Animals in Dreams

The appearance of animals in dreams is yet another way for our dreaming brain to deal with emotions that are affecting us during our waking lives. Emotions such as hatred, anger, jealousy, pride, and fear are quite often portrayed through animals in dreams.

The interpretation of animals could be anything from emotional attachment to a family pet to a universal idea of what an animal represents to an archetype of perhaps an Indian God.

Look at the place the animal holds within your mind, culture and society for a truthful understanding of its meaning.

For instance somebody dreaming about an elephant in India, where the animal is revered as the god Ganesh, could have a totally different meaning attached to this animal than a person dreaming of an elephant from say America where these animals do not hold such cultural significance.

As with all symbols in our dreams the interpretation of animals in dreams is really up to you. You brought the animal image into your dream therefore you would be best to understand why. Ask yourself these questions:

What was the animal doing in the dream? Was it an animal you are familiar with like a family pet? How do you feel about that particular animal, does it scare you or do you feel connected with it in some way?

Bare in mind that when interpreting animals in dreams look not only at the symbol but the the circumstances surrounding the symbol, this is what will give you valuable clues to what the dream is all about.

Being chased by animals is always a common dream especially with young children.
If this is the theme of your dream ask yourself are there any situations or feelings you are afraid of in waking life?

Although we believe in the personal nature of dream interpretation there are some universal ideas surrounding certain animals that may aid you with your own personal interpretation.

Here we have listed a few:

Universal Animal symbols


Being acclaimed for wisdom since ancient times ants are very social creatures that have colonized almost every landmass on earth. They have a structured and ordered society, each ant conforming to the role and task it must perform.

However, they defend themselves with a pretty mean bite and most of us have been bitten at some time or another throughout our lives by an ant.
So with this in mind, if you see ants in your dream how do you feel about them?
Did you have a bad experience involving ants once and something in your life is now reminding you of that experience?

Or is there some part of your life where you feel that you have been forced into a particular role and must just go along with it to keep the masses happy, i.e.Conform?

Alligator/ Crocodile

These creatures are unknown dangers lurking beneath water surfaces for hours waiting undetected until they choose to attack.
Thus crocodiles and alligators in dreams can represent a hidden danger or situation that perhaps on an unconscious level you are aware of but on a conscious level you are not. This could be with relation to any situation in your life.

Pay close attention to anything in the dream that could give away what this situation or trait could be.

Alligators and Crocodiles being creatures of the water could also Seeing these animals in dreams could be interpreted as symbols of negative emotions lurking beneath consciousness.


One of the most fascinating aspects of birds for us humans is their ability to fly. Flying for the wingless is a fantasy something we all want to experience and usually can only experience in our dreams. A bird’s freedom to fly wherever it wants, above mountaintops and over oceans is only something we can dream about.

In light of this dreaming of birds in flight or dreaming that you are a bird flying could signify a sense of freedom from the usual bounds of your waking life and of limitations you may have been feeling. It could signify a discovery of some new ability and a way in your dreams to conquer what you feel is impossible in waking life.

As well as their ability to fly birds are very communicative creatures communicating with each other through song, chirping, or some form of vocalization.
In light of this seeing these animals in dreams may also represent some form of communication heralding some news.

Specific Birds:-


The dove is a well-known symbol of peace. Seeing a dove may symbolize renewed peace in some area of your life, it could definitely be referring to some inner battle you are about to conquer.


These sorts of birds are known to hang around dying animals awaiting their death in order to feed off the body.
The word vulture itself is synonymous with people who have a profiteering nature, of being greedy and not being courteous or considerate of anything but getting the best for oneself.
So it goes to say that seeing these animals in dreams could represent fears of being used or of death itself.


Known for their beautiful plumage and gorgeous colors peacocks have long symbolized vanity and pride.
So it goes to say that the symbol of a peacock in a dream refers to being proud in some way, or of over confidence or arrogance in some realm of your life.


The eagle is a huge and majestic bird with an incredibly powerful build and a huge wingspan. They are known for their strength and hunting ability. Thus the eagle in a dream could represent a sense of pride and strength.


