Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: When my dog yawns that must be a sign that he’s sleepy or bored. Well, while that’s sometimes the case, a dog yawn doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as a human yawn. Read on to find out the various reasons dogs yawn.

1) Stress and Anxiety

Just like humans, dogs can get stressed out at times too. While humans fidget their fingers, bite their nails, tap their foot, or want to pull their hair out, dogs yawn! If you notice your dog yawning or excessively licking his lips then it’s important to pay attention to his environment and current situation.

2) Calming Signal and Mental Break

Have you ever noticed your dog yawning during a long training session? If so, he may be trying to tell you that he’s had enough and needs a break.

3) Excitement and Anticipation

If your dog starts yawning as soon as you walk through the door, is waiting for dinner, or watches you pick up his leash to go for a long walk then he may be showing you that he’s excited!

4) Communication

According to the AKC:

“Many times, when a dog is faced with an aggressive dog, he will offer a yawn in response to the aggressor. This simply means that the yawning dog is not interested in any sort of conflict. It’s not a sign of submission, but rather a sign of pacification.”

5) Catching A Yawn

Yawns are contagious! Have you ever found yourself yawning just because you saw someone else do it? It turns out this phenomenon isn’t unique to humans. Research shows that when dogs see their humans or other dogs yawn, they too will let one out!

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Alison Johnson - 2018

Julisa was wonderful and kept me posted about my senior citizens stay last weekend. She informed me that my dogs diet was high in sodium and that was contributing to her constant thirst and frequent urination. I changed the food after I got back and she was right. Thank you so much Julisa!

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