Energizing Your Lethargic Dog

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Energizing Your Lethargic Dog

Staff Writer · Jul 8, 2010

A lethargic dog is at greater risk for injury and disease than an active dog, so it is important that you make the effort to energize your dog if he shows symptoms of lethargy. It’s important to get a dog energized and on a set feeding, exercise and potty walk schedule in order to prevent any chances of messes int he apartment, as well as anxious actions, such as scratching or whining, which can destroy apartment property and bother neighbors. Boost your dog’s immune system, get his body in better shape, and bond with your dog by getting him excited about exercise.

Start Small

Jumping straight into the two daily 3-mile walks a day or an outing to the park to play fetch you hear is recommended for your dog’s breed isn’t going to work with a lethargic dog. Not only is forcing your dog to go on major spurts of activity unlikely to work because your dog is uninterested, his body is unlikely to be in able condition to exercise too much too soon. You must start small in order to build up your dog’s interest and tolerance for activity.

Setting Goals

Set small goals and take it one step at a time. Together, you should accomplish a small goal until he gets used to moving that far and then the next day you can make him move a little further. If you can get him to walk a bit on a leash, start by walking toward the end of the block and back. The next day you can add another half block and so on until you’re out for much longer walks.

If you’re dog is uninterested in walks or in moving much at all, start by simply having him walk across the room to you. Then you can go outside or to a park and set up an obstacle course. Even just walking through one large dog tube or jumping over one small obstacle is all right. Start small and increase the amount of activity you have your dog do each day.

Use a Reward as a Motivator

To encourage a lethargic dog to move, you need to offer some sort of reward as a motivator. This can be a favorite toy or a treat, but if your dog has problems with obesity, make sure it’s a lean treat or just a small piece of cooked chicken meat. Hold the toy or food out in front of the dog several feet away. Call his name and clearly say “come” in a pleasant voice. If he doesn’t come, wait a few moments, go a little closer and try again. Once he comes to you, give him the toy or treat.

The reward should also include affection from you. You must say “good boy” in a sweet voice and rub your dog on the head or back when he does what you’re trying to get him to do.

Vitamins

Some liquid and pill vitamins can be added to food to give a lethargic dog more energy. Be sure to follow the package’s instructions and not give your dog too much at once. You may want to try a very small amount at first to make sure that your dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction. If you feel more comfortable, take your dog to the vet and ask for your vet’s instructions for feeding your dog the vitamins.

A lethargic dog has usually gotten used to inactivity due to a lack of an established, daily exercise routine. If these tips don’t work to get your dog more energetic, the lethargy may be a side effect of a medical problem. Take him to the vet for further evaluation.

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