My dog is ‘slowing down’, should I be worried?

Why is my dog slowing down? 

Just as we do, dogs tend to slow down as they get older and become less energetic. However, there are some health reasons that can cause lethargy in your dog 

One of the most common causes is arthritis, which means your dog has painful, inflamed joints. This is a progressive condition which has no cure, but your vet will be able to give advice on how to manage the condition and prescribe medications to help with the pain 

Aside from arthritis, there are other reasons your dog may be slowing down, so if youre concerned, take your dog to a vet to investigate what may be causing this. 

What information should I give my vet? 

Your vet will ask questions about your dog to try to understand why they are ‘slowing down’ or feeling lethargic. Some questions they may ask include:   

How is your dog ‘slowing down’? Is your dog more reluctant to go on walks? Do they not want to walk as far? Are they sleeping more than usual? Are their legs stiff first thing in the morning, or after walks? 

How long has your dog been slowing down for? Has your dog been slowing down over the last few days, weeks, or months? Does your dog seem slower all the time or does it seem to vary? Does there seem to be any pattern to it?  

Is your dog finding certain activities difficult? Is your dog struggling to jump into the car or climb the stairs? Have they stopped running in the park or chasing the cat?  

Is your dog behaving normally otherwise? Has your dog been bumping into things? Do they seem confused or disorientated? Does your dog seem to be losing their balance? Does your dog respond as usual when you interact with them?  

What the vet may suggest

Your vet will decide on a treatment plan based on the information you provide. They may discuss with you a weight control plan, including a prescribed diet and exercise regime, to help keep your dog a healthy weight so they are not putting too much stress on their joints. They may also provide medication to combat inflammation and reduce pain and could even suggest a course of physiotherapy to improve flexibility and muscle strength. 

If you want to know more about what to expect when you go to the vets, check out our blog here. 

Moving forward. Keep track of your dog’s activity

Mobility issues can be subtle, and it can be easy to miss signs that your dog is becoming less active over time. Pet activity monitors, such as Felcana Go, are a good way to keep track of their movements and give you an accurate record of their activity patterns over time.   

Felcana Go is a lightweight device which attaches to a dog’s collar. Syncing with the Felcana mobile app, it offers round-the-clock activity monitoring which you can view at any time on your phone. As well as tracking varying levels of daytime activity, it also monitors restlessness at night which could suggest that your dog is uncomfortable and experiencing joint pain. These insights are also useful for your vet. And you can share this information with them so they can monitor any changes and provide your dog with the best treatment plan moving forward.  

Interested in accurately monitoring your dog’s activity? Find out more about Felcana Go here