Why is My Dog Lethargic in Tulsa, OK and Should I Call the Vet?

Lethargy in dogs might not indicate anything that you need to worry about, but it can be associated with serious health conditions as well. When your pet is acting lethargic, it can be tough to determine if you need to worry about this behavior or not. After all, pets can be tired, just like people, and it might be that your dog just played too hard the day before.

Knowing more about why your dog might be lethargic can help you to identify symptoms that should be cause for alarm. Lethargy by itself is not always a reason to panic and call the vet, but there are often other symptoms that go along with lethargic behavior that can be indicators of more serious issues that do need medical attention.

If you are ready to learn some more about why your dog might be lethargic and when it warrants a trip to the vet, you need to keep reading.

Dog lethargy in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Why Is My Dog Lethargic?

There are some common reasons that your dog might be less energetic than you expect.


In some cases, your dog’s breed predisposes them to be really laidback. Some breeds are not known for being energetic, even as puppies. Breeds like the Bulldog are not known for being high-energy and will likely maintain the same level of activity throughout most of their life without much change.

Played Hard, Stress or Worry

Other reasons that are nothing to worry about are lethargy associated with having played hard the day before and lethargy that might follow a period of stress or worry. Dogs that come home from the veterinarian often take a nap right away because they were worried during the trip to the vet and at the vet’s office.

These kinds of lazy behaviors are almost always just simple fatigue that will go away after your dog has a chance to rest and recuperate. If the only symptom that your dog is showing is a lack of energy and they are otherwise acting normally, this is probably nothing that you need to worry about.

When Do I Need to Take my Dog to the Vet?

In many cases, the reason that your dog’s reduced activity is concerning to you is that they are showing other symptoms as well. These other symptoms can help you to determine if you need to make an emergency visit to the vet or if a scheduled visit in a few days will suffice. These common ailments cause lethargy but also other key symptoms that indicate that there is something wrong with your pet.


When dogs are lethargic because of an infection, their nose and the pads of their feet might feel hot as well. They might also be vomiting or have diarrhea. Some pets with infections will pant constantly despite the temperature being cool. Infections can progress rapidly, and your dog will need to see the vet right away for a suspected infection. If the infection is internal, your dog might have to stay at the vet for a few days to be monitored. Some of these cases also require surgery to help clean up whatever is causing the infection.

Metabolic Conditions

This problem is more common in older animals, but young pets are not exempt. When a metabolic disease is the reason for your dog’s low energy levels, they might also experience sudden weight gain or loss and loss of hair. Diabetes and thyroid issues are the most common metabolic conditions that can cause your pet to have almost no energy and reduced appetite and interest in life.


Sometimes the earliest sign that your dog has eaten something poisonous is a loss of energy. Your dog might be lying down and looking like nothing on earth will move them from the spot they are on. This is often a key symptom of a poison that is damaging the nervous system. Dogs showing this kind of lethargy, along with vomiting, diarrhea, or bleeding from the gums, need to be rushed to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Trauma or Injury

Dogs that have been hit by a car or have been hurt in some other way might be very lethargic. This can be due to pain, but it can also be related to blood loss. Dogs that are in shock might also just lay still and pant. This is another condition that often requires an emergency trip to the vet. The sooner that your pet can get assistance for an injury this severe, the better.


Dogs that live outdoors need to be carefully monitored during the winter months of the year. Even animals that have coats that are suited for cold weather can still suffer from hypothermia. This condition can lead to secondary issues like frostbite, so you will want to be sure to take note right away if your outdoor dog is acting lethargic and unresponsive. Hypothermia requires careful warming of your pet as well, so be cautious about bringing them right into a hot living room. You should call your vet for advice about how to warm a dog that seems to be suffering from hypothermia.

Lethargy in Dogs Can be Quite Serious

While there are some reasons that your dog might be acting lethargic that are not cause for concern, many medical conditions can be associated with lethargy. This is one of the earliest warning signs of various ailments, and you will want to be sure that you start paying attention to other symptoms that your pet is showing if they are acting like they have no energy.

Being sure to track symptoms can help you to pay attention to serious changes in your dog’s health. Getting your dog to the vet can be critical if your dog is displaying signs of lethargy along with other symptoms that might be cause for concern. Lethargy in dogs should be something that causes you to start paying attention to your dog’s overall behavior to be certain that a more serious health concern is not missed.

Give Animal Emergency Center a call at 918-6650508 if you are concerned about your dog being lethargic in Tulsa, OK.