved once you complete reading this article. I will provide some interesting aspects pertaining to their dreams and also share some insights into their sleeping pattern. So, Can dogs have wet dreams? Let’s Find out.

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Can Dogs Have Wet Dreams?

Yes, dogs do have wet dreams. They are pretty common, especially among male dogs. Dog owners often see their male dogs having swollen testicles, erections, ejaculations, and thrusting movements during their sleep. So, if you had a worrisome concern about this then trust me it’s not.

Any of these sexual activities, while dogs are asleep, do not indicate any health issues. These instances are quite normal and considered healthy. Female dogs also get such dreams, especially when in their heat cycle.

Now, before we glide into specific details, it’s crucial to understand their sleeping behaviour. Let’s break down the different stages or phases of sleep in dogs.

Dog sleep – Phases

Like we humans have different phases of sleep, dogs too sleep in different phases. One is deep sleep, and the other one is light sleep. There is a third phase as well which is not commonly referred to as a distinctive phase but, makes the cut.

#1 Deep Sleep – REM (Rapid Eye Movement)

When in deep sleep i.e. REM, your furry friend may experience wet dreams. Their cognitive activity is high during such a state. So, if they may exhibit signs of moaning, twitching, moving, moving eyes or paws, or simply barking it indicates they are having dreams.

Further, your furry friend may also be dreaming about stuff which they normally do or see frequently in their routine. They see themselves playing fetch, hunting, eating food, or playing with other canines. They may also get fearful dreams where they see a stranger or other animals, or see themselves fighting.

While having pleasant dreams, the male dogs will show signs of erections, or ejaculation and the female dogs will have wetness or contractions. The REM dreams are healthy and normal. Typically they last for about 10 minutes.

#2 Light sleep – SWS (Slow wave sleep)

In light sleep, aka SWS, dogs are more alert. They may wake up instantly at the slightest of noises. In this sleep phase, the possibilities of dogs having dreams are less. In this state, sleep is not deep and there is minimal scope for cognitive function and muscle relaxation is also incomplete.

While in the SWS phase, your furry friend will show movements but, those do not implicate that they are having dreams, they rarely have them and sexual dreams are a mere possibility.

#3 Transition

The transition phase refers to a state where a dog’s sleep resonates between the SWS and REM states. Here dogs continuously switch their sleeping pattern and they keep transiting from SWS to REM or from REM to SWS. In such transitions, the duration for a specific state is less and thus, there are no dreams.

In such transitions, the duration for a specific state is less and thus, there are no dreams. Can dogs get hiccups during these transitions, check out our guide for more information.

Male Dog Wet Dreams

Sexually mature male dogs tend to have wet dreams while asleep. Dog owners observe their dogs having erections, and ejaculations while having a sexual dream during REM sleep. Let’s understand different prospects pertaining to male dog wet dreams.

male-dog-wet-dream
Image by: freepik

Reasons why they have them:

  • Hormones, age, breed, environmental stimuli, and health have a significant impact on sleep and dreams dogs.
  • Male dog attains sexual maturity when they are between 6 months to 2 years of age. In this period, having sexual dreams is quite common for them.
  • Wet dreams help male dogs process their emotions and sexual desires while they are asleep. The instances mainly include daily life experiences.
  • REM phase sleep is for dogs to have sexual dreams but, they also dream about other things. So, it’s not necessary they will only have wet dreams.

Recognising wet dreams in male dogs:

  • Male dogs in sleep will show sexual behaviour. You may see them have erections, sudden movements, swollen testicles, and ejaculation. These are the most prominent signs suggesting their state of sleep and affirming they are having wet dreams.
  • If a male dog is making different noises, like moaning, barking or whimpering, then it’s likely because of their sexual dream.

Dealing with wet dreams in male dogs:

  • Dealing simply refers to cleaning up the dog and its place after they have a wet dream. Wipe their genitals and the area where they sleep.
  • If the instances of wet dreams are more frequent, you can try neutering the dog. This lowers testosterone levels and prevents such dreams. Remember, the dog may continue having other dreams.

Now, sometimes, dog owners get confused when their dog is moving. They find it difficult to identify whether they are having a sexual dream or a seizure. Because if it’s a seizure then, you need to gently wake the dog for preventing any health issues.

To identify whether it’s a seizure or a dream, have a closer look at their eyes, if they are still, then your male dog is probably having a seizure or a nightmare.

If your male dog is having very frequent wet dreams, you may wonder if medication could help, such as gaviscon. But can dogs have gaviscon? 

Female Dog Wet Dreams

Female dogs have fewer wet dreams in comparison to male dogs. They reach sexual maturity when they hit their first heat cycle. This happens around six months of age.

female-dog-wet-dreams
Image by: user5038844 / freepik

Reasons why female dogs have wet dreams:

  • Heat cycle, ovulation, hormones, and environmental changes, can lead to instances where a female dog will have wet dreams.
  • During the heat cycle, female dogs are fertile and also have a willingness to mate. They release pheromones when in the cycle for luring male dogs. The elevated levels of the hormones often trigger wet dreams while they sleep.
  • Even when they are not in their heat, there has been observation where owners have found their female dogs having wet dreams. The reason behind this is not specified.
  • When female dogs are having sexual urges or desires, they process these emotions and experience sexual dreams.

Recognising wet dreams in female dogs:

  • A female dog will show having wet dreams will leave stains, stickiness, or dampness on their bedding.
  • Signs of contractions such as tightening, twitching or spasming of their vaginal muscles also suggest wet dreams.
  • At times, you may notice some swelling in the female dog’s nipples or vulva. The redness or enlargement of these suggests they are having a sexual dream.
  • Vaginal discharge or disorders during their sleep are common and indicate they had a wet dream but, you need to observe the colour and if there is any anomaly inform your vet.
  • If the female dog is making moaning sounds, whimpering or barking during sleep, then they are having a sexual dream.

