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Dog Dreams

Decoding your dreams about pets with expert & bestselling author Theresa Cheung

By: Theresa Cheung

Last Updated:

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Featured illustration by Michelle Simpson

Q: What do dreams about pets mean?

A: When a pet from your past or present features in your dream, your unconscious is reflecting your feelings for that companion, be it affection and comfort or regret and loss. Your dream is signalling that these feelings are ones you really need to deal with or integrate into your waking life.

Pet dreams reflect an aspect of your own personality that lovingly needs your attention. In your waking life, you may not be aware of your deep need for affection and attention; this need will show up when a pet appears in your dreams. They are a symbol of the natural drive to give and receive love. 

Another interpretation is that dreams about pets are showing your ability to care for or nurture someone or something that is vulnerable and dependent. This could be a relationship or a project or an idea you are working on. Your dream may be a symbol of unconditional love or of being sensitive to the feelings of others. Or it could be suggesting an aspect of your personality that feels dependent or that you are not fully in control of and needs training.

Pay special attention to the condition of the pet in your dream. If a pet appears starving or uncared for, you are not taking care of your own basic needs. You need to self-nurture.

If you save the life of a pet in your dream, you are acknowledging the emotions that animal inspires in you.

Dreams of pet competitions are all about feeling pride in your achievements or the need for you to do so.

Animals represent our untamed aspects, so if you are struggling to control your pet in your dream, this suggests you are trying to deny your basic needs for affection or companionship. To dream of talking pets or animals suggests that you are listening to your inner wisdom. Hear what your dream pet has to say.

Photo Nina Duncan

Q: What do animals in dreams represent?

A: Undomesticated animals in dreams typically represent your most basic needs and survival instincts, as well as natural feelings and drives. These may be anger, sex, parental instincts, desire for recognition or spontaneity, or a sense of adventure. Animals represent these basic drives, free of social conventions and expectations.

Pets also represent these needs, but because pets are domesticated, they represent the desire to be loved or petted and are often associated with feelings of responsibility or caring. Your dream will indicate how well these wild or natural feelings and drives have been cared for or expressed and whether they are caged or need to be set free. How you act in your animal dream will suggest what you are doing with your animal instincts.

According to Carl Jung, the father of dream interpretation, images of starving, out of control, violent or destructive animals suggest that you are becoming estranged from your inner instincts and have closed the door to your inner world.

Animal dreams may reflect your feelings about demands others are placing on you in your waking life. These demands will be current ones as your dreams comment on your present waking reality. 

Q: Dreaming about a pet who has passed: What does it mean?

A: Angel pet dreams are a beautiful sign that death ends a life but not a relationship. These dreams can be very healing. In many ways, our pets are angels always by our side.

In my afterlife and angel books, I often talk about the interconnected nature of all living things and how animals and pets are messengers with spiritual truths to teach us. If you want to be spiritual, there can be no better way than spending time in nature with your pets. It’s perhaps one of the easiest and most blissful ways to raise your spiritual vibration. As far as the afterlife is concerned, love—whether it is in human or animal form—can cross the boundaries of space and time. Many people, myself included, believe that their pets continue to visit them in their dreams, proving that though our pets pass, the smile they leave behind in our hearts never dies. Angels come in many shapes and sizes.

This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!


Last Updated:

By: Theresa Cheung
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