Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Pet Him? (SOLVED)

Do you ever pet your dog and they yawn? You’re not alone! Many people have wondered why their dog does this. It’s actually a pretty common occurrence. In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why your dog yawns when you pet him. 

Your dog yawns when you pet him because of several reasons including excitement, fatigue, confusion, yawning is calming, medical condition, stress, when communicating, or the fact that yawning is contagious.

Let’s look at these reasons in more depth.

8 Reasons your Dog Yawns When you Pet Him


When you pet your dog, they may yawn in response. While this may initially seem like a sign of boredom, it’s actually a sign of excitement. When dogs yawn, they are releasing tension and calming themselves down.

The act of yawning helps to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which has a calming effect. So, if your dog yawns when you pet them, it’s a good sign that they are happy and relaxed. And who doesn’t want their dog to be happy and relaxed?


Have you ever been dog-sitting for a friend and noticed that their dog would yawn every time you pet them? One possibility is that they’re feeling sleepy or tired.

Just like humans, dogs can get physically and mentally exhausted, and when they’re in a relaxing environment like being petted, it can trigger a desire to yawn and take a nap.


Dogs yawn when they are confused or uncertain about what they are supposed to do. When you pet your dog, their brain is processing a lot of information. They may be trying to figure out why you are petting them, what your next move will be, and what you expect from them.

This can lead to a feeling of confusion, which manifests itself in a big yawn. So if your dog starts yawning while you’re petting them, don’t worry – they’re just trying to make sense of the situation.

Yawning is calming

Yawning is a calming behavior that dogs often display when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. By yawning, your dog is releasing built-up tension and slowing his heart rate. In other words, he’s trying to calm himself down.

If your dog starts to yawn while you’re petting him, take it as a sign that he’s enjoying your affection – and that he could use a little relaxation.

Medical condition

While yawning is a perfectly normal behavior for dogs, it can also be a sign of a medical condition. If your dog is yawning frequently when you pet him, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian.


When dogs are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, they often yawn as a way to release some of that tension. It’s thought to be a calming signal, similar to how humans might take a deep breath to try and relax.

Yawning is contagious

Many dog owners have experienced the phenomenon of their dog yawning when they themselves yawn. Yawning is contagious – when we see someone else yawn, we are more likely to yawn ourselves. 

This is because seeing someone else yawn activates the same neural pathways that are used when we yawn. Dogs are particularly responsive to contagious yawning, likely because they have evolved to be highly attuned to human social cues. 

So next time your dog yawns while you’re petting them, don’t be alarmed – they’re just trying to tell you that they’re comfortable and relaxed in your company.

When communicating

While it may seem like your dog is just trying to take a nap when they yawn while you’re petting them, there may actually be some communication going on. If you see your dog start to yawn while you’re petting them, it may be their way of saying “thanks for the good scratches, I’m really enjoying this.”

Every dog is different, so it’s always best to ask your veterinarian or a certified dog trainer if you’re not sure what your dog’s yawning behavior means. But in general, if your dog is yawning while you’re petting them, it’s likely a sign that they’re happy and relaxed in your company.


Do dogs yawn when they’re happy?

Yes, dogs do yawn when they’re happy. It’s a very sweet gesture that shows just how content and relaxed they are. When your dog yawns, it’s a sign that they feel comfortable and safe in your presence. If you see your furry friend yawning a lot, it’s a good indication that they’re happy and enjoy being around you.

Why do dogs yawn when being stroked?

Yawning is a reflexive behavior that’s related to the dog’s sense of well-being. When a dog is being stroked, it feels good and relaxed. And when the dog feels good and relaxed, it yawns. Yawning is a way for the dog to release all the good feelings and sensations that it’s experiencing.

Do dogs yawn to show affection?

Yes, dogs yawn to show affection. Dogs often yawn when they see someone they love or when they’re feeling calm and content. Yawning is a way of calming down and bonding with others. It’s also a way of communicating relaxation. 


There are several possible reasons why your dog yawns when you pet him:

  1. Excitement
  2. Fatigue
  3. Confusion
  4. Yawning is calming
  5. Medical condition
  6. Stress
  7. When communicating
  8. Yawning is contagious

Read more on other dog behaviors

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