Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Why do dogs yawn? Have you ever found it a little disheartening when you see your dog yawn?  Maybe you’re about to take your pet on an exhilarating walk, but then you see him or her yawn.  You think, “Oh, I’m sorry.  Am I BORING you by taking you on a walk?  Must I remind you that it’s one of your favorite things to do?”

The truth of the matter is, all mammals yawn to increase oxygen flow to the brain and increase heart rate.  Several dogs that compete can be seen yawning at the starting line, but it is ultimately to increase their ability, not because they are bored or uninterested in the event.

Yawning prepares dogs for several situations, including stressful ones.  If you see your dog yawning, take note of the stimuli around it to figure out if it’s being stressed out.  Maybe your aunt is visiting from out of town and your dog has never met her.  If the dog yawns, it could be a sign that he or she is uncomfortable or stressed out that there is a stranger in the home.

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