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Why Does My Dog Seem Tired? -
By a Veterinarian

A tired dog that might have mobility issue or suffer from depression.

Like us, dogs can sometimes look tired. But if it happens often, something might be going on with your pup. So let's look at five reasons your dog might look exhausted, based on our veterinarian experience.


Post-effort fatigue

You might have a hard time believing it, but your dog doesn't have an infinite amount of energy. So although dogs can run, pounce, and play for most of the day, your dog will end up tired at some point. They will need to rest lying down. If this is what your dog does, after playing for a long time, know that it's normal.

Vet tips: Consider adjusting their food intake if they frequently do intensive exercises. Two ideas : 

  1. Add 10% to their daily food quantity (except if they are overweight)
  2. Supplement them with a veterinary-grade Hip & Joint product to support their joints


A dog can be tired after a long run or after exercices. Its joints and muscles need rest.

The food indiscretion emergency 

The typical chain of events: one day, everything looks fine, and the next your dog is suddenly exhausted, sad, and doesn't want to play or eat. 

Food, mood, and willingness to play are easy-to-see indicators of your dog's health. Be aware that sudden problems can arise if your dog eats something she shouldn't have. So, call your veterinarian quickly when you notice changes in your dog's behavior. 

If your veterinarian recommends bringing your dog in for a visit, then think about what your dog could have eaten on your way there. It usually includes plants, medicines, household products, chocolate, grapes, and clothes such as socks or tights. Also, tell your veterinarian if your dog vomits or attempts to vomit. If that happens, it's another indicator your dog might have eaten something bad. 


Old age - but is it really normal for an older dog to be tired?

Yes and no. Why? When your dog gets older, she or he might have less energy and sleep more, but most of the time, there is something else.

A common reason for this "lack of energy" is osteoarthritis. So you think your dog is tired and has no energy to play, run, get up or climb, but in reality, your dog is suffering. 

If this description fits your older dog, visit your vet and give veterinary-grade supplements to help with the pain. Supplements will help support healthy joints and aid in daily regular physical activity. 

Note: with veterinary-grade supplements, dogs can see a 42% pain reduction in 90 days (results obtained by objective measures in a scientific study).


One of the most frequent reason for a dog to be tired is mobility issue and osteoarthritis

Depression in dogs 

Sometimes your dog eats well and seems fine except for looking sad and tired. 

You might be surprised to learn that depression is a reality for dogs and can lead to behavior changes. In senior dogs, veterinarians refer to depression as involution depression ( or Involutional melancholia). This syndrome is associated with chronic depression in humans. In these cases, your dog might be lazy, vocalize, have trouble sleeping, forget commands, and have other behavioral changes. 


Weak heart and other diseases

Some dogs might look tired after a small effort. Unlike dogs who experience involution depression, dogs suffering from a cardiac disease often stop short after an intense effort. For example, a dog with heart disease might stop after a sprint or experience syncopes. These signs are related to cardiac problems, and you should book a visit to your vet immediately.

Unfortunately, many other diseases, such as cancer, and liver or kidney issues, can also decrease your dog's energy levels.

A dog can be affected by depression. Tiredness is one of the symptom.


You know now the main reason why a dog might look tired. The best advice we can give you is to trust your veterinarian. So, if you have any doubt, give them a call. They are here to help and to provide you with advice. 



Author: Dr. Jeremy

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), MS

Meet Jeremy, a passionate veterinarian and co-founder of Jope, with a decade of experience—7 years in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industry and 3 years as a veterinarian. Passionate about enhancing the well-being of pets, Jeremy's mission is to provide practical, evidence-based advice and products that support pet parents and their furry companions. His favorite breed, the Australian Shepherd, holds a special place in his heart for their playfulness, cleverness, and beauty.

Join Jeremy on an insightful journey through the world of pet health and discover how science and compassion come together to improve the lives of pets.

The content presented here is for informational purposes and reflects Jeremy's own opinions, expertise, and experience. It is not intended to replace professional veterinary consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. For personalized advice and care for your pets, always consult with your veterinarian.

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