Why is my dog lethargic or lacking energy?

It’s a common enough problem, but one which leaves dog owners baffled and dismayed. When your beloved pooch stops getting excited at the prospect of a walk, or struggles to get out of bed in the morning, or simply lays around far too much for your comfort, there’s something wrong.

So why is your dog so lethargic? How can you make things right, so he or she can return to their energetic selves and start acting like a dog again?

Symptoms and causes of canine lethargy

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always a simple one. Common symptoms of a lethargic dog are excessive sleeping, a noticeable lack of energy, and delayed response to certain visual or auditory triggers. If you snap your fingers together, does your pup immediately turn their head towards you, or is it a delayed or perhaps even non-existent response? Does you pooch struggle to rise in the morning, and tend to want to go to bed early and get up late?

These are all surefire signs that your dog is suffering from lethargy. The next step is to start observing your dog, and taking note of strange behaviors or actions. Before you go rushing into your vet, gathering as much information as you can on the background issues can make a big difference to resolving their condition.

As explained earlier, your dog could be suffering from lethargy due to a number of reasons, including:

  • anemia or other forms of blood disorders
  • inflammation or infection
  • medication issues and side effects
  • dehydration (this can be due to too much salt in their diet)
  • digestive issues
  • urinary tract problems
  • cancer
  • immune system malfunction
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • toxin exposure
  • physical trauma (for example a broken or sprained leg)

Treatments for dog lethargy

Once you’ve closely observed your dog for at least a day and a night, and if they’re still showing symptoms of lethargy, you should consider taking them to a trusted vet. Your vet will likely ask you some questions about how they’ve been behaving, then perform a series of simple blood tests to get the bottom of why your dog is lethargic.

If blood tests don’t turn up anything conclusive, more advanced testing may be necessary. This can include ultrasound, MRIs, and CT scans. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that!

Healthy diet is key to prevention

Many of these disorders can be caused by a poor diet. Dogs don’t respond well to gluten, can suffer from chronic inflammation due to hydrogenated oils and other nasty ingredients in conventional food, and can be more prone to infection due to a compromised immune system. Cleaning up your perfect pooch’s diet with wholesome, minimally-processed ingredients (like those in our store!) is the key to preventing your dog from developing these symptoms in the future.

Also ensuring they get plenty of nutrient-rich foods on a regular basis, like organ meats and bone broth, will prevent them from developing symptoms of lethargy due to malnutrition.

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