Dog Diarrhea And Tired? Here’s What It Means

If your dog has diarrhea and is tired at the same time, we outline the potential causes of dog diarrhea and tiredness, as well as what to do and when to seek help.

Here’s why dog diarrhea and being tired happens

Dog diarrhea and tiredness are symptoms that commonly occur together and can be caused by a number of illnesses and disorders which includes gastrointestinal infections, diet, food allergies, medication side effects, illness, stress, and poisoning.

Dog diarrhea and tired

Dog diarrhea and tiredness

Tiredness in dogs is characterized by a lack of energy, weakness, and an overall feeling of tiredness. 

Signs of tiredness in a dog manifests as a lack of interest in activities that they previously enjoyed, such as playing or going for walks, and can also be accompanied by a lack of appetite, and difficulty standing or moving.

It can be a symptom of an underlying condition, both acute and chronic conditions.

Dog diarrhea  on the other hand is a condition in which a dog’s stool is loose and watery, and which they pass more frequently than normal. 

Occasional episodes of diarrhea in dogs are common and normal, however, frequent diarrhea as well as other concerning symptoms can be a sign of a serious underlying problem.

Diarrhea and tiredness happening at the same time can be due to a variety of causes. In most cases, these symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, and fever.

Related: Dog diarrhea and shaking (Explained)

Possible causes of dog diarrhea and tired

Diarrhea and tiredness happening at the same time can have a variety of causes due to an underlying condition. 

The possible causes of dog diarrhea and tiredness are:


Diarrhea and tiredness can be symptoms of a wide range of illnesses in dogs, including viral or bacterial infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and systemic diseases.

These diseases and conditions include parvovirus, distemper, kidney or liver disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, colitis, or cancer.

Related: Dog diarrhea and trouble walking: Here’s why

Gastrointestinal infection

Gastrointestinal infection by bacteria, intestinal parasites, or viruses is the most common cause of diarrhea and tiredness in a dog.

Infections of the digestive tract cause inflammation and irritation, leading to diarrhea and tiredness. Some common symptoms of gastrointestinal infections include vomiting and loss of appetite.

Bacterial infections include Salmonella, coccidia, or Escherichia coli (E. coli) while viral infections include parvovirus and parasitic infections can be roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.

Change in diet

A change in your dog’s diet can cause diarrhea and fatigue due to food intolerance or allergy, an upset stomach, and stress.

This is because it takes time for your dog’s stomach to adjust to the new food and a sudden change to a new food may cause diarrhea. 

Dogs are also sensitive to changes in their routine and environment, and a sudden change in diet can be stressful. This stress can lead to digestive upset and other symptoms such as tiredness.

To avoid these problems, it is important to introduce changes to your dog’s diet gradually, over the course of several days or weeks, to give their digestive system time to adjust.

Also, it is important to choose a high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food that meets your dog’s individual needs.


A stressed dog also experiences diarrhea including tiredness, which may appear at the same time. 

Stress and anxiety also cause a variety of symptoms including pacing, licking, drooling, yawning, crying, barking, and hiding.

Stress can come from a variety of sources such as a change in their environment or routine, new people or pets, loud noises, and other fear-related stressful situations.

Related: Understanding dog diarrhea and heavy panting 

Toxin ingestion

Poisoning in dogs can lead to a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea and tiredness. This is because many poisons and toxins can cause gastrointestinal upset and also affect the nervous system which causes weakness and lethargy as a result of the neurological damage.

Some poisons can cause tiredness and weakness as a direct symptom, while others can lead to a decrease in appetite and dehydration, which can then result in fatigue and weakness.

Dogs may accidentally ingest toxic substances such as household cleaners, contaminated food or water, pesticides, insecticides, poisonous plants or human medications, which can cause diarrhea and other symptoms.

Side effects of medication 

Medications can sometimes cause side effects in dogs, including diarrhea and tiredness which may happen at the same time.

The side effects can occur due to irritation of the digestive tract, and allergic reaction which causes diarrhea and tiredness.

Some medications can cause direct sedative effects, while others can lead to dehydration, decreased appetite, vomiting or other symptoms that can result in tiredness and weakness.

Medication side effects can vary widely depending on the specific medication prescribed to a dog. Some dogs are more sensitive to certain medications or have underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to side effects.

Dietary indiscretion

Dietary indiscretion refers to eating non-food items or food that is not part of a dog’s regular diet. 

This can lead to gastrointestinal upset and potentially result in tiredness or lethargy in different ways. This includes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which leads to vomiting and diarrhea which can result in dehydration, which in turn can cause tiredness and weakness.

Consumption of non-edible substances can also cause a blockage in the digestive tract, which prevents food and water from passing through normally. This can lead to a decrease in appetite and dehydration, which results in tiredness and lethargy.

Certain toxins found in some non-edible items can cause neurological symptoms, which can include lethargy and weakness.

Dogs may eat non-food items or consume food outside of their regular diet due to stress or anxiety, which can also lead to digestive upset and other symptoms such as tiredness.

Dog diarrhea and tired: What to do 

If your dog is experiencing both diarrhea and tiredness, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. 

Here are  other signs that indicate that you should see a veterinarian immediately:

Severe or bloody diarrhea: If your dog’s diarrhea is severe or if there is blood or mucus in the stool, this could be a sign of a serious underlying condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.

Other symptoms: Other symptoms may accompany diarrhea and tiredness, such as vomiting. If your dog is vomiting along with diarrhea, this can lead to dehydration and other complications and requires immediate medical attention. 

Other symptoms to look out for include lack of appetite, breathing difficulties, signs of pain or discomfort, fever, and signs of dehydration, such as a dry nose or mouth and sunken eyes.

Suspicion poisoning: If you suspect that your dog has been poisoned, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

If your dog is a puppy or an older dog: Puppies and older are generally more vulnerable than healthy adult dogs so delaying treatment could result in their condition worsening or becoming more difficult to treat. Therefore, it is essential to seek immediate medical care.

Key Takeaway: Dog diarrhea and tired

Diarrhea and tiredness in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors.  While occasional diarrhea is normal in dogs, persistent diarrhea alongside other symptoms such as tiredness requires veterinary attention.

If you notice your dog showing these symptoms suddenly or for extended periods of time, consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. 

By addressing the underlying cause of the symptoms and providing appropriate care, you can help ensure that your dog remains healthy.

Interested in learning more about dog diarrhea and how to take proactive steps to manage it? Our comprehensive guide on dog diarrhea offers a wealth of information, including causes, treatment options at home, preventive measures, and more. Don’t miss out— explore the complete guide.