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My Dog Keeps Sitting Down Abruptly! —Possible Reasons

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Your furry buddy walks in the room, all happy, wagging its tail and bouncing to greet each and every member of their beloved human family, but suddenly they do a little jitter, their head snaps back to their rear, and they sit down on the floor.

Then your pup looks at you – all confused – just as you are. And after a few seconds, they stand up again and start walking.

Again – after a few minutes – your doggo stops walking, their butt on the ground, and they stare at you puzzled.

Does this sound familiar? Do you wonder, “My dog keeps sitting down abruptly, but why?”

Well, there can be more than one reason why your beloved doggo is behaving like that – sitting all of a sudden.

And before you try out anything to prevent your dog from doing that, it is important that you find out why exactly your doggo is behaving that way. While some pups may be just lazy, other dogs may be facing some serious problems.

When your doggo sits down abruptly, the chances are that they are in a lot of pain or uncomfortable.

So, what exactly is the case with your furry buddy?

Come, let’s find out!

Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Sitting Down Abruptly

Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Sitting Down Abruptly

There are many health issues that can make your dog sit down suddenly during walks. As dogs cannot speak, they cannot tell you what is wrong. And most of the time, they try NOT to show any signs of pain! Of course, this is not an attitude. It is their nature. This is because they are pack animals, and their hierarchy is determined by their strength, dominance, and health.

If dogs show that they are in pain or there is something that is hurting them, they lose their status. This is the reason they hide it.

You need to be patient and be understanding of the situation. Don’t get frustrated. So, here are the following reasons why your dog is sitting down all of a sudden. Also, I have discussed the solutions. Have a look:

#1. Swollen Anal Glands

Swollen Anal Glands

Swollen anal glands of your dog sound way too serious and difficult a problem to treat than it really is!

Did you have any idea why, sometimes, you find dogs sniffing each other’s butts?

Well, it is because of these anal glands!

Sacs or anal glands are carriers of scent, and they are located around the rectum of dogs within their muscles. When the anal glands are fine, they express naturally every time a dog poops. And they leave a signal for other passer-by dogs.

Now, there may be times when the secretions are not released naturally for some reason. That is exactly when the glands can get impacted. This leads to the chances of these glands getting infected. And if you don’t treat this issue when there is still time, it can become abscessed.

When the glands are abscessed, they can rupture through your dog’s skin. And if that happens, your dog will need surgery, medication for pain, and antibiotics.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Your dog sits down suddenly and starts scooting
  • They lick their rectum a lot more than ever
  • They have pus-filled or bloody stool
  • There is a swollen area or a bumping night next to their rectum
  • You can find pus discharge or blood in places where they have been recently
  • They have difficulty while trying to poop

Solution

Did you find any of these signs matching your dog?

Then you can be sure that they have swollen anal glands because of which they keep sitting down out of the blue.

So what can you do to help your canine buddy out of this situation?

Well, this may not sound very pleasing, but you can choose to express your pup’s anal glands all by yourself!

This will save you money, especially if you are not ready to pay the high bills of the vet or buy expensive groomers.

BUT, before you start doing the process yourself, let me tell you, things are about to get dirty and smelly. So be prepared!

I know you are not a professional, so you may need some more time to get used to it. Just make sure to have cleanup products ready, and don’t forget to wear gloves.

And when you choose the gloves, make sure that they are thin, powder-free, durable, and, of course, disposable.

It is indeed effective when you express your dog’s anal glands manually. But you should not do it frequently. If you do that, it can cause not only inflammation but also create scar tissue. In addition, this will make the already-constricted duct narrower.

The best course of action is prevention when it comes to impacted anal glands. Help your dog maintain a healthy weight, give them omega 3 fatty acids supplements and feed them foods rich in fiber. This will help your pup a lot and protect them from anal sacs issues in the future.

Do you know from where you can get omega 3 fatty acids?

It is available in many plant oils, fish, and supplements for dogs.

#2. Allergic Reactions to Tick and Flea Treatments

Allergic Reactions to Tick and Flea Treatments

These treatments are like a double-edged sword!

Yes, flea and tick treatments are extremely effective in getting rid of the stubborn insects from your dog’s body. But, sometimes, it can be more than effective, if you know what I mean!

In some of the more modern and newer medications, formulations are very powerful chemically. These are specially designed to fight the resistance that ticks and fleas have developed against the first-generation medications.

They are made so strong that they can even have an irritating and negative effect on your favorite four-legged buddy. One such example is Vectra 3D – one of the most complained-about medications for fleas. Have you used this medicine, after which your pup has started sitting down suddenly? Or have you used any other new treatment for fleas?

