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Probably, you have noticed several behaviors that your dog does. One of the many is stretching. So now we’ll try to explore why do dogs stretch? We will good through what is that and what signal your pooch is trying to conceive if so.
Me, you, and probably everyone stretches in the morning in bed to announce a new day so is your dog. However, let’s just say this can also have several meanings.
No matter how special your bond with your dog is. You have probably wished your dog can talk to you. Actually, she/he does. dogs’ behaviors are a way of communicating. All you have to do is learning how to interpret them correctly.
What is stretching?
Dogs stretch by instinct so basically, this goes back to their genes. Actually, stretching is somehow a biological need for dogs.
Stretching is very important and beneficial for dogs. As a matter of fact, for us too, yoga is a stretching regime. So, basically, if you do yoga, you are not that different from your dog.
You have definitely noticed your pup lean backwards then stretches his front legs in front of him several times. Well, in case you just had a dog and you don’t know what is stretching which weird. This action is stretching.
There are several types of stretching. We have the morning stretch. Dogs stretch in the morning to prepare their bodies to “roam the territory.”
As I have already cleared stretching is instinctual. So, this behavior is due to their primal hunting instinct. Dogs need to be fit to purchase their food and mainly to tussling for maintaining their territory.
Thus, the morning stretch is a healthy and natural routine. This habit is actually a way of activating their body and saying “game is on”. The morning stretch strengthens your pooch’s muscular system.
To be more precise it strengthens the rear extensor muscles. This muscle helps them get ready for running. This form of stretching initially contracts the muscles. Then it lengthens them.
Through this habit, your dog achieves total relaxation of the body. Plus, it triggers the connection between the dog’s brain and the muscles.
The other type of stretching is the greeting stretch. This one right is the cutest stretch ever. There are several ways in which your dog says “Yo ‘sup”. This stretch means this.
For sure you noticed how your dog stretches when she/he sees you when you come back from work. This is how your cute little puppy says hi I missed you. We call it the greeting stretch.
This behavior of dogs occurs when the dog shows his contentment. Dogs use this communicating technique to show your or another dog that they are feeling comfortable to be around with you.
This stretch has several names. You can find it referred to as the playful bow or the greeting bow. Also, this act sends signals to other dogs an invitation to play. This is how your dog communicates with other dogs.
This playful posture could be your dog’s way of saying let’s play. Most often, people get confused about whether their dog is just saying hi. Or whether he wants to play with you. It is something common and normal since both postures are the same.
As we have already established, stretching is instinctual. Plus, it is a cute habit that you and your dog enjoy.
However, this is not the case always. if your dog is stretching a lot, more than usual. Or if the stretch seemed unusual in a strange way. This could possibly be a sign for a concerning thing. Although this is very rare.
Why Do Dogs Always Stretch?
Here are potential reasons why do dogs stretch. These are possible signs that your dog could be sending through extremely constant stretching.
1- Your pup might be tired :
It is unusual for tiredness to increase stretching. When dogs are tired, usually they don’t tend to stretch more.
However, if it is common for your dog to stretch a lot just before going to sleep then tiredness is the reason why your pup does that.
Some dogs tend to stretch a lot when they are waking up too. Most likely, it goes back to tiredness.
2- It might go back to some illness or an injury :
Stretching makes your dog feel better and especially their stomach. So, if your dog has some sort of unsettled stomach, it is normal that he would be stretching to make his tammy feel alright.
This would likely be the reason in the case where your dog started doing it suddenly. You can be sure that this is the reason. When your dog is showing other symptoms such as nausea and fatigue.
If your dog is sick and starts stretching excessively than he must be doing to feel better. In this case, the best option you should do is taking to the vet for a check.
Minor injuries might also be the reason why your dog stretches a lot. I mean if your dog has an injury, she/he would tend to stretch more. As the injury would feel less painful when the dog stretches.
As for being sick, the stretching comes accompanied by other symptoms. So, try to notice the signs your dog is having such as limping. Again, in the case of having an injury, a trip to the vet would be the best solution.
In order to know whether the stretching is concerning or not try to do the following. squeeze Softly yet apply some pressure to his/her ankles, paws, legs, also the hips, and notice the dog’s reaction. Besides, check for strains by running your hand along the inner thigh of your dog.
When or if your pooch is experiencing any kind of discomfort, back off and immediately schedule a vet appointment. because your dog might be suffering from the following conditions.
3- Your dog might be suffering from canine bloat :
Canine bloat is having a bloated stomach. This condition makes your pup so uncomfortable. Your dog will be stretching a lot to release the pressure off her/his tummy.
There several ways to detect whether your dog has this condition or not. Check your dog’s tummy, whether it is overly round or produce any babbling noises. Also, check its temperature.
Check whether your dog is drooling excessively. If these are all signs of your dog, then take her/him straight to the vet. Canine bloat can be fatal if not treated quickly.
4- Your pooch might be suffering from pancreatitis :
Dogs pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. In the early stages of pancreatitis stretching very common. the dog may try to lengthen her/his abdominal muscles to take the pressure off of their tummies.
Symptoms such as being feverish, hunched over when standing, or weak are signs of pancreatitis.
The symptoms for pancreatitis are very confusing. Again, if your pup displays pancreatitis signs, just check a vet.
5- Your dog might be unaltered :
Stretching can almost be a mating call. Some dogs who haven’t been fixed do this. They would often perform a “bow” for would-be suitors. Actually, this is not something you should be concerned about.
6- Your dog is just splooting :
The term splooting means your dog enjoys lying down totally flat then stretches out with their tummy on the floor.
This is very common with some breeds. Especially, Labs and Greyhounds who got long legs. they need sufficient space to spread their limbs when lying down. So, splooting is what they do to make themselves more comfortable and relaxed.
This behavior is more likely to occur in the summer time. A lot of dogs tend to do this when the weather gets warmer. they’ll be setting their bellies inside holes. They have dug. At the same time, they will lie in a “sploot” position. This is how dogs get some cooling on their bottom area.
7- Don’t make it complicated she or he might just be liking the feeling :
As we have demonstrated before, stretching is instinctive for dogs. So do not overthink it your dog probably likes how it feels when stretch.
Some canines are a little more flexible than others, and they enjoy doing their own little form of yoga whenever they feel the need for it.
We human tend to like stretching. So, some of us tend to be cracking their finger every minute. Even though they do not have to.
Thus, it is not concerning for dogs to stretch every once and a while. In most cases, stretching simply goes back to the fact your dog is enjoying it.
How to properly stretch your dog?
Dogs’ stretching is not usually concerning. The reason why do dogs stretch mainly goes back to her/his genes and instincts. Your dog finds it soothing. Besides, it is also used as a means of communication with both other dogs and humans.
Your dog might be flexible and feels the benefits of stretching in his muscles. Also, she/he might be using it as a grounding for physical activity.
The dog might also be using it as a beneficial way to show respect. In general, stretching is part of dogs’ healthy lifestyle. Thus, you can get along with your pup and do some yoga together.
It is necessary for dogs to stretch regularly to have a healthy lifestyle. stretching can help to improve your dog’s flexibility and quality of life.
No matter how old is your dog, stretching and strengthening help her/him with pain. Also, it can reduce the need for futuristic medications and surgeries.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Steve Jonz