Is Your Pet Sending You a Message in Your Dream?

In the modern culture we have been exposed to cartoon animals behaving in a way that is completely uncharacteristic of their natural behavior:  the bear wearing a tutu, dancing on a tightrope while holding an umbrella, for example. We’ve heard the words of a spider conducting a marketing campaign from her web. We’ve grown accustomed to talking animals and opinionated trees.

In dreams, we expect the unusual – things often look and behave differently than they do in waking life, even though we still cling to a sense of structure and what is ‘normal.’  It’s when one element of a perfectly normal dream stands out as bizarre that our attention is grabbed. What happens when a waking life animal turns up in our dreams with behavior that is very uncharacteristic – especially if we know the animal well?

Talking Cats

A friend told me she had a dream in which she was walking along a path. At one point in the dream she saw her cat beside the road. It called out to her, ‘Hello.’ She thought she had misheard a noise he made (“since cats don’t talk”) and kept walking.

Farther down the path she came to a fork in the road. Beside the junction was her cat – standing on his hind legs and leaning against a signpost. The cat greeted her again, ‘Hello,’ calling her by name. She was so surprised, certain she had heard him speak, that she answered him, saying, ‘Cats don’t talk.’ The cat replied, ‘Got your attention, though, didn’t I?’

My friend admitted that he had, and went on to listen to his message about a decision she was contemplating. It was the uncharacteristic appearance and manner of her own cat that made it clear to her she was making a decision that would set her life course for years to come.

Deceased Pets Reappearing

A dream visit to a client from her deceased dog let her know that another dog would soon enter her life, with his blessing. In her dream, her dog appeared happy, healthy, in the prime of life, and radiant. He ran up her driveway, accompanied by a small dog. Sure enough, shortly after that dream, she saw the small dog from her dream in a local shelter and adopted it.

My own cat, Tyson, a wise and dignified master teacher, has visited many of my dreams and meditations. One time, when I was trying to stay afloat during a period of significant transition, he showed a surprising side of himself. My elder statesman appeared wearing a Mexican sombrero with little red fluffy balls hanging from its brim – and doing the Hokey-Pokey!

In my dream I burst out laughing at this apparition. ‘Tyson, is that you?’ I asked. ‘Nothing is only as it seems,’ he replied. ‘Pay attention, much is happening. Quit holding on so tight, flow with it. Lighten up!’ And with that he danced off. I realized I was being very rigid and stressed with all the changes that were going on. I woke feeling relieved, and I swear he smiled at me the next morning!

Animals as Messengers

Dream messages, and the guides who bring them, have a way of making themselves known to us, such as by surprise, a bell ringing, or other such signal. Our dream source will figure out a way to get our attention.

Our companion animals are in our lives to provide support on many levels. Yours may bring you a message that you’re missing – or that needs to be reinforced – by paying a visit to your dream in a way that’s sure to get your attention. (We can visit theirs, too, but that’s another article.) The key is to recognize that this is a message from a guide who has gone to great lengths to make sure you get it.

Question: Have you had a dream visit from a companion animal?
Article published by The Dream Tribe (July 2010):

Nancy is an animal intuitive and interfaith minister who specializes in helping people understand and communicate with their animal companions.

18 Responses to “Is Your Pet Sending You a Message in Your Dream?”

  • Bethany Hart:

    Hi Nancy, I recently lost my labrador retreiver named Abby. She had a tumor inside of her stomach that was the size of a volleyball. My parents and I were told about this 3 days before we had to put her down and we all were not mentally prepared for it at all. We grew up together and she was the sweetest thing ever and was truly my bestfriend. Last night I had a dream that I was walking threw my house and I saw her looking it at me threw my sliding glass door, I ran over to the door and let her in and my mother and I played with her and were crying out of happiness to have her back. I noticed that she was young again, was healthy and did not have a wart on her head like she used to when she was alive. It was like she was a puppy again. Later on in my dream, a lady’s voice came on, it sounded like It was coming from up above, it said that they needed Abby back with them. She then dissapeared. Do you think that this means something??

