What causes fatigue in dogs?


A tired dog that also shows less or no interest in activities they usually enjoy such as going for a walk or a game of tug and seems listless is probably suffering from fatigue.

It could just be the long hot dog days of summer to blame, just like us, dogs tend to feel more lethargic because of the heat but there are lots of other reasons it might be.

If your dog is a senior he might just be living life at a slower pace and have lost a bit of his playfulness, older dogs often start to suffer from joint pain too and they can be very good at hiding it initially so it’s a good idea to take him to the vet for a check-up.

Dogs with joint pain also tend to stop enjoying their walks so much or become exercise intolerant which causes them to pile on the pounds. In fact, obesity is one of the most common reasons that you might start to notice your dog’s tired all the time, whatever their age it’s important to constantly assess your dog’s diet and activity to avoid this.

Older dogs often become overweight without us noticing as they tend to move less while still being treated to the same quantity of food. Let’s face it, not many pooches will let on that they are being fed too much!

Sometimes it’s what your dog is eating rather than the quantity that’s to blame. Most of us pick up a bag of complete dog food assuming that it contains everything to keep our pets happy and healthy, but sadly that’s not always the case. Some commercially produced dog foods contain a disproportionate amount of fillers, like wheat and are too high in fat and too low in protein which can cause your dog to lack energy, just like we would if we ate like that.

If your dog is vomiting and or has diarrhoea as well as seeming fatigued it could well be down to him eating something toxic or a bin raiding expedition. Common toxins for dogs include chocolate, garlic, onions and grapes as well as chemicals of course. If you suspect your dog has ingested something he shouldn’t ring your vet and ask for advice as soon as possible.

Dehydration could also be the culprit, especially in summer. Although in mild cases you might be able to rectify this just by encouraging your dog to drink it can actually be very serious indeed and need urgent medical attention.

A parasite infection is a common reason that you might be asking ‘why is my dog so tired and lethargic’ if your pooch is young or a puppy. Keeping up with your dog’s worming and vaccination program can definitely help to avoid unnecessary health scares so try to remember to keep them up to date.

Dogs can suffer from anxiety and depression and this can cause them to just want to sleep all day and take no pleasure in life. Never be afraid to approach your vet if you are worried about your pooches’ mental health.

There are some benign causes of why your pooch might seem tired and lethargic, maybe your dog is in heat or perhaps he is in the middle of a course of antibiotics which can make a dog tired. However, there are some more serious conditions it could be too such as pancreatitis, anaemia, liver disease, anal gland problems, cancer, heart conditions, parvovirus, dental issues or infection. The only way to find out for sure what’s causing your dog’s constant tiredness is a trip to the vet, and the sooner you go, the sooner you’ll know.