Have you observed that your pet stretches a lot lately? As you love your dog a lot, you might feel worried about these little gestures. While dogs inherently stretch to wake their muscles up after a long nap or when they have been lying on the ground for long, there may be some specific reasons why your dog is stretching a lot.
Different types of stretching may mean different things. It’s important to note that mostly stretching is completely normal in dogs, and it rarely means anything alarming. You might see your dog stretching their front leg or extending their rear leg as a part of their routine.
Most of the dog owners don’t pay much attention to these little details of their dog’s daily routine. But completely ignoring these activities might lead to some issues. So it’s important to know why your dog stretches so much and what specific kind of stretching means?
Reasons for Stretching:
Waking up from a Nap
Stretching after taking a long nap is an inherent activity and just points out to your pet’s natural instincts. They are waking up and getting ready but might feel muscle stiffness after a long nap. It’s just a way of waking up their muscles and preparing them for the next activity. You can relate to your tendency to stretch while on the bed before getting up for the day.
Your dog also might choose to stretch when he’s preparing to go for a run. Stretching helps warm up the muscles and increases the blood flow. It also protects the dog from injury or cramps as it contracts and stretches the muscles.
Stretching as a sign of mating
While stretching can be just a routine activity to wake up his muscles, it can also point out to a sign of sexual interest. Your dog may stretch more than usual if he wants to mate with the opposite sex. This is more common when your dog is around a female dog in heat. Check out for this sign when taking your dog for a walk and you probably want to take him home when you don’t want him to mate.
As stretching also points out to the dog preparing himself for physical activity, it may be a preliminary sign of aggression. Try to calm him down in such cases to avoid any calamity.
Way of communication
Many dogs stretch in a gesture to greet their owners, other humans or pets. They stretch as a friendly gesture and stretching is accompanied by glary eyes, wagging tail and relaxed ears. They wag their tails along with extending their front legs and butts pointing upwards.
Your dog might also want to play with you when they are stretching as soon as you are home. It’s a sign of respect, and they may do this with other dogs or pets. When dogs stretch, it might mean they don’t want to dominate other pets and rather be friends with them.
Stretching is a way of providing temporary relief to your dog in case of health issues. Your dog might stretch if he is suffering from pancreatitis. He may be suffering from arthritis, joint issues or even spinal problems. He stretches his body to relieve himself from pain in such cases.
If your dog also shows other signs of illness like vomiting or has a fever along with stretching, take it seriously and take him to the vet as soon as possible.
Splooting is a weird kind of stretching position common in dogs. The dog lies down flat on his bey and stretches his hips as well as his rear legs. It’s an awkward position that makes your dog look cuter than usual. The most cumbersome part is seeing the rare legs stretched while typically dogs bend their rear legs.
Splooting is a beneficial activity as it stretches out your dog’ hips which in turn provides more flexibility during running. This kind of stretching also relaxes your dog, and you might find asleep while splooting for too long. Dogs usually do this kind of stretching during summers. As the belly touches the cold floor of your home, it lowers the dog’s body temperature and helps him feel relaxed.
Why does my dog stretch when I pet him?
While petting your dog is a relaxing activity for you as well as your dog, you must know the right way to do it. Since it involves the appreciation and agreement of your dog, he should be the one to I initiate it in most cases. Dogs like to be petted at the chest while they are lying down as well as over the neck.
It helps to relax your dog’s body, but if he starts moving or shaking his legs rapidly, it’s a sign that he’s getting irritated. If your dog starts stretching while you’re petting him, there are chances that he likes the massage. You should go petting him at that spot if you find him stretching.
Stretching is usually a sign of respect, and it points out to approval in this case. Since he’s enjoying the massage, go on petting him on that spot when you find him stretching.
Why is my dog stretching in a praying position?
It might be a stomach issue
Constant or excessive stretching might be a sign of canine bloating. Your dog’s stomach might be upset, which can lead to gases troubling his tummy. The dog stretches his body for the abdomen muscles to release the stuck gases and relieve him of the pressure building inside. You can check if excessive stretching is a sign of a stomach issue by hearing the sound from his stomach.
While in abdominal pain, the dog stretches its front legs with their bottom in the air. The elbows touch the floor, and his head might point downwards. Veterinarians call this the “praying position” used by dogs to relax their abdomen muscles and release the gases.
A gurgling sound or a round protrusion in his stomach may point out to an upset stomach. Another sign to note is if your dog is drooling a lot or his stomach is warm to touch. It’s essential to act quickly in such cases as untreated bloating may become fatal.
Drinking water right after exercising is a crucial reason for bloating. Let your dog’s body cool down before letting him drink water after an exercise session. Don’t let him drink too much water to avoid bloating. Don’t feed your dog until the issue is resolved and he has no problem in breathing.
Other than abdominal pain or bloating, stretching in a praying position may also mean he has a spinal issue. This kind of stretching helps your dog relax his vertebrae. It’s recommended to take your dog to the vet if you see him frequently stretching in praying position.
How to stop a Dog from stretching more than normal?
If you are seeing your dog stretching more than normal, you can check if it’s the case of bloating or any other health issue. It’s best to take your dog to the vet in case he’s stretching excessively all of a sudden. It’s just a step to ensure he is free of any health-related issue or injuries.
You might want to take him for a walk as he’s feeling lethargic and been lying a lot. Different dog breeds need different exercise to remain active and healthy. Try to make him do the recommended exercises by yourself, or you can use a dog walker to do it.
You can also try taking your dog for a swim to increase flexibility and decrease excessive stretching. Stretching is an activity your dog does to become more flexible, and swimming will help increase flexibility and reduce the tendency to stretch a lot.
Usually stretching is a common exercise for dogs, and there is nothing to worry about. An ageing dog loses its flexibility, and he stretches to counter lethargy and tiredness. If your dog gulps food, he may be suffering from indigestion and bloating, which is the reason for stretching. If you take your dog to the vet for regular health checkups, there is no need to be alarmed if he starts stretching more than usual.
Stretching is a healthy activity, and you should encourage normal stretching until it becomes too frequent. It helps your dog become more flexible and less prone to injuries. It also helps your dog release gases and toxins. Stretching is a natural activity, and you might want to reward him by petting him if he greets you by stretching.
If not used as a sign of aggression, stretching makes your dog more agile and friendly. It is also a welcome sign that your dog wants to mate. You just have to consult your vet in case of extended stretching sessions coupled with discomfort. Otherwise, don’t panic and let your dog express his emotions through stretching.