  • Hello Bethany, I am so sorry about your Abby’s death. It sounds like you love her and miss her very much. The death of an animal companion leaves a big hole in the heart and the home, so please do be gentle with yourself. Grieving is a process that takes its own time. I hope you looked at the resources page of my website – there are some books listed that might be helpful.
    Regarding your dream, traditionally doors represent the passage from one state of being to another, and being able to open the door to let Abby in indicates a receptive state of mind (as opposed to not being able to open the door and have Abby stay on the other side). The woman who spoke feels like a guide or guardian who’s helping Abby on the other side. Each being is on his or her own soul journey. If it were my dream, I would feel that Abby had visited to give me a chance to connect with her and remember her as she was when she was young and healthy, and to let me know she’s okay. For each dream, though, it is the dreamer who can best discern the meaning of a dream. A beautiful, touching and encouraging dream. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Jennifer:

    Hi there. I had to give my cats up about six years ago. It broke my heart having to walk away from them knowing I could never see them again. As I wrote this the familiar thoughts of “duos they make it okay? Did they find loving homes?” Play through my mind and I’m crying. I just some up from a strewn finding the first two (I had three) gizmo and Shaundalin happy and excited to see me. Purring and cuddling. When I found Oolah, she was hesitant at first but she let me pick her up abs pet her. They all looked healthy and happy. Then I woke up. I didn’t cry until I stayed typing this. I wonder, is it a message from them that they are okay? Afterlife or otherwise? My heart still hurts and I haven’t had a dream about them in a very long time.

  • Hello Jennifer, Thanks for asking. I am sorry for your loss – giving up your cats and not knowing what happened to them is as hard as having them die, especially with the uncertainty of not knowing.
    If this were my dream, I’d take it as a message that they are okay and happy, wherever they are, and they wanted to let you know. That’s a demonstration that love and relationship don’t die, just change form.
    And I hear guilt in your having to give them up. We don’t give up pets randomly, but as the best course of action given the circumstances and information available at the time. If you were in my pet loss group, I’d encourage you to work on forgiving yourself. You might try the ho’oponopono prayer for forgiveness: Picture your cats in your mind, or use a photo, and repeat “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me.” Do it regularly until you feel a lightening of the load you carry. Asking for forgiveness is circular – when we ask it of other beings we also ask it of ourselves.

  • jacqueline:

    i was dreaming for first time since 2000 when i lost my golden retriever lucky in a car hit and run. i was devastated but in may 27 i was dreaming about him he was a perfect dog shinny coat almost white and instead of bark he was talking to me saying it me lucky .you dont recognize me , but i was in shock cause how the heck the dog was talking to me instead of bark..i start crying and i touch him …how i miss him i miss him so much…what that means

  • Janna:

    We put my beloved rottie down in Jamuray 2017. We all believe she had a brain tumor with the way she rapidly declined over the last couple years of her life. She started having seizures and had 1 last one before we put her down that left her completely blind and just not herself. She didnt want my kids or husband to come around her without me by her side. I was afraid she’d bite one of my boys and didnt want to do that to her or them…she loved the boys and would never intentionally harm them. I was also about 14 weeks pregnant at the time and my husband was worried that she’d eventually turn on me as well. We made the decision to put her down but since then I’ve 2nd guessed the decision and have wondered if I did the right thing. I have cried myself to sleep countless times since she passed. Last night, I had a dream about her. She was with me and was healthy and happy but had a male puppy with her. We played for a while (me, her, and the puppy) but I knew she couldn’t stay and then it was time for her to go. Before she left she gave me kisses and then she kissed the puppy and left him with me. We are not planning on getting another dog, expecially since we are going to be having a baby boy within the next 2 weeks. Could that have been her way of telling me she is ok? What should I make of the puppy? I’d also like to say that she was VERY possessive of me and didn’t let my other dog sit by me. She’d also push my boys away if they were near me and it was “interfering” with her snuggle time (we snuggled every night after dinner) so for her to have a puppy with her and ok with me holding and loving on the puppy would’ve been COMPLETELY out of character for her!

