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

Stretching has always been a natural 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’s stretching can be a playful gesture which often means an invitation 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” which is a common dog behavior. 

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

Keep reading if you want to know 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 common 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 that they want to play. This gesture is simply playful and there’s no need to be warned. 

Dogs doing 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 a long amount of time. For example, if they sit around you for a while, they might stretch a bit. 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 they need to stretch. 

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

If you see your dog stretch after getting up from a couch, there’s no concern. It’s absolutely normal and your dog is perfectly fine. 

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, it’s possible that your dog is 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 the 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 simply monitor the behavior. 

If your dog keeps stretching without stopping, then it’s a bad sign. Your dog is probably telling you that she isn’t feeling well. 

If the reason is indeed excessive gas, then 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:

Product 1
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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 of this would be wolves or tigers stretching before a hunt. 

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

If you notice this sort of activity, no need to be freaked out. It’s totally 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 totally fine. It’s a fairly common term among dog owners. 

Splooting is a special 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 completely lies down 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 really warm 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’ve mentioned at the beginning, there’s nothing really serious about it at all. 

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

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


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

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

Question: Why does my dog stretch her paws on me?

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

Question: Why does my dog bow his head to me?
Answer: A dog marks his territory by bowing his head and covering the area with his smell. It becomes a warning for other dogs to stay away. If a dog is bowing his head on you, he’s marking you safe from other dogs. 

Take Away

That was all I could deliver on “why does my dog stretch on me”. I hope that my words have succeeded to reassure you on the matter. 

Your dog can also do the gesture on you to ask for exercises. If you haven’t taken your dog in a while, it’s time to do that. Because dogs can get bored super fast. 

Finally, have a nice day and keep your dogs happy!