Then the chances are that the chemicals in those medicines are the main culprit.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Chemical burns on your dog’s skin where you have applied the medicine
  • Extreme restlessness and jitteriness – similar to some kind of manic behavior or anxiety

Some other possible and less severe side effects may include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Hard to touch the skin
  • Fast pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Some dog owners even said that some medications led to frantic behavior, extreme itching, and paranoia as if there were loads of bugs on their bodies. Do you have smaller breed dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds? Then know that they are more vulnerable to these unpleasant reactions.

The restlessness, paranoia, and jitteriness caused by the chemicals inside those anti-flea medications can be the reason why your dog is sitting down at random times.

Solution

When was the last time you applied the tick and flea treatment on your dog? Has it been just 3-4 hours?

Then the best thing you can do is give your doggo a thorough and refreshing bath. But in that case, your regular bubble bath won’t do.

What can you use instead?

Use a dishwashing detergent. Yes, you read that right!

Wet your dog, apply the detergent, and lather it up. Now rinse it well. You need to repeat this process thrice. The dishwashing soap will remove excess oil effectively from your pup’s skin. Trust me; the detergent will work its magic and relieve your doggo off the symptoms along with the itchiness that they have been experiencing.

What if it has been more than 4 hours since you applied the flea treatment on your doggo?

In that case, the chances are that most of the ointment has already been absorbed into your dog’s skin. So, even if you bathe them with dishwashing soap, it will not be effective. But still, it can offer your doggo a little relief.

You can give your pup antihistamines, as it will help minimize the symptoms of allergy, such as restlessness and itchiness. Some examples of antihistamines include Claritin and Benadryl. If you use Claritin, know that for every 30 pounds of your dog’s body weight, you need 5mg. You can use it until you see that the symptoms have subsided.

If you have any doubt or further help, please contact your vet.

#3. Fleas and Worms

Fleas and Worms

Has it been a while since you checked your dog for fleas and worms?

Then it could be the reason why your dog has an itchy bum. For example, there might be a sudden flea bite on your dog’s back, or they might want to scratch a persistent itch because of which they keep sitting down, interrupting what they were doing previously.

If your dog has flea infestations, they may show some other symptoms, such as biting and scratching the areas where they have fur or coat. Also, in their attempt to get rid of the parasites, they will do the infamous scoot a number of times.

It doesn’t matter if your dog spends most of their day indoors or outdoors, as they can pick up parasites easily from the environment. Also, it can get transmitted by other dogs or animals with whom they came in contact recently.

Has your dog eaten animal droppings or dead rats? Have they been scavenging outside?

Then the chances are that they have picked up some common parasites such as hookworms and roundworms.

Signs and Symptoms

Well, you can spot it in their feces and the area around their anus. Does your pup’s butt seem itchy? It is time that you take a good look!

Solution

Dogs are easily affected by worms and fleas. But don’t worry, you can solve this problem easily.

Give your dog a thorough bath using mild soap and warm water. Also, you can use shampoos that are formulated especially for fleas. But, be careful. If your dog has sensitive skin, it can irritate their skin. 

Before you use this kind of shampoo, make sure to consult your vet. What if your dog has sensitive eyes and the shampoo specially formulated for fleas irritates their eyes? In that case, they may suffer from an allergic reaction. So, it is always best to discuss it with your vet.

Get a fine-toothed flea comb and use it to comb your pup’s hair. Look closely. Can you see black specks of flea dirt? Look carefully, especially around their neck and head area. Did you catch a flea in the flea comb? Then take a bowl, fill it with hot and soapy water, and submerge it into it. This will kill the flea effectively and quickly.

Give your furry buddy some spot treatments, a collar, and pills for fleas. These will protect your doggo against ticks and fleas for a long time – generally for a month or more.

Have you decided to get a flea collar for your doggo?

Then, these are the things that you should consider:

  • Non-greasy
  • Odorless
  • Long-lasting protection for up to 8 months
  • Water-resistant
  • Provides protection even in cold weather
  • Repel as well as kill ticks and fleas within 24 hours of application

Also, don’t forget to check the ratings before you zero in on one collar.

What to do to get rid of worms?

If your doggo is irritated by parasites such as hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms, then making use of deworming medication can help you treat them effectively.

Get your dog checked by your vet. They are the best person to recommend the most effective deworming solution that best suits your pup. Also, they can let you know about some preventive options using which there will be fewer issues of worm attacks.

#4. Nerve and Joint Issues

Nerve and Joint Issues

Your beloved buddy might be experiencing a deeper structural issue. And because of that, they are sitting down out of the blue. Nerve impingements can make your doggo sit down involuntarily.

