Why Dogs Yawn
Understanding Your Dog’s Behaviour
You’ve probably noticed your dog yawning throughout the day. It’s a common behaviour, but have you ever wondered why they do it? It turns out that there are several reasons, and understanding them can help you better care for your beloved pet.
Firstly, yawning can be a form of communication for dogs. Like humans, dogs use a variety of signals to communicate their feelings and intentions. When your dog yawns:
- They might be trying to signal that they are not a threat.
- They may be showing submission to a more dominant dog or person.
- They could be trying to diffuse a tense situation.
In these contexts, yawning is an essential part of dog body language.
Stress and Anxiety
Secondly, dogs often yawn when they are feeling stressed or anxious. This is similar to how some people might bite their nails or pace when they are nervous. If you notice your dog yawning a lot in a particular situation, it could be a sign that they are feeling uncomfortable. In this case, you might want to remove them from the situation if possible.
Thirdly, dogs might yawn simply because they need to. Yawning can help increase blood flow to the brain, remove toxins, and cool the brain. It’s a physical response that can help your dog stay alert and healthy.
Fourthly, dogs might yawn when they are bored. If your dog yawns a lot during a particular activity, it might be a sign that they are not finding it stimulating. In this case, you might want to mix things up with a new toy or a different type of play.
Lastly, dogs can yawn in response to seeing humans yawn. This is known as contagious yawning, and it’s a sign of empathy. It shows that your dog is tuned into your emotions and is responding in kind.
Q: Is yawning a sign of illness in dogs?
A: It can be, but not always. If your dog is yawning excessively and showing other signs of illness like loss of appetite or lethargy, you should consult a vet.
Q: How can I tell if my dog is yawning due to stress or boredom?
A: Look at the context. If your dog is yawning in a stressful situation, it’s likely due to stress. If they are yawning during a usually fun activity, it might be boredom.
Q: Can I do anything to make my dog yawn less?
A: It depends on why they are yawning. If it’s due to stress, try to remove the stressor. If it’s boredom, try new activities. If it’s a physical need, it’s a natural and healthy behaviour.
Q: What should I do if my dog yawns a lot?
A: If your dog’s yawning seems excessive or is paired with other concerning symptoms, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.