Nothing is cuter than seeing your pup waking up from a nap and stretching out in well-rested bliss. But, while you may find it adorable, a dog stretching a lot could be a sign of a behavioral or health issue.
There is nothing wrong with your furry best friend stretching multiple times a day. However, if you have searched “why does my dog stretch on me,” and they do so excessively, or it looks like they are in pain, it may warrant a trip to the vet! So let’s learn why a dog stretching a lot is either a cause for concern or not.
1. Harmless Stretching Behavior
What does it mean when a dog stretches on you? One of the most common reasons is because they are greeting you. This mainly occurs around those they feel safe and comfortable around and can show their vulnerable side. When pups bow in front of you with their rear in the air, they are friendly and seek attention.
You may also see your dog stretching before play, and an excellent way to get their blood flowing in anticipation of physical activity.
2. Upset Stomach
A dog stretching a lot could be a sign of an upset stomach. Stretching helps them to relieve the pressure from gas build-up in their abdomen. This condition typically affects deep-chested breeds and will show signs of pain, nervous pacing, or an enlarged belly.
Other symptoms include:
Avoid feeding your dog human food to keep their gut healthy. If symptoms continue, seek an emergency vet as soon as possible, as it can be a life-threatening condition.
Pet owners often overlook pancreatitis in dogs because the signs aren’t obvious in the beginning stages. However, dogs stretching a lot is a way to lengthen the abdominal muscles and relieve their discomfort. According to the American Kennel Club, it can be signs of pancreatitis if your pup is stretching a lot and experiencing bloat, abdominal pain, vomiting, hunched back, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Some risk factors can cause pancreatitis in dogs that you should avoid:
- High fatty diet
- Diabetes mellititis
- Severe blunt trauma
4. Stiff Joints
When dogs have rested for a long time, they love to get up and stretch their stiff muscles. However, older dogs may have arthritis causing pain and excessive stretching. Did you know that 80% of dogs over the age of 8 are at risk of having arthritis? As a result, dogs will either reduce their mobility to prevent pain from occurring or excessively stretch due to the pain.
If your dog has stiff joints, consider the following methods to relieve the stiffness:
- Go for a walk to increase blood circulation
- Go swimming
- Massage the joints and muscles
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Make your dog comfortable
Learn about dog muscle spasms here!
A dog stretching a lot?
A dog stretching a lot is mostly harmless. Just like us, dogs stretch because it feels good. However, keep an eye on how excessively they stretch and if it’s coupled with other symptoms. Don’t ignore severe stretching, and see a vet should it occur!