If there is nerve damage, it can cause a reflexive response on some specific limbs of your dog. This depends on the part of the damaged spine. This can lead your dog’s limbs to become all weak and weary. This, in turn, can alter how your dog walks.

If there is an issue in your dog’s joint health, their biochemical movement can get affected. For example, if they have arthritis or hip dysplasia, they cannot walk or stand for a long duration. This can make them sit down more than ever.

Signs and Symptoms

Just as humans, dogs can get arthritis too. This is especially true for senior or older dogs. Your dog can develop arthritic pain when there are not enough buffers between the bones. As a result, when they walk, their bones grind together. This causes pain and swelling. If your dog is experiencing this pain, it may not go out for walks. And this is the reason why they sit down all of a sudden.

When it comes to hip dysplasia, let me tell you, it is very painful for your dog, and it can affect their walk. This condition is more common in large breed dogs and those that grow fast. When the ball joint and socket of your pup’s hip grind together, it hurts them a lot. Also, over time, it can wear down. So if your dog develops hip dysplasia, know that with time, they will have arthritis too.

Solution

  • It is always best to get your pup’s joint and nerve issues assessed as well as treated by a professional. A trained professional can do a thorough checkup of your dog’s orthopedic situation to ensure that their neck, spine, limbs, and joints are functioning well.
  • Your vet will find out if there is any pain response, stiffness, or resistance in your dog’s joints. And after that, they will tell you whether your pup needs surgery or taking anti-inflammatory medication will do.

If your doggo is diagnosed with arthritis, always try to keep them at a warm temperature. This is because the pain of arthritis tends to increase in cold temperatures.

Is your pup a large breed? Then you need to make sure to feed them food with low protein. Doing so will stop them from growing up quickly, which can damage their hips. But before you make this change to your dog’s diet, please have a word with your vet.

#5. Something May Be Irritating the Rear End of Your Dog

Something May Be Irritating the Rear End of Your Dog

When was the last time you had a look at your dog’s rear end? Has it been a while?

Then buddy now is the time to check. And who knows, you may end up knowing what exactly is bothering your beloved pup.

Most dogs react sharply when there is something in their rear end – after all, that is not the place for something to be. Now that you have given a close look, what did you find? Is it a small rock, stick, other debris, or your pup’s own poop?

Whatever it is, know that it is irritating your doggo, and because of that, they are sitting down quickly.

Has your dog just returned home from the groomers?

Signs and Symptoms

Then there is a possibility that the groomer has cut the fur around the butt of your dog very short. And your dog does not like this new sensation that they are getting. Or, it can be sore or irritating to the touch. Also, don’t forget to check if there is any injury or cut in the area that is causing pain to your pup.

Solution

Now that you have checked the rear end of your dog thoroughly, did you find any debris stuck there?

  • If so, remove it carefully.
  • You can apply some soothing solution such as aloe, if the area looks sore and itchy after your pup visits the grooming parlor. 

Now, you might get confused about which aloe product to use for your dog as there are so many options available. Therefore, I suggest checking the reviews and ratings very well before making your purchase. Also, the product should be safe for dogs.

#6. Unwilling and Intolerant to Exercises

Exercise intolerance and unwillingness are the other two reasons for making your doggo sit down. These can be because of the following:

1. Laziness and Tiredness

The most simple reason is that your doggo has run out of energy. The loss of energy can be because of the fact that their fitness is not up to the mark. They are overweight and not getting the amount of exercise they need.

So, what you can do is let them take a short break of a few minutes. But you need to remember one thing. Dogs are clever animals, and they can learn how to take advantage of all situations. And this, in turn, can make them idle or lazy.

Are you a parent to some high-energy dog breeds such as Border Collies and Siberian Huskies?

They know that they can go for longer-duration walks compared to the low-energy dog breeds such as French Bulldogs and Shih Tzus.

While too little exercise can make your dog overweight, too much exercise can make them tired. So, before you take your dog for long walks, know their exact exercise needs. And for that, you need to talk to your vet.

2. Injury

Your canine companion needs immediate treatment if they get injured. For example, if you see that your dog is lying down suddenly on the ground during their regular walks, the reason might be that they have pulled muscle, sprained ankle, tone ligament, or scrapes, blisters, and cuts on their paws.

If your doggo steps on something sharp, their paws can get cut. This can stop them from waking any longer and sitting down.

When you take your dog on walks, always be careful of your dog’s surroundings. If they make a wrong step, they can end up straining a muscle or spraining their ankle.

In some cases, a small tumble can lead to severe consequences. So pay attention to your dog when you are out and make it a point to stop and check on your dog to make sure they are okay.

