Why do dogs yawn? Is it because your buddy is tired? Or is it something else? There is more to your dogs yawn than you realize.
Welcome to the first article on our Why Does My Dog… series! We are breaking down why mans best friend does what he does. From eating sticks to, in this case, yawning.
Dogs like people run on basic psychology. Once you understand why your dog does something, you can better communicate with your best friend. Some signs mean your dog wants attention or needs help. Communication is key to a happy and healthy dog.
A Dog Yawn is not a Tired Yawn
A Dog Yawn, like your yawn, is not just saying you are sleepy. It can mean that you are tired, but a lot is happening behind that little yawn.
The first thing that happens when you or your dog yawns is your heart rate increases. This is followed by by blood flow to your brain and lungs increase. Your lungs fill to capacity with oxygen and release all carbon dioxide.
For humans, and dogs, this is a natural stress release. Oxygen gives your dog a slight euphoric feeling, and instantly reduces anxiety.
Your Dog should Yawn at the Vet
Ever notice you yawn at school, or before a test? I yawned exponentially more before a test in college. At work I yawn when I am buried in a mound of paper work. I am getting anxious.
My dogs are all the same way. Except the big exam is not a concern for most puppies.
Dogs get anxious about separation and the veterinarian. The Vet is most likely the most stressful experience for your dog. So a Yawn in the waiting room is par for the course to reduce stress.
Other stressful situations can be you going to work, bed time (where your dog is crated or left alone), or even going outside. You will also see dogs yawning when they wake up. This is not because they are tired after sleeping for 16 hours.
Dogs, and predators, yawn when waking up or hungry. Finding food is stressful. And your dog is hard wired to show these signs. This does not mean you need to feed fido when he yawns, but it is something to keep in mind.
Learn to use the Yawn
Dogs yawn to reduce stress, relax and get ready for a stressful situation. Part of this is nature, but part is nurture. Mother dogs will yawn when stressed out or over whelmed by her puppies. This is a subconscious signal that she is overwhelmed.
What does the litter of puppies do? They settle down. A dog yawning means that he or she is stressed and needs to stop playing.
You can use this to your advantage. If your dog yawns that means you should slow down. Your dog may be tired which means bed time, or your dog needs to reduce stress and anxiety.
On the flip side, you can yawn in front of your dog to let he or she know that you need to relax and reduce stress. Just like their mom did when your dog was a puppy. Nothing needs to be said, you are taking in dog. Your dog will instantly start to settle down.
Why Do Dogs Yawn
Why do dogs yawn? To relax. To let you know he or she is stressed. Or to say I am tired. If you start yawning when you are overwhelmed, your puppy will quickly catch the drift.