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Have you ever heard a sighing sound while relaxing at home and wondered where it came from? Or perhaps youve rounded the kitchen corner and caught your dog sighing?
A human sigh could mean contentment, tiredness, relaxation or even disappointment. But do dogs experience that same range of emotions when they sigh? Lets take a deeper dive to better understand dog sighing: why it happens, what it means and what sounds are similar but different from sighing.
Sighing is a natural bodily function common to humans and other animals. Wondering what sets a sigh apart from a normal breath? Well, most breaths are so quiet they dont immediately register as audible. A sigh is a long breath in and out that differentiates itself by being louder.
Popular Science defines sighing as “a deep long breath about twice the volume of a typical breath.” They continue, “It also serves as a sort of stretch for your lungs — a periodic deep breath inflates the alveoli, tiny sacs in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide pass in and out of the blood.”
Dogs sighing is a natural bodily response, and its nothing for pet parents to be anxious about.
What Is Sighing in Dogs?
This may seem like a silly question, but its important to know the difference between a sigh and other, low-level noises your dog may make like moaning and groaning. A sigh isnt actually a true vocalization. Rather, a dog sigh is essentially just a deep exhale. A moan and a groan may have a bit of a whine to it as your dog vocalizes with their vocal chords as they exhale.
Why do dogs sigh so much?
Since dogs can’t talk, they use vocalizations and body language to communicate how they’re feeling.
According to Dr. Wooten, you should look at your dog’s body language and what else is going on around him to help you figure out why your dog’s sighing.
“Dogs normally sigh for a variety of reasons: when they are content, when they are bored, when they are disappointed ([e.g.,] when you tell them to lie down and they really want to take a walk), as a way of talking back ([e.g.,] after you have told them ‘no’) and to relieve stress,” Dr. Wooten told The Dodo.
Here are some things your pup might be trying to tell you when he sighs.