Parrots are noisy very colorful birds and are kept as pets in their smaller parakeet form. They can be taught to repeat words and full phrases.
In light of this description to be a parrot in a dream or see parrots in your dream could symbolize a need to copy what others say without judgment. Perhaps you or somebody around you is a talkative and gossiping person who has been represented as a parrot in your dreams.


For a dairy farmer dreams of bulls would mean something apart from a bull appearing in the dreams of us ordinary "non dairy farming" folk. So for those of us who don’t see bulls on a daily basis seeing a bull in your dream could be associated with a fierce, aggressive male presence in your waking life.

Bulls are stubborn animals possessing much strength, strong will, and power. So to see these animals in dreams could represent any of these qualities. Perhaps with a situation in your life it is a time for action, this dream could be willing you to become more assertive and to take power.

Alternatively look for a play on the word bull, it could be as simple as relating to a "load of bull" or you could also consider the pun “ being bull-headed” which refers to someone who is determined to do exactly what they want to do, and does not think about what other people want.


Cats throughout history have played varied roles. While the ancient Egyptians worshiped them in more recent times cats have been associated with witchcraft and superstitions. Many people even today are superstitious about black cats.

Cats are mysterious creatures because of their aloof and independent natures. Cats are intrepid explorers and amazingly have a knack of dodging death by a whisker. When they fall even from great heights they have an innate ability to fall on their feet, thus the saying “ The nine lives of cats”.

There is much to admire in a cat's grace, agility and intuitive ability. All of these components could play a part in seeing these animals in dreams. But also bear in mind how you personally feel about cats. People in general are either cat people or not and all of these things can play a part in what a cat means in your dream.


Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” due to their loyal nature. Dogs have been known to do some amazing things for their owners, sensing danger, saving lives and alerting strangers to situations in order to rescue somebody.
Look closely at the dog in your dreams. Is it a dog that you know personally? Are you dreaming of a long gone family pet? Your current pet perhaps? If it is a dog known to you look closely at the role the dog plays in the dream, the characteristics it presents and how this could relate to a situation or person in your waking life.

Wild Dogs - Wolves/Dingoes

Unlike domesticated dogs wolves are noble creatures free to roam the wilderness. They are feared animals and attack willingly without regret. Thus a wolf or wild dog appearing in a dream could represent hostility, aggression, and sneakiness.

These animals in dreams could indicate either that you are afraid of a certain situation where you feel attacked or stalked like the prey of a wild animal or it may represent a wild energy within you needing to get free, needing to break away from the security of domestic life.

The saying “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” could have significance in your interpretation. Is there a deceiving situation in your life or somebody who you feel is deceiving you?


There is something awe inspiring about dolphins. For the little we know about them most people will agree that they seem like magical and revered creatures of the deep sea.
In terms of dreaming Dolphins are quite a popular dream symbol. They serve the role of connecting us to our natural world, specifically with the emotional world, which can quite often be represented by water in our dreams. Dolphins appear in dreams as protectors to the dreamer, and can be symbolic of a strong emotional connection to someone or a desire for it.

Dolphins are very friendly sociable creatures that always appear to be smiling and who possess a highly developed intellect. These are all indicators of their possible symbolic meaning.Dolphins have been reported to appear in dreams, when the dreamer is at a low point and the appearance of the dolphin has allowed the dreamer to once again feel needed and valued.

Seeing an injured dolphin could signify that connection with those around you is threatened or connection with your emotional nature is at risk.


As water pertains to ones emotional nature in dreams, it could be safe to assume that fish swimming around in this water could quite possibly relate to issues of emotional content, issues currently “swimming around” in one’s unconscious.
Thus fish could be associated with the unconscious forming of feelings and ideas that have the potential to allow us to follow new paths in life.


