Why Do Dogs Yawn: 10 Reasons Behind Those Contagious Yawns

We, humans, have all experienced the urge to yawn at one time or another (like right now), but did you know that dogs do too? Why do dogs yawn?

Like us, it’s a sign of feeling tired and fatigued. However, dogs also use yawning as a means of communication.

With so many reasons behind this common canine behavior, let’s take a closer look at why dogs yawn and what it might mean for your pup.

Why Do Dogs Yawn?

We’ve all seen our canine friends open their mouths wide and take a deep breath.

But what are they really doing when they do that? Why is it so important for them to release this big sigh every now and then?

Well, let’s look into 10 possible explanations as to why dogs yawn.

1. To cool down:

According to scientific research, the act of panting helps regulate the temperature of a dog’s body. This is by releasing excess heat into the atmosphere through its tongue and nose.

Thus, one plausible reason why dogs yawn may be because it serves as a way for them to cool themselves off when they get too hot or uncomfortable.

2. To communicate:

Yawning is also known to be a communicative behavior in several mammals, including dogs. It can indicate that the dog is feeling stressed, anxious or tired.

By yawning, the dog may be trying to signal its state of mind to those around it and let them know how it’s feeling.

3. To relieve stress:

Yawning has been found to have soothing effects on our furry friends. During stressful situations or times of anxiety, dogs may yawn as a way of calming themselves down and relieving tension.

4. To reduce alertness:

Research suggests that when animals are sleep-deprived or need more rest, they might yawn as a way of regulating their level of alertness.

This can be seen in dogs that are too alert or overly excited. Yawning helps them relax and become less active.

5. To show boredom:

Dogs may also yawn when they’re bored, indicating that they have nothing else to do or aren’t being stimulated enough.

Yawning could be a sign that the dog wants more stimulation or activity in its environment.

6. To express empathy:

In addition to communicating their own state of mind, some studies suggest that dogs may also yawn as a way of expressing empathy towards other animals or people around them.

When one animal yawns, it can trigger another nearby animal to do the same if there is an emotional connection between the two of them.

7. To release pent-up energy:

Many experts believe that yawning can help an animal release nervous energy or excess bodily tension that has been built up over time.

Thus, by yawning, dogs may be trying to relieve some of the stress they are feeling and reduce their level of arousal.

Besides this, dogs get zoomies too, in order to release pent-up energy.

8. To take a break:

Dogs may also yawn when they need a break from an activity or situation. It could be a sign that the dog is feeling overwhelmed or exhausted and needs some time to rest and recharge.

9. To increase oxygen levels:

When a dog yawns, it takes in more air than usual which can help increase the oxygen levels in its body.

This can be beneficial for dogs who need to stay active or alert for an extended period of time, as increased oxygen intake can help them perform better and remain focused for longer.

10. To relieve joint pain:

Certain studies indicate that yawning might also have a “pain-relieving” effect on dogs, particularly when it comes to joint pain.

By stretching and relaxing the muscles in the jaw and neck area, yawning may help reduce discomfort associated with stiff joints and other chronic pains.

All these reasons demonstrate just how complex yawning behavior can be in dogs.

Each situation is unique and so are the motivations behind this curious action! Why do they yawn?

Well, we may never know for sure, but we can certainly get a glimpse into their minds and learn more about this fascinating behavior.

What Should I Do If My Dog Yawns A Lot?

Are you concerned when your pup is yawning way more than usual?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are three tips to help stop your pup’s excessive yawning:

1. Find out why they’re yawning

Before trying anything else, figure out the root cause of the issue. Is your pup bored or anxious? Are they responding to something in their environment?

If you can identify a trigger for their behavior, you can take steps to address the underlying issue instead of just managing the symptom (the yawning).

2. Give them plenty of attention

Dogs may be trying to get attention by yawning if they feel neglected or isolated.

Spending quality time with your pup in the form of walks, playtime, and cuddles can help them feel more connected and less likely to yawn excessively.

3. Create a safe environment

Dogs may be more prone to anxiety if they’re feeling unsafe or uncomfortable.

Make sure their crate is comfortable and not too small, keep the temperature in their space consistent, and try to create a low-stress atmosphere for your pup.

These steps can go a long way toward reducing your pet’s anxious behavior, which includes excessive yawning.

These three tips can help you get to the bottom of why your pup is yawning so much and figure out how to tackle it head-on!


By understanding why dogs yawn, we can better appreciate their emotions and provide them with the comfort and care they need in times of stress or anxiety.

So next time your pup lets out a big sigh, take a moment to consider why they might be doing it—after all, it could mean more than meets the eye!

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