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Why Does My Dog Purr? 6 Reasons For This Odd Behavior

Why Does My Dog Purr? 6 Reasons For This Odd Behavior

You’ve undoubtedly heard it purr if you’ve been around a cat. Cats start purring when they are only about a week old, and their purring is mainly understood as a sign that everything is fine and that they are happy.

However, cats can also purr when nervous, in pain, or expecting something to happen.

But what about dogs? Could this behavior also occur in them?  Why does my dog purr?

You might notice something similar to purring in cats in your dog; in other words, the dog will make a rhythmic vibrating sound. But why does this happen? Is this a sign that there is something wrong with the dog?

Purring can be a sign that the dog is happy and content. Such a wonderful way for a dog to show he is satisfied with your life together, right? Yes, but purring might also indicate that a dog is in need, in pain, or wants to warn you about something.

Continue reading and find out everything related to dog purring.

Do Dogs Purr?

girl caressing gently her dog

All dogs bark and this is their primary means of communication. There are different meanings of dog bark, but do you know that dogs can make sounds other than barking?

So, can dogs also purr just like cats? Dogs produce a brrr sound that kind of sounds like grumbling. A dog’s purring is called rumbling, similar to a cat’s, but not wholly the same.

So, a dog’s purr is actually a soft growl, usually more profound than a feline purr. When dog owners hear this growl for the first time, they mainly get worried because they think the dog is unhappy or is about to show aggressive behavior.

But this can be false. There are different causes for dogs producing this sound that remind us of cat’s purr.

Why Does My Dog Purr?

Okay, we figured out that dogs do not purr like cats do. However, this growling sound they are producing is so similar to the cat’s purring!

What is going on? Why is my dog acting like a cat?

There are some common reasons why your doggy might produce this rumbling sound. Let’s check them out.

1. Happy Dog

happy dog running outside

You just came home from a long day at work and found your dog purring and jumping around you. Why is this happening? Your best friend is happy to see you! He cannot wait for your playtime to start. So, he is producing this low growl sound because he is happy and excited.

You might also notice a dog growling while you are petting him. Many dogs love to cuddle and could spend the whole day with you on the sofa. Some of them also like when you massage them!

Many dogs do not like going to a groomer and having some stranger touching or washing their fur. However, some other dogs enjoy this! These dogs might purr because they enjoy their grooming time.

If you just showed your dog his favorite treat, he is making the purr-like sound also because he is happy!

If your dog sees you wearing your sneakers, he will likely start purring and wagging his tail because he has a hunch that you will now go for a walk. Learn more about what your dog’s tail is telling you in our dog tail position chart.

2. Sad Dog

In some cases, dogs purr when they are unhappy. This might be happening for numerous reasons.

Maybe your walk time is now over, and you have something else to do, but your pooch would love to continue hanging out with you.

Maybe your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, if you cannot spend the entire day with him. Or, perhaps you recently moved, so your dog is having difficulty adapting to the new environment.

Our dogs might also get scared of loud noises, such as thunderstorms. So, dogs are sensitive creatures, and many different causes might make them feel sad. One of the ways to show they are unhappy is by producing a purring sound.

3. Alert Dog

alert dog noticed something odd

You have a big guard dog taking care of your home? Lucky you! You don’t have to worry about intruders.

The dog’s low rumbling might tell you that something is happening outside. Sometimes, your dog might grumble for no reason, and you will realize you just came out of the house for nothing.

However, dog’s purring in some cases might warn you about some animal or human being on your property. So, this means you have a good protector of your home and your family.

Different dog sounds our pets produce might be annoying sometimes, but everything is worth it when you realize that you can feel safe in your own house.

4. Sick Dog

Unfortunately, purring might also be a sign that your dog is sick. There are some common health issues that dogs might be suffering from, and it is beneficial for all dog owners to know how to recognize that their dog might be sick.

If your dog yelps or whines, you will quickly conclude that he is in distress. But, different dog’s vocalizations such as purring-like-sound, might also signify that your dog is in pain.

