A sigh is a long and sharp exhale that almost all dogs do throughout the day. However, it is more noticeable when they are about to sleep or lie down.
Dogs can sigh due to various reasons. It is all about context. They can be happy, unhappy, or nervous when they sigh. It is critical to identify the context to understand why your dog sighs before sleeping or any other time of the day.
Let’s check out why a dog sighs before dozing off!
Common Reasons a Dog Sighs Before Sleeping
Happy and Relaxed
A dog sighing right before lying down or while resting is trying to tell you that he is happy, relaxed, and content. It is his way of telling that he had a great day loaded with exercise, quality treats, and your time.
Frustrated and Bored
Your dog may also sigh if he is frustrated or bored. He is trying to tell you that he waited for you to take him out for a walk, exercise, or play with him. A sad facial expression often accompanies such a sigh. Look at your pup’s face when he sighs; it can tell you his feelings. Sighing due to happiness comes with a happy and relaxed face.
Your dog may sigh when upset about something or someone around you. For example, your dog fears your friends or someone visiting your home. He may not like you playing with other dogs or having other pets at home. Dogs sighing due to stress, fear, or nervousness show signs such as lip locking, yawning, excessive panting, or pacing or licking stuff excessively.
Out of Habit
Dogs quickly pick up things that get attention. For example, if your dog sighed once and you patted his back or lovingly talked to him. He will sigh again to get your attention.
If you approach your dog when they sigh and give them treats, food, or toys, they will learn this behavior and sigh repeatedly to get your attention. Sighing for attention may not be an issue for most dog owners as they want to love their dogs and make them happy. Some owners may not like such attention-seeking behaviors. Hence, deciding how to react when your dog sighs is up to you.
Is Sighing a Concern? Do I need to see a Vet for my Dog Sighing?
Random and occasional sighing for 3-4 times a day is nothing to worry about. However, you should consult your vet immediately if sighing is accompanied by barking, whining, gasping, or heavy breathing. It could signify an underlying heart or breathing issue.
How to Stop Your Dog from Sighing?
The easiest way to stop a dog from sighing is to ignore him. He will know that sighing is no good and doesn’t bother you. Hence, he will stop sighing to get your attention and try to look for other things that will get him your attention. Ignoring him will not stop the behavior immediately, but it will stop him from sighing in a few days.
How to Identify a Dog’s Mood from its Body Language?
You can identify your dog’s mood from its body language. Here are some indicators that will help you assess your pooch’s mood.
Laying Down or Sitting Up: If your dog sighs while resting on the floor with head on the paws, it mostly means the dog is happy and relaxed. A dog sighing while standing or sitting with an aggressive face usually means he is annoyed.
Eye Shape: A dog sighing with eyes wide open and looking at you, strangers, or other dogs usually mean that they aren’t happy with what’s happening around them. On the other hand, a dog sighing with half-closed eyes or eyes beginning to close shows that the dog is relaxed and happy.
Ears Position: Dogs sighing with alert, and standing ears mostly mean they are disappointed. A dog sighing with his ears down indicates he is happy and got what he wanted. Please note that ear position may not work with breeds with always standing ears, like a German shepherd.