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Why does my dog stretch so much

Why does my dog stretch so much

Why does my dog stretch so much?

Why does my dog stretch so much when it's hot?

Our canine pals enjoy a long summer's nap and take it easy. That's the norm, though there are some dogs who can't help but be active. (Think: dogs who play fetch or chase the mailman.) And, in fact, some dogs stretch out when they're hot -- because they're feeling hot. And there's a good reason for that, too.

So, what is stretching and what does it mean?

When a dog stretches, it makes his muscles more flexible. And if his muscles are a bit stiff or tight, he can get that feeling -- especially when it's hot. When dogs stretch out, it usually isn't because they're sick, in pain or under any other kind of discomfort. It's a natural part of their everyday life.

"The dog is just moving more because they are enjoying the sun," Dr. David Arndt, a behaviorist and owner of Arndt Dog Behavior in Orlando, Fla., told The Dodo. "They're not really thinking about anything except that it's a lot of fun."

Why Dogs Stretch

"The dog is just moving more because they are enjoying the sun. They're not really thinking about anything except that it's a lot of fun." — Dr. David Arndt, owner of Arndt Dog Behavior in Orlando, Fla.

Dogs who don't get enough exercise stretch out for a number of reasons. That is, if they're bored, or if they're trying to escape a certain area, they might stretch their body, too. And, if they're hungry, they'll look for other ways to eat.

"We want to make sure that dogs get some exercise," Arndt told us. "We need to make sure that dogs are getting the most amount of exercise as they can."

When do dogs stretch? If a dog is bored or if it's anxious, it'll stretch its body more than usual.

"It's more of an instinctual thing than an intentional thing," Arndt explained. "It's really more of a movement of our brain."

But a dog won't normally stretch if it's suffering from any kind of injury, discomfort or illness.

"Dogs stretch for many reasons, but they don't always for obvious reasons," Arndt added. "They have a sense of the 'body.' The whole thing of 'I'm going to move a little bit more because I'm feeling good.' And, of course, they also stretch to keep their own body from contracting. It's kind of their way of helping out."

How to Help Your Dog Stretch

If your dog's stretching out, don't worry. Arndt told us that it's completely normal. The best thing to do, though, is to help your dog stretch.

If you give your dog exercise, make sure that you allow time for stretching. You don't want to keep your dog exercising for long periods of time or it could strain its muscles.

"For exercise we want to build the energy the body has, so we need to make sure that dogs get enough exercise," Arndt said. "Make sure that the stretches are a normal part of your training."

And if you notice that your dog's been showing signs of discomfort, it's probably best to take it to your veterinarian. In the case of a hip problem, Arndt recommended that a veterinarian or physical therapist should take a look at your dog's dog.

"Make sure that your veterinarian is the right one for that dog," Arndt said. "And I know the dog isn't going to see their veterinarian at the local emergency clinic. They're going to see their normal vet."

"If you don't know what to do, go to a specialist," he added. "There are people who will handle that in a different way than what your regular vet would handle it."

So that was our list of how to help your dog stretch. We'd love to hear from you. Tell us about a time your dog stretched and how you helped him do it.

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You can see an update of this story on "Good Morning America" on May 11.