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How Dreams of Deceased Pets Affect the Dreamers

Visitation dreams from deceased pets can be powerful and healing.

Source: Pexels

“Six months after my dog died, he came to me in a very vivid memorable dream. He looked vibrant and healthy and he came to reassure me. After the dream all my anguish over the previous six months dissipated fairly suddenly.”

— from the Internet

“When one of my cats died, I asked him to come back to me somehow. I had a premonition dream about a kitten showing up so when he did, just as in the dream, I took the kitten in immediately…”

— from the Internet

Clinical psychologist Jennifer Shorter defines visitation dreams as “Striking emotionally intense dreams in which a recently deceased loved one returns to provide guidance, reassurance, and/or warning.” These experiences are unique, powerful, often healing, and sometimes life-changing.

According to research, characteristics of visitation dreams include a vivid realistic quality. The deceased appear loving, healthy and vibrant, conveying reassurance and/or important messages. The dreamer experiences closure, which can be life-changing.

In addition to documented cases of visitation dreams of deceased family and friends, there are also many anecdotal reports of visitation dreams of deceased pets. Although presently there’s a lack of scientific research conducted in this fascinating area of visitation dreaming, there are certain commonalities between visitation dreams of deceased pets and those of deceased humans. Similarities include the dreamer experiencing their pet’s love and affection, vibrant presence, healthy appearance, intuitive communication, and reassurance.

“(In the dream my dog) came to say goodbye and that he was ok and to remember him this way…”

— from the internet

Source: Pexels

“…one night (my deceased pet) appeared to me in a dream. She ran to me and all night she was playing with me. In a way, she told me that she was fine and she came to say goodbye… After 15 years of that dream, I still remember it (as if I) had that dream last night.”

— from the internet

What are the implications of visitation dreams of deceased pets? There are at least two perspectives worth considering, with references from my books How to Interpret & Re-Experience Visitation Dreams of Deceased Pets” and “How to Interpret Your Dreams: Keys to Insight & Empowerment.

1. If visitation dreams are a projection of our subconscious and imagination, then the many research-verified benefits of visits of deceased humans can certainly apply to visits of deceased pets. These experiences can be highly cathartic, and immensely healing.

“I had to put a puppy down and cried, then I had a vision of her running so freely in a meadow, and the emotional pain went away.”

— from the Internet

2. If we think “outside the box” and consider, even for a moment, the possibility that at least some visitation dreams of deceased pets are the animals’ attempts at contacting their owners, this opens a host of scientific and spiritual questions that are, to say the least, fascinating: Do animals have consciousness? Do animals have “souls”? Can animal consciousness exist after physical demise?

Recent scientific studies have concluded the sameness of human and animal consciousness, while other research has declared the existence of souls in animals. Like inquiries about consciousness and the human body, questions about animal consciousness are also hotly debated in the scientific community.

“…the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

— statement from a group of neuroscientists in the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

Have you experienced visitation dream of a beloved deceased pet? Please share in the comment section.

For tips on how to interpret you visitation dreams, see references below.

© 2018 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.


Ni, Preston. How to Interpret and Re-Experience Visitation Dreams of Deceased Pets. PNCC. (2020)

Ni, Preston. How to Interpret Your Dreams: Keys to Insight & Empowerment. PNCC. (2020)

Ni, Preston. Visitation Dreams of Deceased Loved Ones — Understanding Their Meaning and Transformative Power. PNCC. (2016)

Barrett, Deirdre. Through a Glass Darkly: The Dead Appear in Dreams. OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying. (1991)

Baer, Drake. A Few Reasons Science Is Afraid of Animal Consciousness. New York Magazine – Science of Us. (December 20, 2016)

Coombs, Chelsey. Do Animals Have Consciousness? Science Line. (March 6, 2015)

Drake, Megan. Do Animals Have Souls? Care2. (September 26, 2012)

Drake, Megan. Scientists Proclaim Animal and Human Consciousness the Same. Care2. (August 29, 2012)

Garfield, Patricia. Dreams in Bereavement. From the Anthology Trauma and Dreams. Harvard University Press (2001)

Krippner, Stanley & Faith, Laura. Exotic Dreams: A Cross-Cultural Study
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. (2001)

Mcdermott, Matthew. Animals Have Souls and Feelings, Just Like We Do. Hinduism Today– Nature. (April/May/June 2013)

Shorter, Jennifer E. Visitation Dreams in Grieving Individuals: A Phenomenological Inquiry Into the Relationship Between Dreams and the Grieving Process. Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. (2010)

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