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10 Signs that your dog is overtired

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Signs that your dog is overtired

Dogs require more than double the amount of sleep that humans need, and it can vary hugely between individuals. While it is normal for dogs to sleep for over half of the day, it can be concerning when your dog is sleeping for a lot longer than usual, or even not enough.

Owners can usually tell when something is not quite right with their dog. You may notice that your dog has lost interest in things, or is not as enthusiastic as normal, which is worrying.

However, try not to stress too much. Usually, the cause will be something quite minor and easily treatable. Your dog may simply be overtired. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for which may be an indicator that your dog is overtired and in need of a rest.

Gets Overexcited

Just like with young children, when dogs are overly tired, they too can often become hyperactive. This may seem a little contradictory and confusing, but when they are exhausted, they may in fact become more active and excited.

Loses Self Control

Another sign to look out for is a lack of self-control. Humans become irritable when tired and the same goes for dogs. A lot of noise and activity can make dogs more tired, thus more irritable, and cause them to lose self-control and do something out of character, such as snap or bite.

Has Health Issues

If you notice a difference in the way, they move or breathe, this could be an indicator of a health issue brought on by overtiredness. Dogs that are easily or over excited are more likely to develop weaknesses which may lead to joint and heart problems as their body struggles to relax.

Loses Interest

If your dog becomes uninterested in things that they would usually be excited about such as toys, walks or food, or they stop getting up to see what is going on or following you around the house, this can also be a sign that your dog is overtired.

Yawns A Lot

Look out for excessive yawning. If your dog is yawning a lot or considerably more than usual, this can be a sign that your dog is overly tired. However, it can also be an indicator that your dog is stressed or uneasy, rather than tired.

Forgets Commands

If your dog is not following commands, it can be hard to tell whether your dog is just being stubborn or difficult, or if they are struggling to follow them. If your dog appears to have forgotten simple commands, this may be a sign that he needs to take a break and rest.

Lays Down

Particularly if you have a dog that is usually hyper, if they are lying down then you know they must be tired. However, even if they are lying down, this does not mean they are relaxed or getting the rest they quite clearly need.

Gets The Zoomies

Dogs that are zooming around are typically either bored and trying to burn off some steam, or they are hyperactive due to overtiredness. If your dog gets the zoomies, think back to what was going on beforehand. If a lot was going on beforehand and your dog should in theory be tired, this is an indicator that it is the latter, and they need to sleep.

Gets Distracted Easily

Particularly during training, it can be easy to tell if your dog is getting easily distracted as they begin to wander off and do not appear to be motivated or focused on you or the trainer. They may be distracted by smells and start following a scent as they are too tired to focus.

Pants or Licks a Lot

Excessive panting or licking are signs that your dog is uneasy or stressed. If your dog has been active or had a busy day, they are likely to pant or lick their lips a lot because they are tired.

It is important to look out for these signs and, if you do notice any of them, make sure you allow your dog to get the good-quality rest that they need.

For hyper dogs, you may want to consider getting them a crate. Although it is best to start crate training your dog as a puppy, you can still introduce a crate to a dog at any age.

Crates provide dogs with a safe space to rest and will encourage them to take time out if they struggle to calm down by themselves.

If your dog appears to be unusually tired or lethargic for more than a day or two then you should consult a veterinarian. This may be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as an infection, pain, arthritis, or cancer so it is important that you get them checked out as soon as possible.

If you feel that you or your dog would benefit from professional dog training or advice, please get in touch with WitsEnd by calling 0116 244 2455 or email us at [email protected]. WitsEnd are experienced in offering training, physio, hydrotherapy, and laser therapy for dogs.

Dr Shahad Mohammed
Veterinary Physiotherapist
National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists
Dr Shahad Mohammed