Dog Looks Tired and Sad | 8 Causes

Dog Looks Tired and Sad | 8 Causes

If dogs suddenly appear tired and sad, this can indicate poisoning or depression. Under certain circumstances, the lethargic behavior can also be traced back to dementia, allergies, viral infections, hypothyroidism, or other pain.

In principle, there are physical as well as psychological reasons. There is a particular cause for concern if the dog appears permanently listless and listless.

In the following, you will learn about the 8 most common causes, their symptoms, and what to do in a specific case.

Are you worried or unsure? Then click here to start the live chat with a veterinarian.

1. Poisoning

Even if it seems otherwise in the news, in practice poisoned baits are only very rarely responsible for the poisoning. In most cases, owners poison their dogs themselves.

However, not on purpose. Rather, many inexperienced first-time owners assume that all commercially available foods must also be healthy for dogs.

This mistake can even be fatal. For example, onions, chocolate, grapes, garlic, avocados, walnuts and cocoa are toxic to dogs.

Poisoning can usually be recognized by the fact that the dog is unusually tired, refuses to eat, seems sad, and withdraws into its basket. Other symptoms are:

  • Sudden vomiting
  • Dog is shaking
  • Restless behavior
  • Dog walks around at night
  • Depressive behavior
  • Breathing problems
  • Loss of appetite and listlessness

Depending on the type and amount of toxins, the symptoms can also vary. In addition to food, poisonous plants, alcohol or medicines can also be behind it.

In severe cases, poisoning can cause significant liver and kidney damage or even be fatal. You should consult the veterinarian immediately.

Poisoned dogs usually make a tired and sad impression because their entire organism is busy fighting the toxins. It can also be recognized, among other things, by the fact that the dog refuses food and generally seems very listless.

2. Depression

Dogs can struggle with depression just like humans. Unlike us, however, they cannot tell us that.

For this reason, it often happens in practice that underlying diseases and pain are confused with depression. Because the symptoms are similar:

  • Listlessness
  • The dog licks his paws
  • Sad look
  • Dog sleeps a lot
  • Sudden hair loss
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Constant tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden irritation

In most cases, a lack of utilization or a lack of attention is responsible for this. Because that is one of their basic needs. Other causes are:

  • Another pet
  • Chronic pain
  • New baby
  • Keeping working breeds in large cities
  • Depressed master
  • Loss of a family member
  • Traumatic experience

In 8 out of 10 cases, more affection and increased physical and mental activity are enough to cheer the dog up again.

In addition, new toys, sun, being outside, and good quality food can also help lift spirits. Medication is the last option here.

Depressed dogs often act unusually tired and sad. In most cases, affected dogs avoid all social interaction, sleep excessively, and have no appetite. More attention and utilization are usually the key.

3. Dementia

In old age, up to 40% of all people suffer from dementia. In dogs, it is even a whopping 68%. Even from the age of 11, ⅓ of all dogs are affected.

The primary triggers for the listless behavior here are fear and confusion. Because of the declining memory, everything suddenly seems strange and unfamiliar.

Dementia can usually be recognized by the dog suddenly being active at night, staring at walls, avoiding social interactions, and appearing disoriented. Other symptoms are:

  • Anxious impression
  • Constant tiredness
  • Sad and depressed look
  • The dog is acting weird
  • Repetitive Behavior
  • Sudden incontinence
  • Dog ignores commands
  • Unusual sounds

There is no cure for this yet. However, by promoting mental performance, the spread of the disease can be slowed down.

Such an intelligence toy is ideally suited for this. In addition, the proportion of attention should be increased to counteract the associated fear.

Dogs with dementia appear increasingly listless, tired, depressed, and sad. Older dogs over the age of 10 are particularly affected. Other typical symptoms include sudden incontinence and general listlessness.

4. Allergies

For allergies, remember the 20-2 rule for dogs. Around 20% of all dogs are said to suffer from it and 2% are even said to be allergic to certain foods.

It becomes a problem when the triggers – so-called “allergens” – cannot be removed. Typical examples of these are:

  • Home fragrances and perfumes
  • Parasites such as fleas and mites
  • Chemicals & Pesticides
  • Grasses, leaves, and pollen
  • Insecticides & Insect Bites

Food allergies, on the other hand, are usually triggered by dairy products, soy, gluten, or certain proteins. Typical symptoms of this are:

  • Constant sneezing
  • Skin redness and swelling
  • The dog looks tired and sad
  • Runny nose
  • The dog is breathing heavily
  • Severe itching
  • Rattling when breathing
  • Sudden cough

If you suspect food allergies, I recommend doing a free food check. You will then receive individual feed recommendations.

