Lazy Dogs and How to Keep Them Active and Healthy

lazy dog chin down on rug

There are many dog owners out there who would love it if their super energetic pup could spend just one day relaxing and lying around the house, but for owners of naturally lazy dogs, getting their pet to do anything other than relax and lie around is one of their biggest concerns. 

While they may be easy to care for and fun to hang out with, inactive dogs may not be getting the exercise they need to remain healthy. They may also be prone to weight gain. This means that if you want to keep your pup in great shape and at a healthy weight, you will need to find ways to keep them active. 

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to make sure your lazy dog remains a healthy dog. Check out this comprehensive lazy dog owner’s guide for some tips and advice.

The Laziest Dog Breeds

Perhaps you suspect your dog is lazy based on their tendency to curl up on the couch and their indifference to playing fetch. To get a better idea if your suspicions are correct, take a look at some of the breeds best known for their sedentary lifestyles. 

  • Pug
  • English Bulldog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Basset Hound
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Great Dane
  • Shih Tzu

Even if your dog’s breed isn’t on this list of the laziest dogs, they can still have a penchant for lounging that may be detrimental to their health. If your pup is low energy, naps a lot, doesn’t get excited about walks or playtime, and is starting to wear a dog-shaped mark into his favorite spot on the couch, make sure to keep reading this guide.

How to Make Sure Your Lazy Dog Gets the Exercise They Need

One of the biggest concerns with a lazy dog is that they’re not getting regular exercise. Not only is that non-active lifestyle detrimental to their health, but it can also lead to weight gain, which significantly increases the risk of health issues. 

Fortunately, there are a few ways to make sure to get exercise for dogs even when they’re not so naturally motivated. Here are some of the best ways to accomplish that.

Play With Them

You’ll never be able to totally control your dog’s behavior to make them more active, but you’ll have a lot more influence on them if you remain present and engage in the exercise activities yourself. Don’t just let them out back and hope they run around. Throw the leash on them and bring them out for a walk, or grab a toy and try to get them riled up. If their beloved owner is involved, it might offer some added motivation.

Bring Out the Treats

Your dog may not be as motivated as active dogs are by the sound of the back door opening, but they may still be motivated by the sound of the treat cabinet opening up. If that’s the case for your pup, you can incorporate some positive reinforcement using treats to get them up and moving around. 

Of course, there is a risk with this method that you’re counteracting all that exercise by overdoing it on the treats, so make sure to stick with small low-calorie training treats and to ration them carefully.

Invite a Friend

Socialization is always important for your dog, and it can have the added benefit of inspiring extra playfulness when they need some exercise. Setting up a playdate between a friendly, active dog and your lazy pup is a great way to take a little of the exercise burden off of you while still keeping them active and engaged.

Lazy Dog Nutrition Tips

One of the biggest concerns regarding lazy dogs is that they spend far more time eating than they do exercising, which is a recipe for doggy obesity and all of the health complications that can come with it. While working to get your pup to exercise more is important, there are also ways to address the issue through nutrition. 

Take a look at these tips for a lazy dog diet plan and you should be able to keep their weight at bay.

Reduce Their Portions

If your dog isn’t burning calories then they don’t need as much food as a dog who is. If you’re concerned about their weight, then you may simply want to reduce their intake by providing them with smaller meals.

Stick to Small Treats

Treats have all kinds of practical uses, which can make them tricky to reduce if you’re worried about an overweight dog, but there are ways to provide some positive reinforcement while still keeping the calorie count low. Stick to small training treats and diet-friendly options. This will help you reduce calories without dropping treats altogether.

Choose the Right Dog Food for Weight Control

Lower-fat foods can be the better option for a less active dog as they can provide plenty of nourishment without as much risk of weight gain. There are also weight loss dog foods out there that can help you get your already overweight pup into better shape. 

You may also want to consider choosing a food that can naturally give your lazy dog an energy boost. Protein derived from real animal meat and organs can provide your pup with a pep in their step and help give them the motivation to get more exercise. Just remember that not all foods that are healthy for humans are safe for dogs, so make sure to check before giving them anything new.

Make Sure Your Lazy Dog Gets the Care They Need

There are so many positives to being the owner of a lazy dog, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that these extra-cuddly, nap-happy pups still need exercise to stay healthy. Following this guide (and working with your vet, as always) should help you build a great foundation for keeping your dog moving about, eating right, and living a long and happy life.

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Paul Buonopane

Have you ever heard the adage, "Once a cat person, always a cat person"? Well, prepare to have that myth charmingly dispelled! I grew up a cat lover but these good boys just couldn't be denied and I'm officially a convert.

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