3. Anxiety

If your furry buddy gets anxious or gets afraid for some reason, then the chances are that they will sit down while walking.

Some other signs that your doggo has become anxious during their walk include:

  • Walking in a zigzag pattern
  • Inability to take treats
  • Turning around, again and again, to check things out
  • Trying to escape from their collar
  • Freezing
  • Not willing to walk forward
  • Scanning the surrounding constantly
  • Getting startled by noises.

So, what can you do to make things right for your anxious dog during walks?

Start by taking short walks near your home. Take your dog to walk on the same street every day. Give them some time so that they can get used to the route. Then you can explore new routes slowly and extend the distance for walks.

You need to pay attention to your dog and find out what exactly is bothering them. Once you find out, ovoid it as much as you can, let me explain it to you with an example. If you see that your dog is scared of crowd or traffic, it would be great if you could find a street or route that is less crowded and have less traffic.

There is another thing you can do. Try working on counter-conditioning your beloved four-legged buddy to their triggers. If you see that they have thought of investigating something they fear, encourage them.

4. Distractions

There can be a number of things on your dog’s mind when you take them for walks. And as you know, their attention span is short, and they can get distracted quite easily.

Here are some things that can distract your doggo:

  • Spotting a squirrel
  • Smelling the urine of another dog
  • Seeing some other dog or person that they want to meet
  • Wanting to eat something that is there on the ground

So, what can you do to lure them back on the walking track?

You can carry a bag of treats with you when you walk with your dog. Then, whenever you see that they are distracted and have sat down, you can offer them a bite of the dog treat. This will keep them moving.

5. Boredom

When you take your dog on walks, not only does it give them mental stimulation but also physical exercise. If you see that your dog is sitting down during your morning or evening walks, it could be that they are simply bored.

So, what can you do?

Explore a different walking route so that your dog remains excited during your daily walks. Then, when you see other people walking their dogs too, you can stop and talk to them.

Take your doggo to some dog parks and let them socialize or interact with other dogs while they exercise. Also, to make your walk a bit more interesting, you can try taking your friend’s dog on walks with you too.

6. Illness

Maybe your dog has an underlying health condition, for example, heart disease and neurological dysfunction, that is not letting them walk, no matter how short the distance is.

Maybe your dog is overheated or dehydrated because of the high temperatures you are in. If you think that your dog has some illness, it is always best to take them to your vet to examine your doggo and see what is wrong with them.

#7. Dog Memory

Dog Memory

Have you been questioning yourself, “why my dog keeps sitting down abruptly?”

Well, it could be because their past haunts them.

Did you know that your pup remembers a lot more than you actually think?

Signs and Symptoms

If you take your doggo to walk and find them suddenly sitting down in the middle of the road, it could be because something bothered or scared them, and they are hesitant because of that memory.

So what can you do to make this stop?

Solutions

Try taking a different route for your walk. If you notice that your furry buddy is hesitant to walk on a specific side of the path, it could be that they have a not-so-good memory about it.

My suggestion is that you don’t get frustrated about the situation. Instead, be patient and follow a different walking route with which your four-legged buddy doesn’t have any bad memory.

#8. Obesity

Is your dog a bit overweight? Or, is your dog obese?

Then this could be the reason your dog keeps on sitting down and doesn’t want to walk. Do you know what the ideal body weight of your dog is?

It depends on the dog breed you have. And it keeps changing with their age and, of course, growth. If you don’t know your dog’s ideal weight, you can ask your vet, and they will tell you. Once you know your dog’s ideal weight, it will be easier for you to make the right food choices for them. If you see that your pup’s weight is 20% or more above their ideal body weight, know that they are obese.

If your dog is fluffy and has long hair, it will be less noticeable. Remember, obesity doesn’t happen overnight. It is a lengthy process, and it takes time.

Dogs that are overweight don’t like to go for walks – all thanks to their extra weight! They get tired all the more easily and quickly. So they sit down whenever there is a chance.

Solution

What can you do to bring them out of this situation?

Don’t worry. There are some simple things that you need to do so that your dog can maintain a healthy weight. First, feed them a well-balanced and healthy diet. And secondly, you need to increase their level of exercise. For this, you can talk with your vet.

Conclusion

If you want an answer to “why my dog keeps sitting down abruptly?” you need to pay good attention to your dog. This will help you understand what exactly is making them sit down suddenly during walks.

Still, if you notice that your doggo is acting strangely, it would be best to take them to your vet because you know they will hide what is irritating them. It is in their nature. After a thorough examination, your vet will prescribe the necessary medications.

Whatever the reason is, try to deal with the situation in a positive way so that your doggo can get back to their regular walking schedule.

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