  • Hello Jacqueline. I’m sorry about your loss of Lucky, and the suddenness of it. Couple of things from your message – one is that we do dream, even when we feel we don’t. It’s the mind’s way of sorting through accumulated information. We often just don’t remember the dreams, so it feels like we haven’t dreamed. And if this were my dream, I’d feel that Lucky had come to visit. Why after all this time? Who knows. Dream time is a time when different rules apply, and since physical speech isn’t involved, it’s not unusual that Lucky would use a language you understand to communicate with you. In Western culture, white is associated with purity, truth, goodness, hope, and innocence. As to what his visit means, I would look at my life and see if anything has changed recently, to make me more open, or more in need of what he and I shared when he was with me. It occurs to me to ask if you are holding some guilt around his death. He may have been coming to say he’s okay and to see how you’re doing. In any case, a dream visit from a loved pet is a gift.

  • Hello Janna,
    I am so sorry about the death of your Rottie. Making the decision to euthanize is never easy, and it’s something we often question afterwards. The bottom line is, did I make the best decision I could at the time with the information I had? The answer to that is usually yes. And crying is a healthy way to let the grief flow. Please don’t beat up on yourself, though, for making the best decision you could at the time.
    If this were my dream, I feel it’s a visit from my dog letting me know she’s okay, and letting me know she understands why I made the decision I did. In this dream the female dog who was my companion has come to introduce me to a new/young male energy, or soul. This could be a new aspect of myself, but given the pregnancy and imminent birth of a male child, I feel like it’s more of a blessing visit, with my dog visiting to not only let me know she’s okay, but also to give her blessing on the new male pup, my son.
    I’d take her picture, focus on her, and send her feelings of love and gratitude.

  • Amarissa:

    I’m nine so in my dream my ants cat that died was running to me wile I was in this huge school and I yelled OLIVER he ran to me and jumped in my arms I cuddled him I told him I loved him very very very much then my friend said get the cat and Oliver jumped out of my hands with a really loud angry meow my freinds were trying to kill him I yelled stop but they didn’t I Hurd whispering then he came back at the other end of the schooli ran to him and said I lost you ones I’m not loosing you again then poof he was gone.
    Me and him were best buddies I had another dream that there were 4 of him acting weird and weak looked young though I hugged the 2 infant of me they did nothing what was going on? Normally he would squirm and wiggle trying to get out I just want my Oliver back I would allwase go to my ants house to see him I would go out back and yell Oliver and he try to be sneaky even though I could see him then he would run as fast as he could and tackle my legs but now it’s all gone no more tabby giver cat for me no more silky fur between my finger.😭😭😭😭 I’m Onley nine I don’t deserve this!!!!! 😭😭😭😭😩😩😱😫😫😭😭😭😭😢😂😢

  • Amarissa:

    Why!!!!!!!!!!!! Me!!!why I’m just a little girl that’s nine Oliver come back I miss you fury hair ball

  • Esther:

    Last night i had a dream about my Beagle Ginger who passed away on my birthday 5/11/17. It was the saddest day ever. Last night i had a dream about her. I was cleaning my floors and heard her walking on the hard floors, i said Ginger and she came close to me to hug her with my face. She looked very puffy in the face but i hugged her and then woke up.

  • Hello Amarissa,
    I’m very sorry Oliver died and that you feel so hurt and sad. If it helps any, being sad when someone we love dies is a way of letting ourselves know how much we care.
    In your dream the friend who tried to get Oliver makes me wonder if someone in your life doesn’t understand how sad you are about him and how much you miss him.
    If this were my dream, I’d feel like Oliver visited me to let me know he’s okay and he misses me, too.
    You also asked Why Me? When we have strong feelings about something, sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s about them, not about us, even though we feel it strongly. Cat bodies don’t last as long as people bodies do, and that can be very sad. Some part of him will always be with you as long as you remember him. He may have died, but the feelings you have for him go on.
    It might help if you talk with your aunt about Oliver, share your memories, maybe make a scrapbook, or make a card for him and put it in a place he used to lie. Each time we love, though, our hearts grow a bit bigger.

  • Michael Sales:

    hi, my cat Rex of 8 years had recently passed away June 13, 2017 unknowingly. He had been healthy all these years except for a few cuts, bruises from being an outdoor cat. When he had an open wound on his leg a few years ago, he had hid from us in a closet for a few days. Although at that time, he visited me in my dreams and spoke to me in english telling me “it hurts, please help”. What did I do? I found him in a closet at 4-5 AM and decided to take him to the animal hospital instantly, from there he had gotten stitches and healed up perfectly fine a few weeks later.
    When he passed away, he gave me no sort of signs/sickness or any visit in my dream whatsoever. Why do you think that was? My mother had recently dreamt of him looking peaceful and happy, Rex spoke to my mother and asked “how come you didn’t tell me I was sick?” My mother replied saying “we didn’t know you were sick”. That same night I saw him in my dreams sleeping peacefully, do you think it was a sign he visited us or tried communicating? He was an awesome brother/pet/friend, I miss him so much.

