Yawning is not particular to humans, dogs do it too. Normally, most pet owners think dogs yawn because they are sleepy but that isn’t always the case. Why do dogs yawn?
A dog yawn can mean a couple of things. Most of the time, dogs will yawn out of tiredness. Dogs yawn excessively when they are stressed. Dogs will yawn to show compassion or to show that’s playing.
You should know, these are only theories. We still don’t have a definite answer on why dogs yawn. It’s the same with humans yawning too. We are linking yawning to tiredness and sleepiness. However, we have no definite proof.
Let’s expand on this bit so we can understand dog yawns better.
Dogs Yawn When They Are Tired
The most common reason for dogs yawning is that they are tired and sleepy. Just like us. Yawns are involuntary inhale. When the brain is feeling tired, it needs a deep inhale to freshen up.
So, that’s why dogs yawn when they are tired. Although it’s just a theory, most people believe that yawning is just a way for the brain to stay awake.
Remember, this is not always the case with dogs. Although yawning out of tiredness is common, dogs yawn because of different reasons too. So, is your dog getting ready for bed when yawning? Did it have an eventful day, is it tired? If so, you don’t have to worry about yawns.
[Related Article: How Much Do Dogs Sleep And Why Is Lack of Sleep Unhealthy?]
Dogs Yawn When They Are Stressed
Another reason why dogs yawn is anxiety and stressful situations. This is more common than you think. Most pet owners avoid situations that would stress out their dogs, so they don’t know about this.
When dogs are in a stressful situation that makes them anxious, they will often start yawning. The difference between this yawn and other types of yawns is that this one is excessive. You will see that your dog is yawning repeatedly instead of yawning once or twice. [Source]
This usually happens when a stranger tries to pet them and in similar situations. Basically, any situation that would induce anxiety but not make the dog defensive. Dogs have been known to yawn out of stress in their first training sessions.
Why dogs yawn out of stress, we don’t really know. We have observed that dogs respond to stressful situations with yawns. Why that is, we don’t know.
Dogs Yawn To Show Affection
Some link dog yawning to showing affection to a loved one. Dogs create close bonds with their loved ones. To the point that they adopt each other’s habits, and imitate one another. This is often seen in puppies that grow up and stay together.
Dogs see the owner as a relative. So, it learns a lot from its owner’s behavior. When dogs see their owners yawning, they tend to yawn too. We can’t really be sure if yawns are contagious or the dog is just learning that behavior from you.
See if you can notice when your dog is yawning. Is your yawn followed by a yawn from your dog? If so, this is nothing to worry about. Yawns like this just mean that your dog is close to you. You can look at it as a way for your dog to show affection.
[Related Article: 8 Unknown Ways Dogs Show Love And Affection To Humans!]
Dogs Yawn When They Are Playing
Now, we can see that sometimes dogs yawn to show their intentions. For instance, when dogs are around other bigger dogs, they tend to yawn while playing. This is a way for them to say “Hey, I’m just playing”. [Source]
Some pet owners notice this while playing with their dogs. If the pet owner gets a bit aggressive during playtime, the dog may playfully yawn. These yawns are not out of stress because the dog is clearly not showing any signs of stress or anxiety.
Behavior like yawning is generally not that well-explained. So, all we can do is link some observations we make. If your dog yawns once and continues to play, it’s a playful yawn. If your dog stops playing and excessively yawns, you are stressing it out.
Dogs Yawn When They Are Excited
Have you seen your dog yawn when it finds out it’s going out on a walk? Is your dog yawning when you pet it? Well, don’t worry, your dog likes you, it’s not yawning out of stress.
Dogs yawn when they are excited. These joyful yawns are followed by a big stretch as well. Be sure to show some love to your dog the next time you see it yawning out of excitement.
Remember, you still have to keep an eye on how much your dog is yawning. If the yawns are excessive, your dog may be scared to go outside for some reason.
When То Worry About Your Dog Yawning
I guess some of you came here concerned that your dog yawning is not normal. Well, you may be right. Read the reasons why dogs yawn and see if there is something to worry about.
Generally, dog yawns are bad only in stressful situations. If your dog is yawning excessively and it’s showing signs of stress, it’s yawning out of stress. That means your dog has anxiety and you need to find out what sets it off.
All other yawns are pretty normal. Yawning now and then is nothing to worry about, dogs will do it out of good reasons. Excessive yawning should worry you though. Try to find out why your dog is stressed, maybe visit a vet if the problem is not resolved.
Related Questions And Other FAQs
Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Pet Him
Dogs yawn out of excitement and to show affection. Generally, pet owners petting the dog shouldn’t cause it any stress. When you pet your dog, it gives off a playful yawn.
Do Dogs Yawn When Happy
Yes, dogs will yawn in joyful situations like playing, cuddling, and petting. Dogs often yawn before going on a walk. Yawning and stretching is behavior dogs do when they are happy.