What Does It Mean If You Dream About Dogs?

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Because dogs can’t verbalize their experiences to us, we have no way of knowing exactly what they dream about. (Though we’re pretty sure they do dream.) It stands to reason, then, that they could be dreaming about us, their loving humans. Aw, how sweet. But what does it mean if we’re dreaming about them? Here’s what a few dream-interpretation experts think.

If you dream about an injured dog …

Because dogs live so closely with humans, most interpreters believe they, more than other animals, can act as our stand-ins in dreams. “In your own dream you will probably know if a dog is just a dog, or is a part of yourself,” Ray Douglas writes in Decoding Your Dreams. “Interpretation is bound to be a personal matter.”

An injured dog might mean you are worried about your health, or a close relationship in your life. But if the injured dog is your dog, according to holistic life coach Fran Kramer, it might be an indication of worry about the dog, or a warning that you need to take better care of it. “For example, if I dream my dog is lying by the road with a broken leg,” Kramer writes, “I need to ask if I am giving it too much freedom to roam freely on the streets or be endangered by on-coming vehicles.”

If you dream about a dog barking …

According to J.M. DeBord in his book The Dream Interpretation Dictionary, a barking dog could symbolize the fact that you need to go easier on the people in your life, and be less demanding of them. Alternatively, it could mean you feel like someone should be less demanding of you. “You can tell the difference by how you feel and respond to the dog barking,” writes DeBord.

If you dream about a dog running …

Again, it’s important to note how you feel about the running dog. “If you dream of a dog chasing or threatening you,” Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, a dream analyst at whatyourdreammeans.com, told Paw Culture, “it likely represents a situation in your life that makes you feel victimized, angry or powerless.”

If you can’t catch the running dog, it could mean there is something in your life you want but can’t get. If the dog is running toward you in a way that feels nonthreatening, it could represent a new relationship. Similarly, a dog running away from you could represent a relationship that you feel has become distant, or one you feel like you should remove yourself from.

If you dream about being bitten by a dog …

A dog bite can mean different things, depending on where on your body the bite happens, according to DeBord in The Dream Interpretation Dictionary. A bite on the leg might indicate a lack of balance; a bite on the wrist might mean your loyalty to someone or something is holding you back. A gentle bite might be symbolic of a guiding force, and a bite on the hand could take on the meaning of the phrase “bite the hand that feeds you” — that someone you’re close with, or helping, might be doing something to harm you.

If you dream about a dog who has died …

You might be wondering if dreaming about a dog who has died means they’re attempting to visit you in your sleep. I understand. “Dreams are personal,” Loewenberg told Paw Culture. “It could be a visitation of a beloved pet letting you know they’re still around and watching over you. It could also be your mind’s way of getting closure or trying to remain connected to that animal.”

What Does It Mean If You Dream About Dogs?