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Home Remedies for Dog Lethargy

Speckled cattle dog laying quietly on a leather chair

Lethargy in dogs can be caused by several factors because it is a symptom rather than a disease itself. It could be suggestive of a chronic underlying disease or a sickness that requires attention. If your dog is always weary for no apparent reason, you must figure out the problem and find a solution. Keep reading to know about the possible causes and some home remedies for dog lethargy.

Why is My Dog Lethargic?

It’s difficult not to notice when your active dog lags on his morning walk or sleeps for the whole day. Lethargy is unfortunately quite prevalent, especially in elderly dogs. It might be due to anything as simple as growing old or something more serious, like an underlying medical issue. The cause may not be evident right away, especially if your dog is being lethargic for the first time. The following are some of the reasons that could be responsible for dog lethargy.


Jack Russell terrier laying on hardwood floors

Injuries or physical difficulties might sometimes cause a dog to become drowsy. When a dog is in discomfort, he/she does not want to move about too much. Furthermore, much of the body’s resources and energy are transferred to the injury site to encourage recovery. Therefore, it’s reasonable to imagine that an injured dog lacks the resources and stamina to engage in other activities.


Obese dogs are less inclined to walk about and participate in activities since it requires too much effort and energy. They also feel more fatigued and sleep more. It’s a never-ending loop!


Brown and white dog laying down on the concrete

The lethargy in dogs can be because of malnutrition or other health issues that interfere with nutritional absorption. Inflammatory bowel disease and worm infestations are two of the most popular ones.


Older dogs are naturally less energetic than young puppies, and they move more slowly owing to aching joints. They are more prone to age-related illnesses (like liver problems) that can make a dog sleepy.

Lack of Stimulation

Bored German Shepherd laying on concrete

Lack of physical activity reduces the excitement of dogs and they become sluggish. Dogs that are left alone and pent up in the house all day are quite likely to become lethargic. Similarly, canines whose human companions are too preoccupied to play with them will get bored. This can lead to fatigue and even despair over time.


Internal bleeding produced by ulcers or other illnesses (poisoning, clotting disorders, etc.) can cause anemia.  Flea infestations and intestinal parasites, such as worms, can also play their role in this condition. When a dog is anemic, there aren’t enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. Hence, it might become drowsy due to the lack of oxygen.


Small shaggy dog wrapped in a green blanket laying on grey carpet

Puppies are usually energetic when they are young. If they become sluggish all of a sudden, it might be due to an infectious illness, like distemper or parvovirus. If your puppy appears to be slack, check the body temperature. A dog’s optimum temperature ranges from 101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s more than that, visit your vet immediately.

Other Diseases

Diabetes, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, and Cushing’s disease are other illnesses that induce lethargy in dogs. Seek immediate medical assistance to provide the best possible treatment to your pooch.

Symptoms of Dog Lethargy

Yorkie with head laying on the arm of a chair

Dogs with lethargy appear to have lost all their vitality, have a diminished or non-existent appetite, and may even appear melancholy. Your dog may be acting out of character, such as becoming intolerant of other dogs with whom he/she gets along well. Likewise, he/she may appear uninterested in hugs, toys, or human companionship. Your dog’s fatigue may be accompanied by the following additional symptoms.

  • Shaking
  • Shivering
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspnea
  • Restlessness
  • Paying less attention
  • Sleeping for long hours
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Disoriented or weak appearance.

Home Remedies for Dog Lethargy

Boston terrier laying on hardwood floor

For easy monitoring, keep your pet in a smaller environment, such as a comfortable kennel. Allow your canine to relax and avoid long walks and general activity until you consult a veterinarian. Check the temperature of your pup because many fevered dogs will be inactive. A temperature of 102.9 degrees or above needs immediate veterinarian treatment. These are some indicators that your pet requires instant medical attention.

It’s necessary to figure out what’s causing the dog’s drowsiness in the first place because lethargy is a symptom. The problem(lethargy) will go away if you identify the fundamental cause. In the meanwhile, there are a few things you can do to give your tired dog a burst of energy.

Digestive Enzymes

If your dog is sluggish and has indications of poor digestion or malnutrition, consider giving him digestive enzymes. They will act as a supplement to help him/her digest and absorb nutrients.


Tan colored capsules spilled from bottle onto wood counter surrounded by herbs and fruit

Tonic herbs can also help to give a tired dog a burst of energy. Siberian ginseng is arguably one of the most energy-boosting herbs in this regard. People of Asia have used it as an herbal tonic for many years.

This herb is also beneficial to pets, particularly those that are weak, tired, or recuperating from an illness or operation. Rosemary is another tonic herb that is particularly beneficial to senior dogs. It is an antioxidant and energizer that helps to avoid senility.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B is necessary for energy production. Meat, milk, vegetables, and fruits are all sources of this vitamin. It is also quite abundant in nutritional yeast and blue-green algae.

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