Horses are strong powerful and wild creatures that are “broken in” in order for humans to ride them.Seeing a horse or a herd of horses could therefore be linked with your relationship towards power.
For instance, riding a magnificently powerful horse with ease and grace could indicate you have a sense of ease with your own power or other people’s power in waking life.
However if you are traveling on a physically weak horse then this could indicate a sense of weakness in certain situations.Dreaming about wild horses running free could indicate a desire for such freedom and independence.
Again the most important element here is to assess how you felt during the dream, and your own association to horses.
Horses can also be associated as symbols of death. Dying horses can represent the death of power or energy for a specific project. The circumstances of the dying horse in your dream are important here to give you clues to what exactly could be symbolically “dying” in your life.Many animals can speak in dreams and one such animal is the horse, giving you information directly from your unconscious.


Pigs are normally thought of as dirty farmyard animals, which are cared for and raised specifically to produce food for our tables.The word pig, however, can also refer to a “policeman” or a fat or glutinous person.
If your dream contains a pig rolling around in its pen, feeding on food and living the good life, then potentially this could be a symbol of “wanting to live the good life” yourself, of wanting to be glutinous within your own excesses, whatever they may be.

Depending on how you portrayed the pig in your dream is important for the interpretation. If this pig is fat, and you were revolted by the sight of it, if it was acting “pig like” by eating quickly and snorting and splashing food everywhere, this could indicate that you or somebody in your life is acting like a pig, they could either be overweight or they could be acting in some way that is revolting to you.
Or say, for instance, in your life you are an avid animal activist, and the way that farm animals are treated in this world of mass production is a point of major contention for you. Then pigs in your dreams would be significantly different in meaning to somebody who doesn’t care about animal rights at all. Pigs in this instance could be symbolic of some form of suppression that the dreamer was feeling, of being treated unjustly and unfairly, in some way in waking life.

In modern culture the word pigs has the slang meaning of police officers. So if this is the meaning you have assigned to the appearance of your dream pig, this could potentially mean that you feel like somebody has authority over you in some area, and is trying to order you around.


Sharks are extremely effective hunters that have been given a bad wrap in modern society through movies such as Jaws.The “common view” of sharks as human predators could most definitely affect this symbol within your dream, even though in the natural world these creatures are quite vital members of the ocean ecosystem.
To see a shark in your dream depends on how you feel personally about sharks and of the specifics of the how the shark acts during the dream.
If the shark is attacking you it could mean you feel threatened by something you cannot control or really understand.In western culture lawyers or moneylenders are associated with being “sharks” so there could be an association with some legal matters or monetary issues.


Spiders are very interesting creatures and have a plethora of interpretations when they appear in your dreams.
In one light spiders can be viewed as evil conniving, poisonous creatures that trap their pray to then suck the life out of them. If this is the interpretation you can assign to your dream spider, can you find any evil or poisonous aspects of yourself that are showing through in one area of your life? Is there anyway that you feel drained of your “life” so to speak as a spider drains the life from it’s prey? Or, do you feel somebody else is draining your life?
In another light spiders can be viewed as being very patient and smart creatures, whose’ webs are intricately created in areas where there will be the highest strike rate. They are very smart creatures! If this is the case potentially the spider is there to guide you in being patient, and stealthy in a certain situation or area of your life, to sit back and observe and wait for the prey to come to you, not for you to chase after the prey, so to speak.

Spider's web

If a spider’s web makes an appearance in your dream this also could be interpreted in different lights.
Spiders are undeniably talented in their web creations and depending on the web in your dreams could indicate an opportunity to be “talented and creative” in some area in your life.

Alternatively as spiders webs are there to trap prey, they are sticky and mean death to some creatures so viewed in this light they may indicate a “sticky” situation or an event that potentially could lead to a metaphoric death of some aspect of your waking life.

When seeing spiders or webs in your dreams in this modern era of the World Wide Web, this must be taken into consideration when these symbols appear in your dreams. Only you can know if this is the symbolic meaning behind your dream spider or web.

Again, as with all dream symbols what is most important is how you interpret the spider and how you created this spider or web in your own dream. Look within for your answers; if you are a person who is deeply fearful of spiders, seeing a spider in your dream most probably is symbolic of some feared situation or person. Likewise if you own a pet spider or like spiders, most probably your interpretation of a spider will be a positive one.

Return from Animals in Dreams to What do Dreams Mean?

Return to the Home Page

Share this page: