Many dog owners visit their dog’s veterinarian with the common question: why does my dog keep sitting down suddenly? This situation mostly happens when you take your dog outside, and he sits down suddenly or lies down and then refuses to get up. What should you do if you observe this change in behavior in your dog?
Before giving any remedy or treatment to your dog, make sure that you know the exact reason for your dog’s sitting down abruptly. Some dogs may behave so due to being lethargic, while in others, this can be a sign of some severe health issues.
If during a walk or a dog’s playtime, they bounce and play but suddenly stop or sit down abruptly, there is a possibility that your dog is suffering from some pain. This pain can be due to arthritis, fleas, worms, swollen sweat glands, etc. Read the article to find out more about the reason behind your dog’s sitting down suddenly.
Why Does My Dog Keep Sitting Down Suddenly?
Dogs can’t tell you the pain or problem they are facing. So you have to be careful and try to look for weird behavior in your dog. There may even be some health issues that cause your dog to sit down during walks suddenly.
Dogs, at times, don’t show any signs of pain or discomfort, and it is their nature and not their attitude. As dogs are pack animals, they prefer not to show any signs of pain so that it may not give their enemies a chance to attack them in any situation.
You should always be patient with your dog and don’t get frustrated. Dogs don’t show attitude but need your help, but first, you should know their problem. For example, there are some reasons why your dog is sitting down suddenly. Read further to know about the reasons.
1. Swelling in the Anal Glands
Anal glands in dogs are within the muscles that surround the rectum. Anal glands carry the dog’s scent, and this scent gets detected when your dog poops. So when your dog poops, a particular scent in their poop helps other dogs locate your dog. Hence, they try to find each other.
Anal glands are easily infected, and if left untreated, they can cause swelling around the rectum in these Anal glands.
When there is swelling in the anal glands of the dog, they may rupture at a point, and then you have to use antibiotics, painkillers, or surgery to help your dog recover from the pain.
To relieve the pressure on the anal gland, your dog may keep scooting. To confirm that the reason for your dog sitting down suddenly is swelling in the anal glands, you can check for some other symptoms. The symptoms of anal gland swelling include pus-filled stool, blood in stool, a bumpy rectum, excessive licking of the rectum area, straining while pooping the stool, etc.
The solution to anal gland problems like swelling includes expressing it by yourself first. If you notice anal gland swelling early, you can easily help your dog. But you have to be careful when expressing yourself to your dog. Always wear gloves and use clean-up products when you handle your dog.
The gloves you use while helping your dog should be thin, durable, and powder-free so that they are not harmful to your dog.
While helping your dog with anal gland swelling, you can perform an expression in this region. Although expressing is helpful, make sure not to do this often as it may cause scars, cuts, or inflammation in that area.
For anal gland problems in dogs, prevention is always preferable. Please keep your dog at a healthy weight and make them have a diet rich in fiber and omega-three fatty acids. A healthy diet will ensure minimal anal gland problems in your dog.
2. Obesity in Dogs
Obesity is a common reason why dogs don’t want to walk around more and keep on sitting down. But unfortunately, dog owners may not be aware of their dog’s healthy and correct weight parameters.
A healthy weight for a dog depends upon various factors, and one of the main factors is your dog’s breed. The breed of one dog may have a healthy weight that is highly different from the healthy body weight of another dog’s breed. The other factors on which a dog’s body weight depends are age, height, growth, etc.
Dogs whose weight is 20% or more than the normal healthy weight are medically obese. Obese dogs don’t like to go out for walks or roam around much. Therefore, obese dogs keep on sitting in between walks.
It’s tough for you to notice whether your dog is obese or not, especially if it has long hair. Secondly, obesity is not something that grows overnight. A constant sedentary lifestyle for many years leads to your dog’s being obese, so be careful when you have a dog to take care of its health problems.
Obesity is a health issue that leads to many other health problems in your dog. However, you can help your dog lose weight by stopping its lethargic lifestyle immediately.
Give your dog a healthy, balanced diet. Consider your dog’s veterinarian, increase your dog’s daily exercise routine, and change your dog’s eating habits.
3. Dogs Maybe Having Joint and Nerve Issues can be the Reason
Nerve or joint issues can cause your dog to sit down suddenly. In addition, your dog may be sitting down suddenly as it may be experiencing some structural issues in its body.
Joint problems cause your dog to sit down more often. If your dog is suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia, or any other joint issues, it will not be able to stand for a long time as a result. Instead, it will sit down suddenly as the joint problems affect the biochemical movement of your dog.
Your dog may suffer from arthritis or other joint issues as they get older as this problem gets more prominent with age. The buffer between the bones becomes insufficient in old age, and your dog has severe joint problems.
In dogs who have joint issues when moving, due to an insufficient buffer between the bones, the bones grind against each other. The grinding of bones against each other causes swelling and pain. Excessive pain in your dog while walking may be why the dog doesn’t want to go outside for a walk. In addition, the dog’s pain during a walk due to joint issues causes the dog to sit suddenly when they are playing, or you take the dog for a walk.
Hip dysplasia is more common in bigger dogs and those that grow quickly, that is, large breeds of dogs. Hip dysplasia causes excess pain in dogs, so they sit down suddenly during a walk or other times.
If your dog has hip dysplasia, the ball and socket joint bones may grind against each other, causing pain in your dog while moving. If your dog has hip dysplasia, it will certainly get arthritis sooner or later; you need to be careful.
Nerve damage is one of the major issues for your dog sitting suddenly. Nerve issues can cause reflexive responses in different body parts. The affected body part depends upon the part of the spine that gets damaged. Nerve damage may affect the limb, and in turn, this can cause problems for your dog while walking.
It would be best never to try to treat your dog suffering from serious bone and joint problems at home. Instead, a special professional veterinarian should handle a dog suffering from arthritis, dysplasia, or nerve issues. A professional will perform a proper orthopedic exam on your dog and then inform you whether or not your dog’s bones, joints, and limbs are in good condition.
After examining the problem in your dog, the professional will advise on the treatment of your dog. Either your dog requires surgery or normal anti-inflammatory medications will work. The dog’s vet will give the suggestion.
Cold weather is a common condition that exacerbates arthritis in dogs. Thus, it would be best to keep your dog with arthritis and other joint problems in warm weather conditions.
As such, problems are common in dogs or puppies of large breeds, the ones who grow up fast. However, you can make changes in the diet of such dogs to ensure that the dog doesn’t grow too fast, and their fast growth may not cause hip dysplasia. For example, you can give a lower protein diet to your dog with the proper consultation of your dog’s veterinarian to prevent such problems.
4. Any Bad Memory of Dog
If your dog suddenly stops walking on a particular path, it can be due to a bad event in your dog’s memory. The bad past event may haunt your dog, and the dog doesn’t want to experience the same again, so the dog may stop walking.
Dogs have sharp memories, and they tend to remember past events often, especially those with some bad memories associated with them.
Support the dog if any bad past event or bad memory affects your dog. Try to be patient with your dog instead of getting frustrated. Your dog needs you at such times.
The most advisable thing to do is to change the path on which your dog gets scared and don’t scold or behave rudely towards your dog.
5. Unwillingness for Exercise and Intolerance in Your Dog
Exercise intolerance and unwillingness are other reasons why your dog keeps sitting suddenly. There can be numerous reasons behind this. Let’s have a look at some of the most common reasons for the same:
Your dog may be suffering from health issues or neurological dysfunctions that cause them to sit even after only a few steps.
It is tough to find the exact reason behind your dog’s underlying serious health condition. For example, your dog getting dehydrated or overheated due to a high temperature can be why your dog sits down suddenly. If you think your dog is suffering from an underlying health condition, visit your dog’s vet soon and get proper treatment.
