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Fatigue in the dog as a sign of illness

Depending on their temperament and workload, dogs rest for up to 18 hours a day. If the dog also withdraws during the day, this is not yet a cause for concern. However, you should pay attention if your dog is tired and listless for a long period of time – or if he is noticeably resting. Fatigue and exhaustion can be a sign of serious illness.

Safe reasons for tiredness in dogs

If the dog seems to be particularly tired on some days, there is no need to panic at first. Think about what might have made your dog so tired, you might quickly notice the reason. Possible triggers are:

  • especially long, exciting walks or hikes
  • extensive play units
  • emotional exertion or stress

For some dogs, staying alone is also associated with great psychological stress. Other dogs are under stress when they are confronted with many people or other dogs and are not used to this (e.g. pedestrian zone, markets, events).

Staying alone is very exhausting for many dogs. © Stock.adobe.com/sausephotos

The temperament is different in every dog. In addition to physical or psychological exertion, the dog can also appear particularly tired and limp for these reasons:

  • Boredom: When there is no incentive to play and have fun, some dogs withdraw bored. Try new exciting tasks and games for your dog.
  • Deficiency symptoms: Dogs depend on a balanced diet. Make sure that the dog takes in all the nutrients it needs through appropriate feeding.
  • Age: With increasing age, many dogs become calmer and need more rest periods. Shorten the walking laps and do not overtax the dog.
  • Heat: Dogs cannot sweat, heat is exhausting. Refrain from sporting activities at high temperatures and take the gas laps in the morning or evening hours.
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Watch your dog’s behavior closely. Look for possible causes of his fatigue. If he is tired and weak for a particularly long time or particularly often, an illness can also be the cause.

Older dogs need more rest periods. © Stock.adobe.com/Soloviova Liudmyla

Fatigue as a symptom of illness

If the dog is tired and weak noticeably often or noticeably for a long time, this can be a sign of an illness. These chronic and acute illnesses are often associated with fatigue and fatigue:

  • Fever: If the body is fighting against pathogens, it can lead to a fever. The normal temperature of the dog is 37.5 to 39 degrees Celsius. If your dog has a fever, you should see a veterinarian.
  • Cold: In addition to tiredness, sneezing, coughing and runny nose. Keep the dog warm and dry, give him rest. If you have a fever, it is essential to go to the vet.
  • Osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia: Pain when moving causes the dog to rest more and want to move less.
  • Leptospirosis or inflammation of the liver: Fatigue can also be an indication of inflammation of the organs. The dog can be vaccinated against the bad pathogens of leptospirosis.

If in doubt, an examination by the vet will help. © Stock.adobe.com/Chalabala

  • Purulent uterine inflammation in bitches: In addition to fatigue, severe thirst, especially in uncastrated bitches. Urgent examination by the vet necessary!
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism): fatigue next to weight gain the most noticeable symptom; many dogs also freeze faster.
  • Cardiac disease in advanced stages: Loss of fatigue and shortness of breath are clear signs of heart valve insufficiency.
  • Anemia: A lack of red blood cells causes tiredness and fatigue. Internal tumors, bleeding or infections can be the trigger.
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Conclusion on fatigue in dogs

Dogs rest up to 18 hours a day, depending on their temperament and age. If the dog is noticeably weak and tired one day, this does not have to be an alarm signal. Watch your dog closely. If the tiredness persists for a noticeably long time, if the dog is noticeably weak and tired, or if other symptoms of the disease appear, you should definitely consult a veterinarian.