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The Facts about Dog Yawning Behaviour

When you have a pet, you need to be alert and very attentive towards it. Any abnormal behaviour sign can be the root cause of a prolonged illness or some chronic medical condition. Dogs are one of those pets that require the most attention. They are playful and full of energy, but there may come those days when you notice them yawning and feeling anxiety. Your pet may show reluctance to play with pet owner or even go out on walks. Some can be serious, or it might just be boring. But how can we differentiate between the two? It’s simple, just read our why does my dog yawn so much, and you will know what to do and how to diagnose it.

Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Ever wonder what is dog yawning meaning? We, humans, yawn when we are bored, tired, or probably need sleep. But it’s not the same in the case of a canine. Depending on the time, situation, or place, your pet’s yawn can have different reasons. But understanding what a dog yawn is should be the first step on our journey to dissect its meaning. A dog yawn just like a human yawn is a reflex, where it opens its mouth wide – takes a deep inhale, and lets it out slowly. It may be longer depending upon the lung capacity of your dog, or it might be just a short yawn. There is no particular reason behind yawns – science has several theories for it, but none of them has been a proven one.

Why Does My Dog Yawn So Much?

As mentioned earlier, there are many reasons why do dogs yawn so much?. We have jotted them down to a few pointers, which will surely help pet owners understand their dogs better or take necessary precautions if it’s something severe or hazardous to health.

#1 Your Pet Showing his Love to You

Yawning is contagious! It may sound silly, but it’s true. For humans, if they see someone yawning next to them or even a video or picture of a yawn – they will follow suit. The same can be said for a canines– a dog is most likely to yawn because you have yawned next to it, and it just wants to follow the same pattern. It is difficult to decipher the real reason behind yawning after you have yawned, but the most probable reason will be it’s trying to show its affection towards pet owner. You might have also noticed how a dog may yawn when someone in its peer group does the same. Hence, we can conclude that yawning can be contagious and not necessarily a threat.

#2 Your Dog Might Be Stressed

Once in a while, if your canine is yawning, there is absolutely nothing to be stressed about. But on the off chance, you start noticing that your pet has been yawning continuously with a gap of just 2 to 5 minutes and it can be a sign of critical illness or stress. Always pay attention to your pet, as excessive yawning can indicate anxiety, which may happen if canine is in an unfamiliar environment. This can also be triggered if pet is meeting a new person, a new vet, or some unfamiliar visit that makes it feel overwhelmed. The best way to handle such a situation will be to remove your pet from that position and take him away.

Try to hold dog close to you, pet it, and show some love. Make sure that you always carry its favourite treats around, as it will remind your pet how much you love your dog and make it feel close to home. If your pet feels stressed because of unfamiliar dogs in the neighbourhood, always do your best to remove it from those surroundings. Try to help him gradually become familiar with the new dogs.

#3 Your Pet is trying to Avoid Conflict

Yawns can be considered a sign of a passive way of surrendering. If your dog is in the presence of a more aggressive alpha dog, you will choose to yawn and indicate that it is surrendering to the alpha dog and does not want any trouble. It can also be considered another way for your pet to show – ‘I don’t want any trouble, let’s play’.

#4 Your Canine is tired

Have your ever think why does my dog yawn when i pet him? One of the most apparent reasons a dog yawning is that it is tired and wants to sleep. It is also a common reason for humans yawning too. Your dog is playful, and it’s running and causing havoc the entire day. Hence it is natural for it to yawn out of tiredness at the end of the day. When a pet is tired, it will let out a long yawn, stretch its legs and curl up next to you for a good sleep.

How To Help A Dog That Is Yawning A Lot?

Some of the best measures you should take if you notice your dog yawning a lot have been listed below.

  • Try to change its surroundings and take him away if you feel like your pet is feeling stressed because of the presence of an unfamiliar person.
  • Give some treats and make it feel relaxed and at home by showing some love. Try to distract your dog from the cause of anxiety.
  • On the off chance, you notice your dog is yawning rapidly, and none of the above steps worked – it might be something serious, and you need to immediately take him to the nearby vet.


Pets are adorable, and caring for them is every pet parent’s duty in every phase of their lives. Yawning is very common and should not be taken as a threat immediately. But in case you start noticing your pet feeling lethargic, having difficulty in movement, and yawning excessively – those might be signs of some underlying chronic medical condition. Such medical conditions need immediate attention from a vet to avoid future health hazards.