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Why Does My Dog Stretch On Me: 5 Reasons Why!

Stretching has always been an instinct.

We, humans, like to do it after waking up.

Like us, dogs have been doing so since the dawn of time.

But these stretching movements may have a different meaning sometimes. 

Why does my dog stretch on me? 

Dog stretching can be a playful gesture, often inviting to play. It can also help them get rid of stiff joints. Other than that, it helps with relieving muscle pain which is quite bothersome. Finally, stretching can mean “splooting”, a typical dog behavior.

Anyways, that was just a brief answer to the discussion. There’s a lot more to talk about. 

Please keep reading to learn more about dogs and why they stretch!

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Stretches Most Often

Stretching is one of the most common gestures you’ll see among dogs. It’s also pretty standard for your dogs to sleep on your head

But sometimes, you may notice too much stretching, but there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve listed some of the reasons so that you can sleep tension-free. 

Sit back, relax, and have a cup of coffee while you go through the reasons:

Reason 1: Dogs May Stretch If They Want to Play With You

This is one of the most common reasons behind stretching. If you haven’t played with your dog in a while, they may do this to ask you. 

It’s their cute way of letting you know they want to play. This gesture is playful, and there’s no need to be warned. 

Dogs making this gesture to a random person could mean they’ve seen something interesting. They may bark a little while stretching to get your attention. 

Reason 2: Stretching Helps With Stiff Joints

Dogs often stay still for an extended amount of time. For example, they might stretch a bit if they sit around you for a while. This helps with stiffness in their body. 

That’s why you may notice older dogs stretching more often. Due to aging, their bodies tend to get stiffer and need to stretch. 

Younger dogs, however, don’t need to stretch at all. They will even start stretching if they sit somewhere for hours. But it’s not that uncommon, either. 

If your dog stretches after getting up from a couch, there’s no concern. It’s normal, and your dog is lovely. 

Have you ever seen your dog lick a pillow? Sometimes, they’ll do it just because they like doing it. 

Reason 3: Stretching Is A Good Pain Reliever

So far, I’ve only talked about natural stretching. This is where things may seem a little fishy. But don’t worry. 

Most of the time, stretching doesn’t mean anything other than an invitation or gesture. 

Sometimes, your dog may be stretching, trying to relieve some pain. In those cases, you’ll need to be wary of your dog’s health. 

One of the most common reasons is canine bloat. When it happens, your dog will feel gas around its abdomen area. When that happens, dogs often try to stretch to soothe the pain. 

Now you may ask- how do I tell the difference? Are there ways to understand that your dog requires help? 

Well, that’s super simple. Your dog will continuously stretch itself multiple times. An easy way to tell this apart is to monitor the behavior. 

Suppose your dog keeps stretching without stopping. Your dog is probably telling you that she isn’t feeling well. 

If the reason is excessive gas, check your dog’s diet. If dogs are fed foods like broccoli without moderation, they may develop flatulence. 

Speaking of broccoli, here are some of my top picks:

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You can now easily choose whichever you like! 

Reason 4: Dogs May Stretch Just Before Moving

Like humans, dogs also require a warm-up before going for a walk. This gesture is linked to their ancestral roots. 

A similar example would be wolves or tigers stretching before a hunt. 

Your dog may make the gesture before readying itself for a walk. Suppose you always take your dog out around 11 am or 5 pm. Because of chronic reasons, your dog will stretch itself before going out. 

Suppose you notice this sort of activity; there is no need to be freaked out. It’s normal, and your dog is just preparing itself. 

Reason 5: Stretching Also Means Splooting

Have you heard of the term “Splooting”? If you haven’t, that’s fine. It’s a fairly common term among dog owners. 

Splooting is a particular type of dog gesture. This is slightly different from regular stretching. This stretch pattern is commonly seen among breeds like greyhounds or corgis. 

Splooting is a movement pattern where a dog lies on the floor. It then stretches its belly to its fullest extent. This is super comfortable for dogs. 

This particular movement helps them cool down their bellies! If the weather has been hot recently, you may find your dog splooting. 

As long as your dog isn’t doing it excessively, there’s nothing to be worried about. If your dog is doing it too many times, check its body temperature, just in case. 

These were some of the most important reasons behind your dog stretching. As I mentioned at the beginning, there’s nothing serious about it. 

But sometimes, stretching can indicate an early stage of pancreatitis among dogs. In such a case, a dog will constantly stretch the abdomen part. 

But by knowing the reasons behind pancreatitis in dogs, you can rule it out quickly. It never hurts to be sure. 


What does it mean when a dog pushes up against you?

Pushing up against you often signifies a fear or dominance gesture. It’s pretty standard in dogs. Like this, you’ll also notice the opposite too. If your dog is going backward, it means a vulnerable/safe gesture. 

Why does my dog stretch her paws on me?

Stretching paws on a human indicate a gesture of love. It’s seen among both cats and dogs and is quite common. It just means your dog is trying to love you and show you affection. 

Why does my dog bow his head to me?

A dog marks his territory by bowing his head and covering the area with his smell. If a dog is bowing his head on you, he’s keeping you safe from other dogs. It becomes a warning for other dogs to stay away.