Cuddling on the couch with your canine pal can be a pleasant way to end a long work day. But if snoozing, lounging and eating are all your pup wants to do, that can raise some behavioral as well as physical health concerns.
Is the dog really lazy?
That might seem like an obvious question, but there are actually other things that might be causing your pup’s lack of energy. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Was he always this lethargic, or has there been a recent change? Sometimes pets that experience an injury or are internally suffering from physical pain, or a damaging parasite or tumor might lose all desire or ability to move around or exert themselves. Instead of assuming your pup has just resigned himself to being a couch-potato, maybe there is something under the surface you are not aware of. It would be wise to schedule a visit to the vet.
- Have any routine changes affected him physically? Even something as small as switching a pet food product can alter the focus, energy level and physical drive of a domestic pet. Many pet food products (particularly mainstream brands that contain harmful fillers) do not provide the vitamins and balanced nutrition your pup needs to function at his full mental, physical and emotional capacity.
- Have any changes to the routine affected him mentally? Dog depression does exist, and is unfortunately exacerbated by a failure to exercise and spend time outside. If anything has changed in your home (such as a recent divorce, a chronic illness of a loved one, a child going away to college, or even moving house), it can cause a dog become depressed. His apparent laziness might be nothing more than a season of coping with loss or change.
- Does the laziness have to do with how you interact with the dog? Many pets reflect the attitude of their owners. If you have been skipping your daily jog, and your “dog-walks” have become more like a quick stroll out to the neighbor’s grass patch, you may be the one to blame for his laziness. Maybe your dog is fattening up on treats, plenty of pet food, and getting bigger by the day because he is ALLOWED to. If you do not carefully exercise portion control, limit treat-feeding, and avoid taking your pup out for exercise, his laziness might be a result of negligent (and dare we say it –lazy!) pet care.
How to Overcome Laziness
If your vet has confirmed that your dog is in healthy condition, that he is emotionally stable, and does not seem to be showing any signs of stress, it may mean that your dog has just gotten a little sluggish. Here are some great ways to kick-start your pooch back into a healthy, vibrant and active lifestyle.
- Begin with the nutrition. Make sure you are feeding him good quality products that contain vitamins, fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins that will give him a daily energy boost and bolster his strength. Companies like Wysong design pet food products that maximally improve a pet’s health and balance. (Here is a peak at the ingredients on one of their products, so you can see the standard of nutritional caliber we are referring to!)
- Get back on the puppy-path! If your dog is struggling from sore muscles, give him a quick rub down, or a firm brushing to help diminish any muscular soreness that makes walking unpleasant. Once he is ready to go, begin taking daily stroll. Even if you have to start slowly, committing to a 20-minute brisk daily walk will help your dog regain his motivation. A good stretch of the legs will not only help his sleep be deeper, but will improve his circulation, pump blood to his organs, and will flush out toxins that weigh dogs down with lethargy. Build up your dog’s stamina until he can trot happily alongside you for at last 30-60 minutes a day.
- Engage his mind. Laziness can be overcome by adding some new tricks to your dog’s repertoire. Brush up on his old obedience training skills, enroll in a dog training course, or simply work with him 15 minutes a day on a new task. A great reward at the end is a treat-hiding toy! This will continue the positive brainwaves and activity, while your pup pursues the treat!
- Socialize your dog. Have puppy-pal play dates with your friends that also have a canine companion, or take your pooch to the dog park where he can meet new friends.
Helping your pup work through his laziness will not only be better for his mental and physical health, but you will enjoy many benefits as well. Now, go grab the leash and head out into the sunshine!