If your dog is being less active or quieter than usual, you might be wondering if this is okay.
Well, it’s pretty common for dogs to calm down a bit as they grow up from being wild puppies and rowdy teenagers into adult dogs.
However, if your dog’s behavior has changed a lot or they seem different than usual, it could mean there’s something else going on.
There are a few reasons why a dog might become quieter than normal: they might be in pain, feeling stressed, or just plain bored.
Even though a quieter dog might not seem like a big issue to us, it’s essential to make sure their change in behavior isn’t a sign of a more significant health or behavior problem.
Figuring out why your puppy is suddenly quieter than usual or why your older dog is more reserved than before can help make sure you’re taking care of their needs and that they’re still having a good and happy life.
Which Dog Breeds Are Known For Being Calm and Relaxed?
Bulldog: Bulldogs are easygoing and love lounging around.
Basset Hound: These dogs have a laid-back attitude and enjoy a slow pace.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Known for their gentle nature and affectionate disposition.
Shih Tzu: Shih Tzu are generally calm and make great lap dogs.
Newfoundland: These giants are gentle giants, known for their calm and friendly nature.
Great Dane: Despite their size, Great Danes are often very gentle and well-mannered.
Irish Wolfhound: These dogs have a sweet and calm temperament.
Pug: Pugs are easygoing and adapt well to a relaxed lifestyle.
Saint Bernard: They’re known for their calm and patient demeanor.
Clumber Spaniel: Clumber Spaniels are laid-back and enjoy a quieter pace of life.
Is Your Quiet Dog Feeling Pain?
While it’s common for humans to become grumpier as they get older, the same doesn’t apply to dogs.
So, if your dog is slowing down with age, it’s not usually a normal thing.
Unless there’s an underlying issue, dogs don’t naturally become less active or reserved as they grow older.
As dogs age, they become more likely to develop chronic pain or illnesses, which can lead to decreased activity and a quieter demeanor.
Unfortunately, because these signs are often seen as a natural part of aging, the pain and illnesses causing them can be overlooked and not treated.
It’s important to remember that getting older isn’t a disease itself in dogs.
Health Issues That Can Make Older Dogs Less Energetic Than Normal:
Here are some health issues that can make older dogs less active than usual:
Arthritis: This is inflammation and pain in the joints, which can affect the knees, elbows, hips, and other joints in the body.
Dogs have similar joints to humans but can’t take the same arthritis medications.
Spondylosis: This term refers to the degeneration of the spinal column, often involving painful arthritis and increased bone growth in the vertebral bones that protect the spinal cord.
Pinched Nerves and Compressed Discs: These can result from acute injuries or conditions like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and significantly affect a dog’s energy and mobility.
Dental Disease: Mouth pain can disrupt your dog’s eating and drinking habits, leading to lethargy.
Hypothyroidism: It’s a hormonal condition where the thyroid gland functions poorly. It can be challenging to diagnose but is usually treatable.
Kidney Disease: This can occur due to degeneration, infections, kidney stones, toxins, or other factors.
Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, which can stem from various causes.
Cancer: Certain cancers, like those affecting the spleen, liver, or kidneys, can cause painful swelling and inflammation.
Bone tumors can be extremely painful, and lung tumors may make breathing difficult and painful for a dog.
Vision Loss: If a dog’s eyesight declines or they suddenly go blind, they may slow down and become more cautious.
Watch out for signs like cataracts or high blood pressure, which can lead to sudden blindness.
Other Health Reasons Why Your Puppy or Dog Might Act Quieter Than Usual:
If you have a puppy or grown-up dog that’s unusually quiet or suddenly becomes quiet, it’s crucial to get in touch with your vet right away to check for possible health problems.
Here are some potential reasons for this change in behavior:
Infections: These could be illnesses like parvovirus, distemper, respiratory issues (like kennel cough), or stomach problems.
Anemia: This means there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
Intestinal Parasites: These can lead to stomach problems like vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or even anemia.
Teething Pain: Dogs may feel discomfort when transitioning from puppy teeth to adult teeth, especially if they haven’t lost a premolar completely. This can make chewing painful.
Gas and Stomach Upset: Changes in diet, stress, or illness can cause issues in the digestive system.
Medications: Certain medications, including monthly preventatives and antibiotics, may lead to stomach problems or lethargy.
Diet Changes: Switching from puppy to adult food, eating human foods, or changing treats can affect the digestive system, causing gas, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Pain or Injury: Any type of pain, whether from illness or injury, can make a puppy or adult dog suddenly quiet.
Poisoning: Many poisonings can result in lethargy as well as digestive problems.
Congenital Issues: Problems with the heart or liver can alter your puppy’s energy levels.
Here are some signs if your dog is stressed:
Stress is a word we use to talk about feeling tense or pressured.
There are many different things that can cause stress, including:
- Pacing or shaking.
- Whining or barking.
- Yawning, drooling, and licking.
- Changes in the way their eyes and ears look.
- Changes in how they hold their body.
- Shedding more fur than usual.
Is Your Dog Being Quiet Because They Are Feeling Bored?
Typically, a dog being quiet doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bored.
If your dog is well-exercised and mentally stimulated, it’s normal for them to rest quietly during the day, recharging for their next adventure.
Puppies, in particular, sleep a lot, seeming like they’re either super energetic or taking long naps.
You might notice changes in their sleep patterns as they grow into adolescence, usually around 6 months old.
However, some dogs might show signs of boredom by quietly following you around, waiting for interaction, and giving you that “I’m bored” look.
When a dog is bored, they might do things like chew up household items or excessively lick and chew on themselves, which can lead to lick granulomas.
They might also bark out of boredom. To prevent or address boredom, you can try these strategies:
- Use interactive food puzzles for your dog’s meals.
- Introduce a new stimulating activity every day.
- Take them on a “sniffari” walk, which provides both physical and mental exercise.
- Consider whether your dog might enjoy and benefit from attending dog daycare one or two days a week.
If you notice your dog acting quieter than usual or suddenly having less energy, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your vet.
They can check if your dog is in pain or dealing with an illness.
Once you know why your dog is being quiet, you can ensure they get the right care, fun activities, and attention to live a happy and healthy life!