My Dog is Lethargic and not Himself: What’s Causing This?

As a pet parent, you know what's normal for your energetic pup. So when your playful buddy starts acting overly drained of energy and not their cheerful puppy self, warning bells should sound. This extreme tiredness and weird personality change likely points to a more worrisome health problem.

Dog is Lethargic

What Makes Dogs Tired and Weird?

There are many possible reasons for your pooch suddenly having no energy, personality changes, and acting plain old strange. The culprits may include:


Several common doggy illnesses can cause low energy, weakness, and funny behavior. These sicknesses are:

  • Kennel cough – A contagious respiratory infection
  • Liver disease and liver failure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Other infections
  • Cancer and tumors

Changes in Their Routine

Adjustments to your dog's lifestyle can also result in low energy and odd behavior such as:

  • Switching their food or diet
  • New medications
  • Changes in their home environment
  • Less daily exercise
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Aging leads to less energy


All kinds of stress can make your pup tired and act unusual too:

  • Loud noises like fireworks or construction
  • Being left alone for long periods
  • Traveling in the car or to new places
  • Meeting new people or animals
  • Switching up their normal routine

Even pain from an injury or joint issues might make your dog seem not like themselves. That's why finding the root cause is crucial so the right treatment can start ASAP!

Signs of a Possible Health Issue

Some common signals that something is wrong include:

  • Little appetite or refusing food
  • Moving stiffly or limping
  • Fast, labored breathing
  • Losing a noticeable amount of weight
  • Bad diarrhea or constipation
  • Acting aggressive when you reach to pet them
  • Going off alone and hiding by themselves
  • Not interested in fun things like treats, walks, playing fetch

Diagnosis is Vital!

Carefully watching them at home helps spot symptoms. However, if you see any of these energy and personality changes, please see your vet immediately! The vet will:

  • Do a nose-to-tail physical exam
  • Review your dog's past medical history in detail
  • Run important tests like bloodwork, urine tests, x-rays, MRIs, etc. to pinpoint the cause

Finding out the exact problem allows the vet to provide the right medicines, therapies, or treatments to return your tired and funny-acting dog back to their happy, energetic self!

Treating Low Energy and Weirdness

Treatment depends on what condition the dog has but may involve:

Medications Such as antibiotics for infections, insulin injections for diabetes, heart medications, etc.

Diet Changes
This includes prescription dog foods for liver issues, kidney disease, and certain illnesses.

Surgery Such as mass removal if cancer is found.

Lifestyle Adjustments Providing more rest periods, carefully monitoring food and water intake, adjusting exercise if they have mobility issues.

Reducing Stress Keeping routines consistent, trying calming treats/toys/bedding, playing soothing music.

Prevention of Future Occurrences

While you can't safeguard your dog from every health problem, you can:

  • Get yearly checkups at the vet
  • Keep up with all important vaccines
  • Feed them nutritious dog food
  • Ensure daily walks and playtime
  • Use interactive puzzle toys
  • Monitor their weight closely
  • Learn to spot odd behavior

Staying on top of these prevention steps will hopefully keep your dog healthy, active, and acting like their normal happy puppy self for years!

But if you notice extreme tiredness, personality changes, or anything else unusual, call your vet right away to diagnose and treat the issue ASAP. Fast action helps get your beloved four-legged family member feeling back to their fun-loving ways!

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