What you should do is pay attention to your dog’s body language. Is your dog lying in a weird position? Is he constantly licking a certain area on its body? Have you lost weight recently? This all could indicate that it is time for a vet visit.

5. Disgruntled Dog

Does disgruntled Dog purr?

Purring could indicate that your dog is disgruntled. What could be causing your pet’s dissatisfaction? The first thing to do is to check whether all the dog’s needs are met.

If the dog is not hungry or thirsty, and has exercised enough that day, then its basic needs are met. Before you worry, you should know that your dog might be having a bad day.

Maybe the dog wants to be alone, and you keep moving around him, trying to get him to play with you. Although you have good intentions, you should understand that dogs are not always in the mood to play and have fun. Give your pooch time to recharge his batteries.

Also, if you have recently become the owner of another pet, this might cause dissatisfaction in the dog. Every dog ​​will need some time to get used to new circumstances.

A dog can be dissatisfied for various reasons, and every dog ​​owner should recognize the exact cause of dissatisfaction in their furry friend.

6. Dog In Need

Dog producing a sound that resembles feline purring might indicate that there is something your dog needs. What could that be? Anything! Your dog might be hungry, thirsty, or needs to defalcate.

In some cases, you will need more time to recognize your dog’s needs, which is especially possible at the beginning of your life together.

But, there is something you can do that could be very helpful. Establishing a puppy schedule from the moment your dog starts living with you is an excellent way to keep track of your dog’s needs.

A puppy routine means getting your dog used to daily activities that should take place at approximately the same time.

So, the dog should have a feeding schedule – he should eat two to three times a day, and you should not leave food available to him outside of that. In addition to feeding, it is also essential that the dog has enough potty breaks during the day.

Furthermore, it is essential to establish a sleep, exercise, and grooming routine.

This way, your dog will feel more secure because he will always know what to expect. Of course, dogs are not robots and there will almost always be some deviation from the daily routine, but these deviations should be reasonable.

Should I Be Worried About My Dog’s Purring?

woman sitting on sofa petting her dog

So, we realized that dogs don’t purr in the same way that cats do; however, they produce a sound that is similar to the cat’s purr. So, should you worry about your dog creating this kind of sound?

This will depend on the reason why your dog is purring. If your dog is happy because you are cuddling him or he purrs because you are about to take a walk, there is no reason to worry.

However, other causes of a dog’s purring might require your assistance. So, let’s see what you can do about other reasons for dog’s purring.

Dealing With Dog’s Sadness

Seeing his dog sad is a challenging experience for all dog owners. We are used to our furry friends always being up for play, a walk, or any other fun activity.

If your dog is purring because he is feeling sad, you should first discover what is causing him to feel this way.

If your dog feels alone, try to spend more time with him. Also, we all have to work, but I am sure some friend or a family member can check on your dog while you are away.

Lack of activity might also cause a dog to be sad. There are some clear signs that your dog is not getting enough exercise, such as being low, whining, or showing destructive behavior.

Exercise is essential for your dog to be healthy and to live a long and happy life. Besides physical activity, you should also ensure that your dog receives enough mental stimulation.

Should You Stop Your Dog Warning Purring?

Do dogs get tired of barking? Unfortunately, no. If their barking is accompanied by a rumbling sound that resembles a cat’s purring, this might be even more annoying.

As we explained before, purring might also be a way for a dog to warn you that something suspicious is happening on your property. But, some dogs might also bark and purr all the time, without a concrete reason for this.

Is there a way to deal with this behavior? Yes, there is.

For starters, we sometimes encourage some dog’s behavior without even being aware. If you hear your dog purring, you probably go outside right away. If you have done this a couple of times in a row, your dog will get used to this response.

If you do nothing, your dog might stop purring after noticing that you are not reacting. Also, teaching your dog the quiet command is essential at a dog’s early age. This command will make your life easier when your puppy grows up!

Of course, you should apply these rules if you have a vocal dog that often alarms you for no reason.

How To Help A Sick Dog?

young fawn white dog relaxing and purring

None of us hopes that one day our dogs will get sick; however, illness is also a part of life, and this is when every responsible dog owner should react as soon as possible to help their pet.