Dealing with wet dreams in female dogs:

  • Similar to male dogs there is no specific need to contain these dreams as they are healthy for female dogs.
  • The only thing to consider is to clean their place if they had a vaginal discharge. Also, wipe their private organs.
  • Spaying is an option if there is a necessity to contain their wet dreams. This will reduce their hormone levels and their sexual drive. So, they will stop having sexual dreams. However, they will have normal dreams as usual.

Now, at times, female dogs can have nightmares or seizures while asleep. So, to recognise the symptoms you need to observe their eyes as mentioned previously. Wake them up gently.

Female autistic dogs may have different hormonal changes during their heat cycle that could affect wet dreams

Dog Wet Dreams – Possible Issues

The prospect of a dog having sexual dreams is not fatal or negative in any way. However, there are some minor issues that arise when our furry friends do get wet dreams.

  • Wet dreams can cause ejaculation in males and vaginal discharge in females, the scent left can lure unknown canines or animals, especially if the scent is strong and of a female dog.
  • Often dog owners get confused with the movements, especially the newbies and get worried thinking it may be a seizure, urinary tract infection, prostate issue, or a nightmare.
  • While these sexual dreams are not concerning, if they are frequent and intense, they might interfere with dogs’ sleep and affect their cognitive capacity.
  • At times, wet dreams can also indicate some underlying health condition. These conditions are infection, cancer, inflammation, or hormonal imbalance. However, rarely a dog is diagnosed with such an issue.

Dog wet dreams – tips to maintain the health and hygiene of dogs

If your furry friend is having continuous dreams, the sexual ones, it’s crucial you don’t interfere with their sleep cycle and also manage their health by maintaining hygiene. Following are some tips that you can consider:

  1. Clean up the private organs of a dog using a clean cloth. Also, clean the bedding area where they usually rest.
  2. Interference in their sleep can cause them to behave aggressively and also affect their mind, so, it’s crucial for your to provide a soothing environment. Make sure they can relax and have their dreams without any stress or disturbance.
  3. Never force your dog to wake up. Such a disturbance can cause confusion in their minds. Be gentle every time you wake them up. If it’s a seizure you can consult your vet to rule out health problems.
  4. If wet dreams are continuous and there are several underlying health issues contributing to it. It may be cancer, inflammation, infection or hormonal imbalance. A vet may suggest you neuter or spay your dog. Neutering or spaying will reduce the hormone levels and control their sexual drive.
  5. Maintain their diet and make sure you don’t modify it. Their food also has a significant impact on their sleeping habits. Avoid using products which can cause allergies or sensitivities.
  6. Keeping dogs hydrated is important for the regular release of bacteria and toxins from their system. This avoids dehydration and also prevents urinary infections. This helps in ensuring they have no issues in their sleep.
  7. For proper sleep, the dog also needs regular exercise. This will keep them happy and fit. The exercises help in reducing stress which eventually improves their sleep quality.

FAQs

How many times does a dog get a wet dream?

There is no exact number indicating the frequency of wet dreams in dogs. The number of times a dog gets wet dreams completely relies on their age, breed, sexual activity, and hormonal release. Some dog breeds may have more wet dreams while others may have fewer or, not have them at all. In addition, if a dog is neutered or spayed, they are likely to have no such dreams at all. Hence, it’s hard to provide an exact number for this.

Which dog breeds have more wet dreams?

Dog breeds which are prone to hyperandrogenism, a condition which refers to the elevation of masculising sex hormones are likely to have more wet dreams. This condition is more common in female dogs. Dog breeds like Chows Chows, Pomeranians, Keeshond, Poodles, and Samoyeds are the ones having higher androgen levels and more wet dreams.

Is it OK to neuter a dog to get rid of wet dreams?

If you are neutering or spaying your dog just for stopping them from having wet dreams then it’s not good. It’s not fair to them and enforcing this procedure on them can have repercussions. Wet dreams are quite natural and there is no harmful effect on a dog’s health. As a matter of fact, neutering or spaying is riskier as it involves surgery. So, while it’s one of the solutions for stopping wet dreams it’s not worth it.

What are the medications for lowering the frequency of wet dreams in dogs?

Antiandrogens or Anxiolytics are two possible medications that are prescribed by vets for lowering the frequency of wet dreams in dogs. Antiandrogens are the ones which block the effects of androgens like testosterone. Spironolactone and cyproterone are two examples of Antiandrogens. The Anxiolytics are drugs which help reduce anxiety and stress which are possible factors for triggering wet dreams. Diazepam and alprazolam are two examples of Anxiolytics.

Can Dogs Have Wet Dreams – Final Take

Dogs can have wet dreams, and it’s not unusual. They have these sexual urges while they sexually mature and the elevation of hormones triggers wet dreams. You may see them ejaculate and have erections while asleep. This phenomenon is part of their routine sleep cycle and there is nothing to be worried about.

A dog’s age, breed, health status, and sexual activity level play a huge role in influencing their sleep and having wet dreams. Some dog breeds are prone to hyperandrogenism but, there is no scientific backing for the fact that the masculinising sex hormones elevate and lead to more wet dreams in dogs.

However, if you observe excessive sexual behaviour or the wet dreams are more frequent than usual, consult your vet to rule out any possible medical issue in your dog. Wet dreams are not yet studied thoroughly but, they are certainly part of your furry friend’s sleep cycle. You must not worry and try providing a suitable environment where they can have proper sleep.

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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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