Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Last update: 20 April, 2018

I’m sure you have seen your dog yawn for no apparent reason on more than one occasion. Why do dogs yawn? Are they always sleepy? Even if it may be surprising, your canine’s yawns are part of its body language when they want to say something specifically. Let’s see what it is.

We have already gone over the body language of dogs and how each gesture has a specific and different meaning. Today we will be reviewing these gestures, especially why dogs yawn.

Body language of dogs

Dog yawning

These following body signals actually mean something:

  • Licking of the snout. When this anxiously and repetitively happens to your dog, it means stress, boredom and anxiety. Take the dog to the vet if it starts getting a compulsive and repetitive attitude.
  • Panting. Obviously, a dog is going to pant right after exercise. A dog is stressed when it starts madly panting like if it were drowning. Yes, are furry friends can stress out too. Why? The vet is the one who can best answer that question.
  • Shaking. Sometimes this means they’re wet or something itches.  Although, this is a sign of nervousness if it becomes an obsession.
  • Rejecting food. This can mean several things: it doesn’t like the food, it’s nervous, or it’s sick. If you change the food and it still doesn’t want any, then take it to the vet.

These are only some signs of your dog’s body language that indicate some disorder in its physical or mental health. However, there are many others you should consider, including yawning. Let’s see what the latest studies have shown.

Why do dogs yawn?

There’s a scientific explanation for why dogs yawn. Yawning in canines causes their heart rate to rise, more blood reaches the brain, and more oxygen enter the lungs. This is how they restore their energy and overcome nervousness, anxiety and stress.

However, researchers at the University of Tokyo have a much more attractive and amusing theory: Dogs yawn because of empathy. Yes, when your canine sees you yawning, so he also does it as if it were something contagious. This creates a very strong emotional bond between the two of you.

This doesn’t sound so weird after remembering the old saying, “yawning is contagious”. If we can spread yawns to each other, what prevents your pet from catching it as well?

What does this dog´s yawn mean?

However, it’s not the same with strangers. The University of Tokyo believes this is a way for dogs to show unconditional love to their owners. Therefore, they won’t not imitate any stranger.

Curiously, if you want to show off to your friends and try getting your dog to imitate you, it won’t be successful.  We already know how smart and intuitive animals are. So if you want to have a special bond with your dog, you’ll have to yawn for real.

 Animal are constantly amazing us, because we continually discover more gestures they use to show us their unconditional love and loyalty. Watch your dog; do not ignore his body language because every gesture, every look, every move can tell you something, whether good or bad.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.