Sleepy Pup? Causes Of Lethargy In Dogs & How To Help

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It’s always worrying when our furry friends start behaving differently out of the blue. An overly sleepy or lethargic pup is naturally a cause for concern.

Here are some of the most common reasons for lethargy in dogs, as well as some natural remedy suggestions and supplements, and how to know when it’s time to consult your vet.

Symptoms of Lethargy in Dogs

Lethargy in dogs is typically considered to be a lack of energy and general listlessness and can present in a few different ways:

  • Playing less – a lethargic dog is unlikely to show any interest or enthusiasm for play or any other activities that require an output of energy
  • Sleeping more – dogs suffering from lethargy tend to sleep more during the day and are sometimes harder to wake. They may also sleep more deeply and move more as they are dreaming
  • Lacking in enthusiasm – as well as showing disinterest in high-energy activities, lethargic dogs tend to display general indifference to events that usually excite them, such as receiving treats or welcoming a member of the family home

Things to Watch For

  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced drinking of water
  • Licking their lips
  • Shivering
  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Severe cases of the above symptoms, in addition to significantly laboured breathing, warrant an urgent trip to the vet.

It can help a vet diagnose your dog’s condition to know of any additional signs you have witnessed. It’s best to keep a record of what symptoms you notice, their severity and duration, and how frequently they occur.

What Causes Lethargy in Dogs?

Lethargy is a common symptom for a variety of conditions, especially in older dogs. Old age itself could be the cause, or it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires intervention.

Sometimes, anxiety or stress can cause lethargy, in which case it is commonly accompanied by social withdrawal and a loss of appetite. If you suspect that anxiety may be the cause, consult with your vet, and consider supplementing your pup’s diet with anti-anxiety tablets made from natural ingredients. You can also try reducing canine anxiety symptoms by investing in an anxiety-reducing dog bed or safe space that he can retreat to. 

Lethargy is particularly common in older dogs, and often age itself is the cause. It is normal for their energy levels to decline as they age. Arthritis can also create lethargy and is a condition most prevalent in older dogs. If you have an older dog, consider feeding them all natural Hip and Joint supplements to support healthy mobility, cartilage and joint health. These could assist in the prevention of arthritis, too

Things You Can Do

  • Alter their diet – Consider whether there have been any changes to their diet that may be contributing to the problem, and if so, address this immediately. There could be an ingredient that isn’t agreeing with them, or a gradual deficiency being caused by new food that is lacking in nutrients. 
  • Consult a nutritionist – regarding your dog’s nutritional needs, and they can help you to pick out the right foods and advise regarding meal quantities. Also, consider adding healthy treats to their diet, such as those made from 100% natural ingredients.
  • Monitor and seek medical advice – If there are notable symptoms in addition to the lethargy, it is even more important to seek the advice of a vet sooner rather than later. You’ll only worry anyway, and when it comes to many underlying conditions, the sooner they are diagnosed, the better the prognosis.

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