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Dog Exhaustion After Exercise: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

As we all know, exercise is good for dogs. It will allow them to stay fit, healthy, and happy. But after an intense workout, your dog might seem more tired than usual. So you probably wonder if it’s normal and why it happens? 

Dog exhaustion after exercise is a problem you’re likely to face if you’re an active person. It can happen because of too much physical activity or a health condition. In either case, you should be able to notice and solve that issue for your dog’s well-being. 

What Are The Symptoms & Signs Of Exhaustion In A Dog?

When reaching the state of exhaustion, a dog will show specific signs and have symptoms that you should look for. Extreme physical or mental fatigue is often easy to notice in a dog. If the animal is abnormally tired, sluggish, panting, and can’t exercise like usual, it’s probably because of exhaustion.

Dog Exhaustion After Exercise

Exhausted Dog Symptoms & Signs

Here’s a list of potential signs and symptoms an exhausted dog could experience.

Short Term:

  • Excessive Panting.
  • Excessive Drooling.
  • Excessive Sweating.
  • Extreme Thirst.
  • Fatigue.
  • Not Keeping Up.
  • Frequent Breaks.
  • Rapid Pulse.

Long Term:

  • Excessive Sleep.
  • Irritable Temperament.
  • Low Energy Levels.
  • Lack Of Enthusiasm.
  • Slower To Respond.
  • Muscle Soreness.
  • Loss Of Appetite.

There are probably many other symptoms you can observe in an exhausted dog. So don’t limit yourself to those listed above. If your dog seems excessively tired and acts differently, it’s a good sign that something is wrong, and it might be because of exhaustion.

Many things can cause extreme fatigue. Exercise is one of them. Since it can be demanding physically and mentally, it’s logical that your dog feels tired after some activity. But when it comes to exhaustion, you should be careful because it might be more serious than you think.

Is It Normal For Your Dog To Be Exhausted After Exercise?

It’s normal for a dog to be tired and less active than usual after intense or extended exercise. Your dog might feel exhausted after a long hike or vigorous playing session. It might even take a few hours and sometimes days to recover. But prolonged or frequent dog exhaustion after exercise is abnormal.

In general, extreme fatigue means your dog needs more rest. That’s why it can result in more sleep and less energy. It’s especially the case after exercise. If an activity is demanding physically and mentally, your dog will have to relax afterward and recover from it.

However, it might become a problem if the fatigue is recurrent or excessive. Being tired after strenuous exercise is normal, but exhaustion in a dog shouldn’t happen that often. And if it’s very intense or lasts too long, you should probably consider going to the veterinarian.

Why Is Your Dog So Tired After Exercise? (Causes)

The first thing you should do when your dog shows signs of exhaustion is to alleviate them and find the reason behind that. If it happens after exercise, it’s probably not a coincidence. However, it might not be the ultimate cause. It’s maybe just a factor that contributes to this extreme fatigue. 

Let me explain. A dog that has heart disease might experience exercise intolerance. So it’s the health problem mixed with the physical activity that causes the exhaustion. But the real issue here is heart disease, not exercise.

Don’t panic. It doesn’t mean your dog has a health problem. There are many other reasons why exhaustion after exercise can happen. So you should know them to find out which one applies to your dog and how to help recover from it properly. Here are some potential causes.


The first explanation behind why a dog can be exhausted after exercise is because it was too much for him. It’s normal to be more tired and lethargic after an intense physical or mental effort. The body and mind have to recover, which can take some time.

Exhaustion can happen if you push your dog too hard. Excessive panting, sore muscles, paw injuries, and more sleeping are some signs that it might be too much exercise. Whether it’s a long run or a vigorous workout, make sure it’s appropriate and safe for your dog.

Special Conditions

Your dog might also have specific conditions that make him more likely to be exhausted after exercise. Apart from health, which we will get into very soon, there are other elements to consider, such as the breed, size, energy level, etc. Keep in mind that every dog is unique.

For example, brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds might have breathing problems. Thus, they are more prone to exhaustion after exercise. External factors like the temperature can also influence how your dog will react to intense or extended physical activity.

Running when it’s hot outside can be dangerous, especially for dogs. They are more at risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion than we do. So be sure to think about anything that could cause your dog to experience extreme fatigue more easily and frequently than usual.

Health Problems

Many health problems will cause lethargy and weakness in a dog. Without much energy and strength, recovery can take longer. Exercise can also be more difficult on a sick body. So your dog might be exhausted because of an illness or injury, not the physical activity itself. 

Here are some health-related causes that can make your dog more tired and intolerant to exercise.

  • Infection.
  • Heart Problems.
  • Liver Problems.
  • Diabetes.
  • New Medications.
  • Parasites.
  • Poisoning.
  • Pain.
  • Trauma.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Tumors.
  • Etc.

Retrieved from this article on Vets Now.

How To Find Why Your Dog Is Exhausted After Exercise?

The best way to know the cause of your dog’s symptoms is to visit your veterinarian. A professional will perform a thorough examination and some health tests. With the results and your explanation of the situation, a vet should be able to find the reason behind your dog’s exhaustion after exercise.

You can also use your common sense. If you just came back from a long day at the dog park or hiking trip, it’s normal that your pup is more tired than usual. He will probably need some days of rest to recover. But if it’s too recurrent or there’s no logical explanation, you should visit your vet.

How To Care For & Treat Dog Exhaustion After Exercise?

What you can do to help your dog return to his usual energy and activity level will depend on the cause. However, it’s generally a good idea to let him rest and avoid exercise for optimal recovery. If your vet recommends medication or gives you other instructions, you should consider them.

Once your dog is not exhausted, you can gradually resume his routine. When it comes to exercise, it’s essential to start out slow and improve from there. Make sure to observe your dog and stop at any sign of discomfort or overexertion.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Recover From Exercise?

A dog can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a few days to recover from exercise. 5 to 15 minutes should be enough for most dogs to get back to a nearly resting state after moderate physical activity. But it can take up to 2 days for muscles and energy levels to recover after more intense and extended exercise.

It will mainly depend on the dog and the type of activity involved. Some breeds return more quickly to a normal state after exercise than others. Then, a dog will take longer to recover from a long and vigorous run than a short and moderate walk.

How To Prevent Dog Exhaustion After Exercise?

Now you should make a plan not to exhaust your dog again. Too much exercise is probably the most common cause of extreme fatigue. So please respect your dog’s conditions and limits during physical activity.

Your veterinarian should be able to help you create an appropriate and safe routine for him. It’s also essential to care for your dog’s health with proper nutrition and unconditioned love. Exercise shouldn’t cause exhaustion or harm if you don’t overdo it.

Last Thoughts About Dog Exhaustion & Exercise!

Finally, it’s normal for your dog to be tired after some physical activity. But exhaustion might be a sign of overexertion or a symptom of another problem. Infection, diseases, medication, and many other health-related issues can cause fatigue and intolerance to exercise.

Exhausted Dog

So it’s always a good idea to visit your vet if your dog seems regularly or excessively exhausted. A professional should help you find the problem and solutions to solve it. Don’t be scared to exercise your dog. Just do it the right way, and everything should be fine.

Let’s Take Care Of That Exhausted Dog!