Laziness and Tiredness in Dogs
Your dog may run out of energy, feel extremely tired, and sit down suddenly. The most common reason for tiredness is a lack of physical fitness. It can be either due to a lack of exercise by your dog or obesity in dogs which occurs when the dog eats more than enough.
If the reason is laziness or tiredness, allow your dog to rest for a while, but don’t make this a habit for your dog. Dogs are clever animals, and once they know that you will allow them to rest, they will behave in this way more often.
It also depends upon different breeds. For example, dogs that belong to high-energy dog breeds can walk a greater distance than those who belong to low-energy dog breeds.
Always try to keep your dog healthy and fit by providing them with a healthy lifestyle. For example, don’t feed your dog too much or too little. Also, make your dog exercise regularly. Too much exercise for your dog is bad for the dog, and so does too little exercise. Consult with your dog’s vet for the perfect diet chart and for the exercise your dog’s body needs.
The Dog is Getting Bored
Taking your dog out for a walk is good for physical and mental fitness. But if your dog keeps on sitting suddenly in between walks, the reason can be the boredom your dog faces.
Try taking a different route when you take your dog for a walk, as taking the same route every time can be boring for your dog. When you take your dog out for a walk, stop and talk to people between the walks.
Take a friend’s dog along with you for a walk; that will give your dog company. Take your dog to parks or grounds to help them socialize with the people and other dogs around them.
Injuries to dogs are common. If your dog is suffering from any injury, take the dog immediately to the vet for proper treatment. For example, if your dog suddenly lies down during a walk, it can be due to a fresh injury, a pain in the wound, or a previous injury.
If your dog suddenly sits down while walking, there can be a sprain, muscle pull, torn ligament, blister in your dog’s leg, or others. It can also be due to a recent cut or scrape on the dog’s paw while walking.
The reason for that could be your dog stepping on something sharp. If the dog puts its foot on something sharp, say a nail, it will suddenly stop in its tracks and most likely sit down suddenly.
Whenever you take your dog out on a walk, be careful of the things surrounding the area where your dog walks. Your dog may get a sprain on the ankle if they take the wrong step, so you need to be careful. Also, even a small pebble or a nail can be harmful to your dog, so try to be careful.
Dogs tend to sit down suddenly when they feel anxious or have anxiety attacks. Suddenly, sitting down is not the only sign that shows that your dog is anxious; there are some other symptoms such as,
- Your dog is walking in an uneven zigzag pattern.
- Dogs are unable to take treats.
- You frequently turn off your dog to check something.
- The dog is pulling you to go back home soon.
- Freezing of dogs
- The dog refused to move forward.
- Constantly scanning the environment with your dog.
There are certain things you can do to help your dog overcome anxiety soon.
- Take short walks near your home that will help your dog.
- Walkthrough the same root every day, and then you can slowly explore different streets.
- Try to find out the things scaring your dog and avoid them as much as possible.
- Work on desensitizing your dog to triggers.
Your dog gets easily distracted. You will be surprised to know that dogs have short attention spans, so they get easily distracted by their surroundings. For example, at the time of a walk, there can be thousands of things going on in your dog’s mind, and this can cause them to sit down suddenly during a walk or playtime.
Your dog can get easily distracted once it sees a squirrel, butterfly, or even if it smells the urine of some other dog. Also, if your dog sees something interesting on the ground, the dog may get distracted and start searching for or eating the thing, so you need to be careful.
To prevent your dog from getting distracted, you can use treats. Give your dog treats whenever it gets distracted, and try again to take the dog on the same path where you want it to go.
6. Fleas and Worms
If you have recently detected fleas or worms near your rectal area, it could be the main reason why the dog is sitting suddenly. The dog can sit down suddenly if the area is infected by worms to scratch the bum or rectal area.
Not only will the dog sit suddenly, but it will constantly bite its coat or fur if it has a flea infection. Likewise, if your dog has a worm infestation, it will open the scoot to remove the worms or parasites.
