So Rover is just lying there like a knot on a log. Your usually playful pooch is not as active and seems to want nothing more than to just lay around. Is this cause for concern? It's not an unreasonable question. Most pet parents would be concerned should their otherwise healthy pup become lethargic. If you have ever noticed this out of the ordinary behavior start in your dog, or the pet of someone close, you may question the reasons behind it. You wouldn't be alone in asking, why do dogs just lay around sometimes? And more importantly, is it something that you should be concerned about?
The Root of the Behavior
For obvious reasons, there is not a lot of research available regarding canine moods and mental states. Your pup can't exactly go in to see their therapist and tell them what is bothering him or her. One of the jobs that you have as pack leader is to look out for the well being of your pack members. You are in a way their therapist and take on the responsibility of reading their unspoken language when something is wrong.
Dogs, just like humans, can become depressed. In fact, most research available on to the topic of lethargy in dogs points to depression as the root cause. It is quite a debatable point, however, as to the depth at which a dog can feel depression. Regardless, the symptoms exhibited by canines when they are depressed are quite similar to those in humans. The desire to just lay around and poor appetite are at the top of the list of these symptoms.
If it seems that your sweet Rover has lost his zest for life and just lays around the house, he or she may be depressed. This is especially true if there has been a major life change for them recently. If another pet in the house (their pack member) has passed away your pup could be depressed and mourning their death. Everyone handles grief differently, and your dog is no different. Simply laying around could be their method of coping with this life-changing event.
It is important to remember that you should not necessarily jump to conclusions. The fact that your dog is depressed just because he or she is lying around is not automatically an indication they are depressed. You may want to consider that Rover has less spunk due to being home alone more or age is starting to catch up with him.
Encouraging the Behavior
Being compassionate to your pup is one of the most important treatments you can offer when they are unwell. If your fur baby is, in fact, suffering from depression some simple Tender, Loving Care may just be what is needed. Giving them a little extra TLC can be particularly effective, especially if you haven't been around as much recently. Socializing can be key to helping your pooch recover from whatever is bring them down and you may want to consider a trip to the dog park.
If your pup is not an overeater when they are depressed then maybe giving him or her extra treats can help. Some dogs, like some people, tend to not eat as much when they are unhappy. Breaking out their favorite goodies could aid in sparking a little life back into them. Just make sure that your pup is getting sufficient exercised as well. You don't want those extra treats turning from a good thing to dangerous extra pounds.
Just like with any physical or mental ailment, time is one of the best treatments available. You will probably notice that as some time passes, your sweet, happy pup will start to return to normal. Allowing them time to grieve or cope with whatever is wrong is important.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If there has been no major change in your fur baby's life, he or she may not be suffering from depression. It may simply mean that they are laying around because they honestly have nothing better to do ... they are just bored! If you feel that your dog is just bored you may want to work in more walks, play time, or trips to the doggie park. The extra exercise and stimulation can assist greatly in alleviating puppy boredom. If you don't address this boredom close to the onset other, more destructive symptoms may follow. Some behavior experts warn that chewing and getting into things they shouldn't could be issues as well with a bored dog.
As is always the best advice keep an eye on your fur baby and take note if anything substantial changes in his or her behavior. A little more attention from their human pack leader may 'pawsibly' be the cure to your pup just laying around. Enjoy every second you have with your precious canine. It is great medicine for you both.
By a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze
Published: 02/09/2018, edited: 01/30/2020