Why Is My Dog So Tired?

Have you noticed your pup seeming a bit more tired than usual? If so, maybe you’re worried that something is amiss.

Don’t worry too much yet, though.

why is my dog so tired
Why is my dog so tired!? Is it normal for a dog to sleep this much?

There are several common reasons why your dog may be tired and not be in need of veterinary attention. At the same time, though, there are medical conditions that may also lead to excessive tiredness. 

There are several potential reasons your dog may be so tired. Your dog may be tired just because they have been exercising or been in a stressful situation, or there may be a medical problem behind their lethargy. If you think your dog has a medical problem, you should take them to the veterinarian for an examination. 

My Dog Is Tired After Exercise

Of course, your dog may seem worn out and tired after exercise. It depends on how much exercise your dog has done, their age, and their level of fitness. For example, it is normal for an elderly dog to feel tired sooner than a younger dog. 

are poodles hyper exercising black poodle
Are Poodles hyper? They sure love to run and exercise!

My Dog Is Tired After Walks 

In some ways, dogs are like us. If you take them for an especially long walk, it’s not that surprising that they will be tired. 

If you’ve noticed your dog seems strangely tired after walks that they used to have no problem with, ask your veterinarian for advice. It could be that your dog is just feeling their age. There may also be other problems, or perhaps you need to improve their diet. 

My Dog Is Tired After Boarding

Many dog owners are alarmed when they notice their dogs seeming worn out after bringing them home from boarding. But be assured this is a common experience. 

Your canine companion may just be a bit mentally exhausted after all the sights and sounds of boarding. After all, they have been spending all their time around other dogs, which has psychological effects. Dogs usually feel the need to stay constantly alert, even if the other dogs are friendly. Of course, your dog has also probably been playing quite a bit. 

However, there is always the possibility that your dog caught an illness from one of the other dogs at the boarding kennel. If you’re worried about this, contact your veterinarian. 

an f1b bernedoodle
Despite having more Poodle genetics, F1b Bernedoodles still often have the distinctive tri-color markings (Jet black, clear white, and rust)

My Dog Is Tired After Going to the Vet

Again, dogs may feel tired after experiences when they feel the need to be alert for an extended period. For most canines, going to the vet certainly qualifies. Understandably, many pets find visiting the vet’s office a stressful experience. 

If your canine companion seems tired after a visit to the vet, give him some time to rest in a quiet spot. Make him feel safe and secure. 

How Much Should My Dog Sleep? 

You need to know how much sleep is normal for a dog. If your canine companion isn’t getting enough sleep, it’s no wonder they seem so tired. 

dog sleep under bed
Some dogs like to sleep under a bed because to them it feels like a den.

Canines sleep much more than people. In fact, a dog will usually sleep around 12 hours out of every 24. This amount of sleep required might surprise and even worry you if you’re a new dog owner. But if your dog sleeps around that number of hours a day and their health is good otherwise, there is probably no need to worry. 

If you don’t let your dog get the sleep they need, you will adversely affect their health. Dogs have different biological requirements than we do. While a human being will usually thrive with just eight hours of sleep per 24 hours, a dog simply cannot. They need approximately 12 hours of sleep and might even sleep a little more. 

Dogs often sleep in relatively short segments. For example, they might sleep two hours, get up for a while, and then go back to sleep for another few hours. This pattern may continue throughout the day and night, and it is perfectly natural. 

Be aware that some breeds tend to sleep more than others. Examples of breeds known for sleeping more than you might expect include: 

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Shih Tzu
  • Great Dane
  • Tibetan Mastiff
  • Chow Chow
  • Pekingese
  • Basset Hound
  • Bulldog
  • Newfoundland
  • Havanese
  • Pug
  • French Bulldog

What to Do if Your Dog Is Sleeping More Than Normal 

When determining whether your dog is sleeping more than average, think about factors such as age and body condition. For example, puppies generally sleep a lot more than adult dogs. They are still growing and need that extra rest. Don’t interfere with your puppy sleeping. If you think they’re sleeping too much as a result of a potential medical condition, contact your veterinarian. 

If your dog is overweight or obese, it will probably sleep longer and more frequently than other dogs. The root of the problem is an issue simply because being overweight or obese is a health threat for your pup. If you think your dog is carrying too much weight, ask your veterinarian for advice about remedying the situation. 

Potential Health Problems 

As we’ll see below, many potential health problems are possible if your dog is excessively tired or lethargic. A dog seeming unusually tired is especially worrying if they also have a reduced appetite or seems depressed. 

My Dog Is Tired and Not Eating

A dog being tired and losing its appetite is a warning sign that something is wrong. There may be a medical issue, and you need to get your pet examined by a veterinarian. It is especially true if you notice other symptoms of a potential medical condition. 

dog sleeping in human bed
A dog sleeping in bed catching some zzz’s. Should your dog sleep in your bed?

Tiredness or lethargy caused by a medical problem will often mean that your dog won’t get up even when you invite them to play or get a treat. If your dog has also suddenly lost weight, this is another reason why you need to get medical attention for your pet. 

There are a variety of medical conditions that are possible if your dog is always tired and not eating. Examples include organ or metabolic diseases and infections that may be viral, bacterial, or parasitic. Just a few examples of the former are heart disease, diabetes, and liver disease. 

My Dog Seems Sad and Tired

Dogs get depressed, too. If your furry friend seems sad and tired, they may be suffering from depression. Of course, it is also possible there is a medical condition (such as the ones I discussed earlier). After all, your dog isn’t likely to feel cheerful when unwell. 

Cav King Charles Spaniel 1
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looks tired and wants to go home.

Bring your dog to a veterinarian for examination to rule out potential health problems. Ask about the possibility of depression, too. There are several different possible causes of depression in dogs. One example is severe boredom. For example, if you have an energetic Border Collie and don’t give them the mental stimulation and exercise they need, they are likely to get depressed. 

When trying to figure out what is making your dog depressed, try to put yourself in their “shoes,” so to speak. They don’t have shoes, but you know what I mean! Has your dog suffered a loss, perhaps of another pet in your household? Have there been any stressful events recently? 

Final Thoughts

There are many possible reasons why your dog is looking tired. The answer to the question depends on your individual dog. Now you know the potential causes of tiredness, you can decide which one applies to your pet.