  • Emma:

    So I recently got a puppy and he was always with me. He was my baby and I loved him with all my heart. He died in an accident, drowned in the pool. I was so shocked and sad. I still am and blame myself. I’ve been miserable since. I’d give it all to have my baby back. I fall asleep almosf every night crying. He passed away 5 days ago, and today I woke up and realized I’d dream about him for the first time.

    So in my dream, my brother was leaving with the car, the front gate was open and someone (idk maybe a robber) was trying to get in, so my brother tries to chase this person. I’m looking outside through the window and notice my puppy is running to the gates so I don’t know whether to go out or not bc of the robber but I do. I go outside and I call my baby and he comes running to me, happy and alive and beautiful. And I kiss him and hug him.

    In my dream I didn’t know he was dead, I was just so happy to be with my dog and it felt so real.

    I don’t know if my dog is trying to tell me something or it’s just me trying to make me feel better.

    Also my birthday is tomorrow, I’m just so sad.

  • Emma:

    Also, I keep seeing dark shadows (I assume my Yorkie) and sometimes I hear noises. I don’t know if it’s just my imagination.

  • Hello Esther,
    My heart is with you on the death of your Ginger. At any time the loss of a loved animal companion is sad, but especially when it happens on a day that is honored every year as a celebration.
    In dreams, floors are those things that support us, and dreams about cleaning can represent clearing out thoughts, putting our internal house in order. In short, processing feelings.
    Hearing our animals walking on the hard floor after they have crossed is one of the ways they have of reaching out to us. I also heard my dog’s toenails on the hard floor after she crossed. If this were my dream, I would feel that Ginger had come back to let me know she is okay. Very nice that you were able to hug her in your dream.
    I hope that in years to come, when you celebrate your birthday, you also can celebrate the times you and Ginger were together.

  • Hello Michael,
    I’m sorry for your loss of your Rex. Your description of his hiding when he had a wounded leg a few years ago sounds so like a cat – they tend to go inward for healing – but also a testament to your relationship and his trust in you that he reached out for help when he knew he needed more. It’s also pretty typical that he would not show any signs of illness or weakness. Inside every domestic cat is a lion or tiger, and in the wild they can not show signs of weakness lest they become prey. It’s not unusual for our cats to be sick for awhile before we find out, if we do.
    I can’t speak to your mother’s dream, though as to your dream of him sleeping peacefully, I feel it was his way of letting you know he’s okay. That is a gift to cherish, as you do the memory of your friend.

  • Hello Emma,
    I’m so sorry about your loss of your puppy. Such a loss is hard, especially when it’s sudden and due to an accident. Blaming ourselves is the first place many of us go after the initial shock. Dreaming of him 5 days after his death aligns with the belief in some faith traditions (notably Buddhism) that it takes a number of days for the soul to transition from the body to the other side.
    All dreams come in service of the dreamer. In our dreams we’re honest with ourselves, and dreams encourage us and point out what we’re working on, but don’t try to make us feel better unless that’s the truth. If this were my dream, I’d feel the setting you describe (open gate, possible robber) as relating to the circumstances of the puppy’s death. That he came running to me in the dream, appearing happy and alive, would tell me he wants me to know he’s okay and he loves me.
    As to seeing shadows and hearing noises, it may well be your Yorkie coming to visit.
    I do suggest sitting with his picture, or a toy or collar of his, and talking to him. Tell him what you’re feeling, ask his forgiveness for what you feel you did wrong, and tell him you love him. When we can’t go back and fix something we feel we did wrong, we can only ask forgiveness and commit to doing it differently the next time around.

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"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi
"There is little that separates humans from other sentient beings – we all feel pain, we all feel joy, we all deeply crave to be alive and live freely, and we all share this planet together." - attributed to Gandhi
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