Dogs are usually bundles of joy. Bouncing, tail-wagging, jumping, slightly slobbery bundles of joy. They’re a great choice of pet for young people, kids and if you want some exuberant energy in your home. Sometimes, you can even struggle to keep up with them! But what if your usually-eagre pooch is acting slow, lazy and lethargic? Now, this does not necessarily cause for alarm, but it does warrant investigation. Read on to discover what you should do in this situation.

Check Their Diet

Lethargy in your dog can be a sign that they aren’t eating the right dog food. Tinned fish can be a great meal for dogs, but only as a treat. Be sure to check for small bones first. Cooked meat is okay too, in small amounts, but never feed them cooked bones or sauces with onion and garlic in them. Make sure that the human food you feed your dog with corresponds to their nutritional needs and does not contain any ingredient that may be somehow harmful for them.Kibble is also fine, as long as it is of a good standard. You can supplement this with some fresh fruit and vegetables for fibre. Switch up your dog’s diet and if they are still lethargic, move to the next step.

Consider the Weather

Dogs can act lethargic in hot weather. Is your dog acting lazier than usual during a heatwave? If so, you probably don’t have to worry as they will be back to their normal self once it cools down. If you have air conditioning, consider leaving it running while you’re at work or away from the house. You might fret about the energy bill, but dogs can struggle to regulate their temperature during very hot days, so keep their comfort ahead of your bank balance. Make sure they have a good supply of cool, fresh water, and a shady place in the yard too.

Side Effects of Medication

If your dog has to take a certain medication, it could be the cause of your pet’s lethargy. Check the medication information to see if it is a known side effect. It may be worth a call to your vet to see if this is normal too. Speaking of vets…

Visit the Vet

If you’ve gone through a process of elimination and your dog is still lethargic, then it is now time to visit the vet. Your vet should be able to perform a range of tests to diagnose what if anything is wrong with your dog. Lethargy can be caused by a range of different conditions, illnesses or viruses, so let the professionals determine the cause and then the treatment. They should have your perfect pooch back in prime condition in no time at all.

Age Can Be a Factor

Sometimes, older dogs just don’t like to do much. It’s perfectly normal for an elderly pooch to mooch about, and as long as they’re comfortable, this behaviour isn’t cause for alarm. Still, investigate if you’re concerned about their health, but it may just be that they’re enjoying doggy retirement in peace.


The first thing to do if your dog is lethargic is to ensure they have an appropriate diet. Hot weather can also make for lazy dogs, so keep them cool and hydrated if this is the case. Certain medications can cause lethargy, so check their meds’ side effects too. Visit the vet if you are still worried, and let a professional take a look. Finally, older dogs can be slow and lazy, so it may not be anything to worry about if your pooch is eighty or ninety in dog years. Don’t forget to give them lots of pats and love too, no matter how they are feeling!

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