It’s not uncommon for dogs to release a loud and satisfying yawn when they are tired or when they are in a calm and relaxed state. The reasons why Fido yawns loudly may be different from the ones you expect, however. Read on to learn more about why dogs yawn and how it can affect your dog’s health.
Why Does My Dog Yawn Loudly?
In reality, there may be many reasons why your dog is yawning loudly. It may be releasing tension in the neck, jaw, and head area with a big audible stretch. Your dog also may yawn when there is a natural pause of relaxation, such as waiting at a red light during a walk. Another common time that a dog will make a loud yawn is first thing in the morning when they are waking up.
Dogs May Yawn When They’re Tired
In addition to getting the body revved up, your dog may yawn when it’s tired. Dogs have an excellent intrinsic sense of time and are usually aware when humans stay up later than their normally scheduled bedtimes. Excessive yawning may increase as the night gets later and may be accompanied by loud noises if your pup is trying to get your attention.
Dogs May Yawn When They’re Confused
Another common time that a dog may yawn is when it’s confused. This may happen during a training session where they have a command repeated at them and aren’t sure how to perform. In this case, they may yawn just to give their owner or trainer some response.
Dogs May Yawn When They’re Overwhelmed
It may also happen when a dog is overwhelmed or doesn’t understand what’s going on around them. Unusual or busy environments may cause your dog to yawn in order to get through the situation or just process what’s going on. If they feel shy around other pets and are at a spot where there are many dogs, this can also lead to feelings of overwhelm.
Dogs May Yawn When They’re Feeling Anxious
Dogs also may yawn when they are stressed, anxious, angry, or defensive of their territory. If you suspect that this is happening with your dog, pay attention to its facial expressions and body language so you can tell if he feels threatened by something. This may be a warning sign that they need to leave a triggering environment.
Dogs May Yawn When They Are Sick
Finally, dogs may yawn because of illness and pain. If your pet suddenly starts yawning out of nowhere, it’s important to take them to your veterinarian. They will be able to examine their health, diagnose the cause of the yawning and make sure they are on the right track for recovery.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why dogs yawn in this manner, however. Some experts believe that it’s part of the body’s natural mechanism to regulate heart rate and blood flow while resting or sleeping. Yawning physically happens when animals experience hypoxia, which means there is low oxygen content in the blood. Hypoxia often elevates blood carbon dioxide and reduces how much oxygen the body can use to produce energy.
When Does Your Dog Yawn Loudly?
One way to understand the message behind your dog’s loud yawn is by noting what time of the day this happens. Does your dog yawn loudly before it is time to go outside? Perhaps it happens right before their feeding time. These signs can help let you know if your dog is trying to tell you something during the yawn.
If your dog yawns more at night, this could be a sign that they are settling down and getting ready for sleep. Yawning is a common response to the body’s sleepy hormones, such as melatonin and serotonin. However, if your dog yawns more during the day, this could be an indication that they need some playtime, like going out for a walk together!
Pay attention to your dog’s behavioral patterns to discover the reason for their yawns at certain times of the day.
Is It Bad When My Dog Yawns Loudly?
A dog may yawn loudly due to stress, anxiety, or being tired too. A loud yawn can be a sign that your pup is feeling nervous and scared while having their body language work in conjunction with the sound of its big yawn. It’s likely that they are trying to release tension, but you may want to research more for yourself if this is something that happens often.
Another reason your dog may yawn is that they are trying to casually assert their dominance. Yawning exposes the teeth while the mouth is open and it allows your dog to look more intense. If you notice this type of yawning behavior, be careful about how you react, because a casual yawn could quickly turn into a snarl if they are feeling defensive or threatened.
Pay attention to other parts of their body language to determine if they are feeling negative or stressed. Some signs of an anxious pup include hair raising on the back of the neck, growling, breathing heavily, and making strange noises. Their tails will also be low or tucked between their legs.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the pitch and sound of their voice alongside the yawn. Identify if your dog is giving off a low sound, a high sound, or if the yawn is combined with their barking. This will give you further insight into what your dog’s body language and yawns could mean for them.
In order to make your dog feel more comfortable, you can try to reduce the sources of their anxiety. For example, if they are scared by loud noises around the home or neighborhood, you can try to play music or use some white noise so they feel more at ease. Good old-fashioned cuddling is also a great way to help your pup relax and feel more comfortable in their surroundings.
Dogs May Yawn When They Want Alone Time
If your dog is yawning excessively after playing with another animal or human, then they are likely trying to communicate that they need some time alone. Let them wander off into another room or even outside if needed so that you can see how much energy they have left in the tank for playtime.
Do Dogs Yawn When They Are Happy?
Some vets also believe that yawning may be a sign of over-excitement or even happiness. They may yawn when they’re about to go out on a walk, they are playing with another pup, receiving a lot of love and petting from their owner, or they are about to go for a car ride.
Other body language signs will let you know when your dog is having a contented yawn, such as their tails wagging slightly and their ears being set in a relaxed position. Their eyes will also be soft instead of hard or wide open. They may even have an almost dreamy look on their face if they are truly happy.
Why Do Dogs Yawn When You Cuddle Them?
Dogs will also yawn when they are having a relaxed cuddle with their owner. The yawn is often accompanied by a big satisfying stretch that results in your dog letting its body go limp. This is a moment of surrender, and your dog clearly feels safe and secure.
Remember, your dog may also yawn at this time because you are relaxed and yawning as well! Yawning is contagious, and while we may not fully understand why this mystery occurs, we definitely know that dogs will pick up on this behavior.
Is It Normal for a Dog to Yawn a Lot?
While there are many theories about why dogs yawn, remember that it is normal in certain situations. Dogs may also experience a medical problem when they yawn excessively throughout the day and night. If you notice your dog having continuous episodes of opening its mouth wide while making a big breathy sound, then you should take them to see their vet as soon as possible.
Your dog may be suffering from a condition called reverse sneezing (paroxysmal respiration) which is usually caused by an irritation in the back of its throat or nasal passages. A bout of reverse sneezing can make it seem like your pup is trying to yawn, but they will often shake their head and contort their face as if they are choking on something.
If your dog is yawning excessively, then pay close attention to its behavior and how they are acting throughout the day. You can also keep track of when it occurs by recording specific details in a journal or diary. This will help you determine what triggers this response so that you can make changes around your home if needed.
Other medical reasons that can trigger yawning include temperature regulation, heart problems, and brain disease. While these are unlikely reasons, it’s good to keep in mind in case you notice other irregular behavior occurring alongside the yawns. Take a look into other related symptoms that your dog may have to determine if they are sick.
Some signs of a heart issue include lethargy, coughing, and weakness. If your dog is lethargic or having trouble breathing at the same time as their yawning episodes, then this may be due to heart disease. As dogs age, they are more likely to develop health problems like these so make sure you keep an eye on them throughout their lives.
Allergies may also contribute to your dog’s urge to yawn. If they are licking their lips excessively, then there is a possibility that they are having an allergic reaction to something in the air. Dust, pollens, and grasses can cause your dog’s face to get itchy or watery if allergies are flaring up due to environmental changes.
Yawning may happen for emotional reasons as well. Dogs may experience separation anxiety if they are left alone for long periods of time or don’t get enough mental and physical stimulation throughout the day. They may yawn excessively as a way to self-soothe and calm themselves down after too much time alone.
Remember to take note of their other body language cues so that you know whether your dog is feeling anxious or stressed in a particular situation.
Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Pet His Head?
If your pup is yawning when you pet its head, then they are showing that they trust and feel safe with you. Much like a baby who will automatically start to fall asleep if someone gently pets their head or hair, dogs may do this as well.
This may also be paired with some gentle dog kisses and tail wagging. This clearly indicates that your dog is feeling great and is happy to show you this affection. If the yawn is accompanied by a loud sound, they are probably more excited than relaxed. Either way, this is a sign that they are very happy to be getting attention from their owner.