You will also receive a free box full of food samples so you can try the recommendations yourself. If you have other allergies, I recommend doing an allergy test.

Because there is no cure for allergies. It is therefore imperative for prevention to learn about the potential allergens.

When dogs suffer from chronic allergies, the symptoms may include heavy breathing, constant tiredness, and unusual sadness. Swelling, redness, constant sneezing, and itching are also common symptoms here.

5. Hypothyroidism

The thyroid is a nut-sized gland located in the dog’s neck. Your task? Produce thyroid hormones that stimulate metabolism.

If too few of these hormones are produced, this can also show up as severe tiredness, listlessness, and listlessness. Other symptoms are:

  • Dog sleeps a lot
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Dog looks sad
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Unusual hair loss
  • Dog freezes quickly
  • Lack of energy

In most cases, genes, infections, or even tumor diseases are responsible for thyroid function. It is most common in the following breeds:

  • Doberman
  • Golden retriever
  • Dachshund
  • German boxer
  • Siberian husky
  • Irish Red Setters
  • American Cocker Spaniel
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Airedale Terriers

The cause decides whether the disease is curable or not. If the genes are responsible, it is usually treated with medication.

An underactive thyroid in dogs can cause them to be constantly tired, appear sad and generally be very listless. It is also noticeable that the fur of affected dogs becomes thinner, they lose more hair and freeze much faster in comparison.

6. Viral infection

Viruses are among the 3 leading causes of death in dogs, after cancer and injuries. Here, fatigue is due to the immune system fighting the virus.

For this reason, there is significantly less energy left for other physical activities. Known and sometimes life-threatening viruses are:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis Contagiosa Canis
  • Influenza virus
  • Parvovirus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rabies

There is already a vaccine against most of these viruses. This explains why strays and puppies who have not yet been vaccinated have to struggle with it.

Affected dogs usually get a fever, vomit suddenly, cough constantly, breathe heavily, and make a listless impression. Other typical symptoms are here:

  • Runny nose
  • The dog refuses to eat
  • Depressive behavior
  • Tremors at rest
  • Dog looks sad
  • Lack of energy
  • Sudden convulsions
  • Dog sleeps a lot

If it is just a cold, the dog will usually heal itself. In the case of more severe viruses, however, I advise you to visit the vet as a precaution.

Various viruses can affect dog behavior. Affected four-legged friends are often very tired, appear sad, and lack energy. That’s because a lot of their daily energy goes into fighting the virus.

7. Pain

Pain is one of the most common causes of sudden behavioral changes in dogs. Unlike humans, dogs cannot communicate these.

In younger dogs, pain is usually due to injury, while in older dogs, pain is usually due to arthritis.

Since dogs are also descended from wolves, they always try to hide existing pain. Because weakened animals are often the prey of other predators in the wild.

Arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joints and, according to studies, affects more than 20% of all four-legged friends. Common symptoms here include:

  • Groaning when lying down
  • Dog looks sad
  • Swollen joints
  • Dog goes wrong
  • Constant licking of the joints
  • Dog looks tired
  • Dog avoids stairs

There is no cure, however, but the symptoms can be treated well. Because movements here are usually painful, affected four-legged friends also sleep a lot.

But other injuries can also manifest themselves in depressive behavior. Typical triggers are:

  • disc prolapse
  • car accidents
  • thorns in the skin
  • Fight with another dog
  • Splinters in the Paw

If you suspect pain, I advise you to contact the vet immediately. Because dogs have a high pain tolerance, it’s usually something more serious.

When dogs are struggling with pain, they tend to appear distant, sad, and lethargic. They also often avoid all movement, sleep a lot and make a tired impression. It is important to be proactive and identify the causes.

8. Anemia

Many laypeople mistakenly assume that anemic dogs have too little blood. In reality, this means a reduced number of red blood cells.

The red blood cells are primarily responsible for transporting oxygen in the body. If there are too few of them, then all organs get less oxygen.

And without oxygen, not only the brain slows down, but also the entire metabolism. The most common signs of anemia include:

  • Lack of energy
  • Constant tiredness
  • Depressed impression
  • The dog gets tired quickly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dog looks sad
  • Pale gums

Anemia can either be genetic or it can also be caused by poisoning, drugs, endoparasites, viruses, and injuries.

For diagnosis, a doctor usually carries out a blood, urine, and ultrasound examination. Treatment then depends on the underlying cause.

In dogs with anemia, there is not enough oxygen in the brain, so the four-legged friend always looks tired and sad. Pale gums, depressive behavior, rapid exhaustion, and prolonged sleeping can also indicate anemia.

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