Ask Dr Fiona
Why does my 13 year old dog sleep so much?
As dogs age they tend to sleep more and be less active than they did when they were younger. They can however be more lethargic due to an underlying health problem so it is important to investigate further before just putting it down to ‘old age.’
Endocrine disease such as hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid) is an example of a health problem that can lead to lethargy and decreased energy levels. Pain from diseases such as arthritis can also lead to pet that appears to be sleeping more or lying around for longer periods. Dogs are really good at hiding pain and they can’t tell you what is hurting. Your dog won’t necessarily yelp or limp if he is in pain and sleeping more or increased lethargy may be one of the only signs.
If you have noticed your dog is getting more shut eye than usual, it’s a good idea to get a check up at your vet where a thorough medical exam and possibly blood and urine tests may be required.
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