If you find that your dog is purring because he’s in pain, you should immediately begin to identify the source of the pain. You can examine the dog yourself to check for any visible wounds or bleeding.

If you see that the dog does not allow you to touch it, it is likely in great pain. Pay attention to other symptoms as well: Does your dog defecate as usual? Is he eating normally? Has he been refusing to go for a walk lately?

The next thing you need to do is take your dog to the vet. Make sure you come prepared and know how to describe to the vet the exact symptoms present in your dog, as well as when you first noticed them.

Making The Dog’s Dissatisfaction Go Away

If your dog is disgruntled for some reason, he might show it by purring and being nervous. As we can see, dogs are living creatures with strong emotions. Like people, dogs can be happy, sad, excited, or dissatisfied.

Here it is essential to find out what causes dissatisfaction in the dog. If the dog is in a phase where he just wants to be alone, make it possible for him. It will soon pass and you can enjoy your time together again.

If your dog is unhappy that a new dog or cat has joined your home, give him time to get used to it. Having two pets under the same roof means a lot of fun and the possibility that the two animals will get along poorly.

Over time, your dog will get used to the new pet’s presence and may even become friends with it.

You must refrain from forcing the two animals to get along immediately. While your pet is getting used to the new animal in the house, don’t forget to show him that this won’t change your relationship. Also, do everything to make the dog keep feeling safe and loved in your home.


Man playing with his dog

Why Does My Dog Purr When I Cuddle?

Because he enjoys it so much! Your dog loves cuddling with you and this is one of his favorite activities.

In this case, the dog purrs because he is happy and does not want the cuddling time to stop. So, his purring is a sign of a happy dog and there is nothing you should be worried about.
Cuddling is a beautiful way to deepen your bond with your furry friend

Why Does My Dog Make Noises When I Pet Him?

Many dogs moan and groan while their owners pet them.

These sounds indicate that your dog is having a great time! So, your pooch is happy because you are petting it.

Also, your dog might close its eyes and lie still while enjoying the moment. We all know that puppies need a lot of attention, and one of the best ways to give them this attention is by petting them.

Moaning and groaning while petting is a way dogs communicate with us. So, this is how you learn a lot about your dog’s feelings and desires – just listen to their vocalization carefully!

Why Do Dogs Make Sounds When They Sleep?

If your dog purrs, barks, or whines while sleeping, this could mean he is dreaming!

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs do dream, and they are most likely to dream about things or people they have seen that day. You should do nothing if you notice your dog making weird sounds or moving while sleeping. Let your dog sleep and dream!

If you wake up your dog, he might get upset or anxious, and might start barking or even bite you. I am sure you don’t like somebody to wake you up while you sleep either, right?

Why Do Dogs Make Sad Sounds?

Various circumstances can cause a dog to make sad sounds, and dog whining could indicate that the dog is in pain.

Also, our dogs can be sad and anxious for various reasons, such as being separated from their owners or because they have to spend a particular part of the day alone.

The solution to this problem could occasionally be taking the dog to puppy daycare. In this way, the dog will have company while you are not around him, and this experience will benefit his socialization.


POV Guy petting his dog

We hope now you have the answer to the question Why does my dog purr?

So, dogs do not purr as cats do but they produce a rumbling sound resembling a feline purr. Many dog owners will be surprised to hear their dog making this sound, but this does not have to mean that there is something wrong with a dog.

Many dogs will produce a purr-like sound when they are happy and enjoying the moment. If this is the case, keep doing whatever you do because it makes your dog feel good!

However, a dog’s purring might also indicate that he is sad, sick, or disgruntled. If this is the case, you will have to discover the exact cause of this dog’s behavior and decide your next stop.

In some cases, dog owners might need to do a slight change in their dog’s routine that will make remarkable changes. However, sometimes it will even be necessary to seek veterinarian help.

Anyhow, you should not be scared. Every problem has a solution, and with some luck, your dog will tell you with his purring that something is going on. This way, you will be able to help your dog on time!

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