What Do Dogs Think About All Day?
What Do Dogs Think About All Day?
When you have a dog, you might wonder, “What do they think about all day?” While there’s no surefire way to know exactly what they’re thinking about, you can get an idea of how their brains work and what they might be considering or feeling throughout the day.
For starters, a new study shows that dogs can discriminate between different familiar objects when they’re searching for their favorite toys. This could indicate that they’re thinking about something while looking for their stuffed animals, says researcher Shany Dror.
What They’re Thinking About
When dogs are alone, they may be thinking about a few things. They may be considering their daily routine, reminiscing about their favorite places, or even dreaming about their owners.
The most common thing they think about all day, though, is food. The majority of dog owners are aware that their pets have a strong desire to eat, but few people really understand how the canine brain works to process these thoughts and emotions.
To figure out what your dog is thinking about, pay close attention to their body language and actions. For example, if they look for and find their ball or toys, it’s likely that they are thinking about their play time. If they come up to you and place their head or paw in your lap, it’s likely that they are trying to get some affection from you. These subtle cues can give you a better understanding of what your dog is thinking about all day.
What They’re Not Thinking About
Dogs aren’t just obedient, loyal and affectionate--they’re smarter than most people give them credit for. They’re also capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions, from guilt to joy to grief.
But how much of that thinking actually takes place during the day is less clear. Many dogs simply curl up and sleep while their owners are at work, while others may get stressed out or even turn destructive when they’re left alone for a while.
Fortunately, scientists have been able to study how the brains of dogs process information. The results show that they have a similar capacity for thinking as we do, but they do it a lot more slowly.
For example, a recent neuroimaging study found that a larger portion of a dog’s brain is devoted to analyzing smells than humans do. This might explain how dogs are able to navigate their environments so well, as well as how they communicate with each other.
What They’re Doing
Your dog probably spends most of his day sleeping (and snoozing, for that matter). They cycle in and out of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is a deep state of sleep that’s believed to be where dreaming occurs.
They may also dream about their daily routine, like flexing their legs in a running motion or making noises. And of course, they’ll often think about their owners when they’re away, as it can make them feel closer and more secure.
They probably also think about their food and toys, says Rebecca Hare, a veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They may be thinking about other dogs, too — they can read other animals’ body language and facial expressions to determine how other creatures are feeling.
What They’re Not Eating
We all know that dogs have a ravenous appetite, but there are times when your pet’s food choices can be a little less than stellar. They might not want to eat a certain brand of kibble, or they may be picky about the texture and flavor.
If you’re not sure what the problem is, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. They Are Feeling Stressed
Dogs can experience stress just like humans, which can make them less hungry. A move, a new baby, a change in schedule, or even just a trip to the vet can cause your dog to eat less.
But, don’t let it get to a point where you start to suspect something more serious. It’s important to check in with your veterinarian, who can run tests and give you an accurate diagnosis.