Dogs are more likely to pick up fleas from the environment or other animals. So, when taking your dog for a walk, be cautious not to take them in an area where there are a lot of fleas.
When your dog eats any other animal, they are likely to pick up parasites like hookworms or roundworms. You can easily spot worms around a dog’s anus, so look carefully for them, and you will easily locate them on your dog.
Worms and flea infestations in dogs are normal problems. Make sure to bathe your dog regularly with mild soap. Regular bathe of your dog will help to keep parasites away from your dog.
You can also use a flea comb to remove fleas from your dog’s hair, but remember that it should have fine-toothed bristles. Ensure to dispose of the fleas carefully, either in a zip lock bag or in warm soapy water, as this helps to kill fleas you get from the dog’s body.
To kill the diseases caused by tapeworms, hookworms, and other worms, you can use deworming medications. In addition, you can take your dog to the veterinarian for better consultation once you notice a flea or worm infection in your dog’s anal part.
Things You should know: 9 Reasons Dog Leaves Odorless Wet Spot, And What Should You Do?
7. There Can be Something Irritating Near Your Dog’s Anal Region
If your dog is suddenly sitting down, there could be an issue in your dog’s anal region or the rear end.
Mostly, you will notice that dogs sit suddenly when even a small object touches the rear end of the dog’s body. If the stool gets caught in your dog’s fur around the anal region or a stone that touches the region sharply, it can irritate your dog.
If you have recently taken your dog for grooming, it can be the short haircutting around the anal region of your dog that causes them trouble. Irritation can also be due to some cuts or injuries near the rear end of your dog’s body.
Check your dog’s rear end properly and find out why the rear end is so itchy. If anything gets stuck around your dog’s rear end, remove it and apply ointment to the affected area. If the injury is deep, refer to a vet for your dog’s help and treatment.
If you have recently taken your dog to a grooming session and then it starts behaving weirdly or sitting abruptly, you can use aloe vera gel or other moisturizing products around the anal region. If you want to provide the dog with some relief.
8. Your Dog Maybe Facing an Allergic Reaction to Flea or Tick Treatment
Ticks and flea treatments can be effective for dogs in killing ticks and fleas, but sometimes they can be harmful to your dog too.
Some formulas of new medications that make their use in killing fleas and ticks around the anal region are against the first generation of drugs.
The new medications can be so strong that they irritate the dog’s rectal or anal region. These strong medications can cause strong irritation or negative effects on your dog.
Please consult with the veterinarian that the medications you are giving your dog are not so strong that they cause irritation in your dog’s system and lead to further problems. Secondly, try to change the medications with ones that are not irritating and don’t cause much trouble for your dog and kill flies simultaneously.
9. Other Possible Reasons
Dogs are pack animals, and this behavior of suddenly sitting down during a walk can test your dominance over the dog.
Try to take control of your dog and make sure the dog listens to your guidance and commands. Then, you can change the direction and route you are taking your dog from, whichever you feel comfortable with.
A dog walk should be a time for you and your dog, and when you take your dog outside for a walk, make sure you don’t get distracted by anything. Also, when you take your dog for a walk, you should pay proper attention to your dog so that it does not feel lonely.
There can be many reasons why your dog sits down suddenly during a walk. These reasons can vary from small distractions to obesity to serious underlying issues. Ensure you observe your dog, treat them well, and pay proper attention to them.
Take your dog to the veterinarian if your dog shows signs of some underlying illness or some serious disease. A regular checkup on your dog is necessary to determine if there is a problem and what preventive measures you can take. Treat your dog properly once you know the reason behind suddenly sitting down of your dog. Consult the advice of a veteran so that he can solve the issue easily.
Meet Madison Phillips, your compassionate guide to pet well-being. With experience from VCA Animal Hospitals and Laxton Vet Clinics Bellaire Inc. Madison honed her skills and embraced the balance of medical expertise and compassion, through her articles, she simplifies pet care, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced pet parent.