Why Does Your Dog Yawn So Much and Is It Normal?
Dogs are just as much of social beings as we are. They yawn, just like humans do, for all sorts of reasons. But why does your dog seem to yawn much more than you do? And is it okay for your pup to do it so often?
When it comes to sleepless nights and counting sheep, yawning can’t necessarily cure it. But understanding why dogs yawn can give us more insight into why our four-legged friends do it. The answer? It’s complicated.
What Science Has to Say
Most scientists and pet experts concluded, after conducting research, that the most common reason for canine yawning is stress and anxiety. Since dogs don’t speak our language, they are unable to express themselves. This subtle reaction can be a sign of anxiety and stress caused by various circumstances such as being in a new environment, a loud thunderstorm, or experiencing separation anxiety while you’re away.
Yawning in dogs isn’t as simple as it is in people, though. It also can mean your pup is trying to communicate with others, such as their owners and furry friends alike. Scientists suggest that contagious yawning — when your dog starts to yawn after seeing you or another animal yawn — is due to the canine’s ability to empathize with those around them.
Mom Knows Best
Although science provides us with reasons for our pup’s yawning habits, it’s still important to pay close attention to your pet if you suspect something else might be at play. Many of our furry friends suffer from separation anxiety, fear, or excitement — all of which can lead to higher stress levels.
If a yawn is long, drawn out, and isn’t in response to your or another pet’s yawns, it may mean your pup is trying to tell you something. To make sure the situation doesn’t escalate, look out for additional signs like excessive panting, licking, or pacing, as these might indicate a level of discomfort or anxiety.
Is It Normal for My Dog to Yawn So Much?
Yes, it’s perfectly normal for your pup to yawn frequently. But just like humans, if your pet starts to yawn excessively, it might mean that something isn’t quite right.
To ensure your pet’s well-being, it’s best to assume that their yawning is an expression of their feelings and take any necessary steps to help relieve their anxiety. Consider creating a calmer environment if you suspect your pup’s yawns are due to stress, fear, or excitement.
Four Tips to Help Reduce Stress in Dogs
- Make time for play: Exercise with your pup every day, as this helps promote relaxation in canines.
- Get in tune with your pet: Trainers and experienced pet owners suggest spending time with your pup to better understand their behavior.
- Create routine: Establish a routine your pup can follow to learn when to expect certain things.
- Be around: When you leave the house, set up a space where your pup can feel secure and safe.
Yawning is common in canines and doesn’t always indicate an underlying issue. But if you find yourself wondering why your pup keeps yawning, the answer may come from the guidance of science, or it might come from your own observations.
If you suspect something is wrong, pay close attention to your pup and make sure their yawning doesn’t become excessive. Make time for play, get to know your pet, give them a routine, and provide a safe space for your pup — all of which can help reduce stress and make them yawn far less.