Why is My Golden Retriever Always Tired? 10 Causes and Solutions


Golden retrievers are known for being the happiest puppies on the planet, they love playing and nothing makes them happier than feeling loved by their favorite person.

When they are still puppies they can sleep up to 20 hours per day and the remaining four hours are for playing and eating and you know the rest, when they are 18 months old they become adults and they sleep up to 14 hours per day and the rest is for other activities.

However, being quiet and tired is not common among golden retrievers, so if your golden seems to always be tired and unable to stay active during the day, you have the right to be worried.

So, why is my golden retriever always tired? Golden retrievers can be tired because of an illness, boredom, diet, or heat. If they are still puppies they will sleep a lot more than an adult and senior dogs, so it’s natural for them to sleep over 12 hours per day.

There are always things you can do to help your golden retriever become les tired, so let’s explore the causes ad the solutions to your dog’s tiredness.

10 Causes and Solutions to Your Dog’s Tiredness

Golden retriever sleeping to illustrate why is my golden retriever always tired

Here are 10 possible reasons why your golden retriever is always tired:

  1. Infection
  2. Heat
  3. Diet
  4. Natural
  5. Toxins
  6. Diabetes
  7. Illness
  8. Activity
  9. Medications
  10. boredom

Infection

If your dog has an infection, they could become lethargic and seem as if they’re tired all the time, but you can tell if your dog has an infection if you keep an eye on the signs.

Here are some symptoms that your dog has an infection or an infectious fever:

  • High body temperature
  • Dry nose
  • Shivering
  • High heart rate

It could be because of bacteria or fungal infections like canine distemper or valley fever.

So you will need to handle it like any other fever, in case of sudden fever take your dog to the vet immediately.

Solution

If they have an infectious fever you can make sure to reduce their high temperature by applying cool water around their paws and ears.

You can also use a wet towel, and keep track of their body temperature till it drops below 103 so you can stop applying the water and the towel.

Make sure to keep them hydrated at that time.

Warning
If your dog has a fever, don’t give them cold water, spray them with it, or try to cool them down using cold water as this may cause them to go into shock which could be seriously dangerous or even fatal

Heat

On warm days dogs can be lazy when it’s too hot for them to do anything so they just sleep or sit around without doing anything and it’s totally normal you can figure out if this is the reason if they suddenly become tired when it becomes hot.

Solution 

Goldens do not like hot weather, and you should definitely check out our guide on helping golden retrievers adapt to hot weather here. There are 13 really useful tips in there that can really help.

Try to avoid any warm sunlight in the places they like to sleep in, and make these places shaded, make it cool for them by the air conditioner, and always leave cool water beside them.

Diet

If they eat too much they will get tired and they will not move much, or if they accidentally eat something that is not good for them, it may leave the same effect on them.

You can learn all the human foods goldens shouldn’t eat here.

Solution

Change their diet, or ask their vet what food they can eat and if there’s certain food you should add to their diet. If they ate something by accident take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Natural

By nature, dogs sleep more than us. Dogs can sleep between 12 to 14 hours per day and in larger dogs, 18 hours per day, and puppies sleep up to 20 hours per day, it’s required because their bones, nervous system, and their brains are developing when they are sleeping.

You can learn how much should golden retrievers sleep at every age there, and you will also learn what to do if your golden is sleeping too much.

Solution

Keep them active you can walk them every day, exercise, and train them to run with you (except if they are puppies), if your puppy or your senior dog is sleeping/napping do not wake them up and try to make it as comfortable as possible.

Toxins

There are many foods around your house that are healthy for you but toxic for your dog and if they digested that food it could lead to poisoning, so how can you know if this is what’s going on with your dog? Easy, some of these symptoms will appear

  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A lack of appetite
  • Nausea 

For a complete list of dangerous household items on dogs, check out this great article from rover here.

Solution

If you notice a few of these signs you should take them to a vet and avoid moving them if it’s not necessary. 

Diabetes

Diabetes or any other systemic disease like heart diseases, cancers, and kidney diseases can make them tired all the time. It slows them down they will be uninterested and tired, and other symptoms will manifest such as

  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Chronic infection
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Excessive water

Solution

Besides being tired, if some of these signs appeared, take them to the vet to give you the right dietary system for your dog and see if they have any problems with certain foods.

Illness

If they are ill, it will make them tired most of the time, and they may get tired suddenly. They may also have other symptoms have other symptoms such as vomiting.

Solution 

It’s better if you take them to their vet to know what is the problem so they can treat it in the right way.

Activity

Just like us, sometimes when dogs run or play too much they get tired and probably will start taking a lot of naps to recharge. After these naps, they will recharge again and they’ll keep playing.

You should be careful when exercising your pup and know exactly what are there limits. For example, you can learn here how much can golden retrievers run.

Solution

If they are tired as a result of being too active then you will need to limit their playing or running time and train them.

If they hurt their paws you should clean their paws and sanitize them if there’s a wound and avoid moving them till it heals.

If they are senior dogs it’s common in golden retrievers’ seniors of having hip problems and in this case you should take them to their vet.

Medications

If your dog is taking medicine, it could have some side effects that make them unable to be active throughout the day as they usually are. This might be the reason why they seem tired. Or they could be allergic to something in that medication which makes them tired and other symptoms will follow through.

Solution

You can ask your vet to see if it’s common to have this side effect or not, and they might replace it.  

Boredom

They may not be tired and they are just bored, or depressed and you can tell the difference because if they are depressed their appetite will increase and they will sleep all day.

You can learn why golden retrievers get sad and depressed here and some effective solutions.

Solution

If they are just bored you can keep them busy, you can make them a busy schedule which involves playing something together, walking, or running. Shower them with your love if they are depressed at the end they love nothing more than you so give them the attention they are craving from you. 

When Should You Be Worried? 

You should be worried if these symptoms started to show on your dog

  • Dry coat
  • Uninterested in playing (a sign of depression)
  • Vomiting blood
  • Different eating habits
  • Noticeable weight loss
  • Excessive thirst
  • Blood in their stool
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Symptoms of poisoning
  • Signs of being in pain
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Scooting a lot on the floor (a sign of a problem in the anal glands)
  • Cloudy eyes 
  • Worms in their stool
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Making hurting noises when they are pooping or peeing.

If your dog showed any of these signs take them to the vet immediately, if they are in pain they won’t show it and they may appear completely normal from the outside and it’s our role to notice the smallest change in their behavior.

Related Questions 

Do golden retrievers have high energy?

Yes, they have high energy,  they need a lot of exercises because if they don’t, it can cause them a variety of health issues, problems in their behavior, and hyperactivity. You should probably train them to run with you.

Why are Goldens so needy?

They may be bored, having anxiety, or they just want the attention.

If they already showed this behavior before you may incidentally encourage it without noticing so they are doing it again to make you happy. You just need to limit this behavior and show them that this kind of behavior is not wanted.

At what age do golden retrievers settle down?

Two or three years when they become calmer and wiser ( like stop chasing their own tail)

When they are 2 years old they are over their puppy stage that has a lot of pent-up energy that they have to manifest. That’s why they become calmer. You can learn when do golden retrievers calm down here in much more details and I’ve included 3 ways you can help them calm down faster.

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