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Do antibiotics make dogs tired?

Do antibiotics make dogs tired?

Dogs are susceptible to many of the same illnesses that people can get. One common illness that both humans and dogs get is a bacterial infection, which often leads to a prescription for antibiotics.

Antibiotics are important because they help fight against bacteria in your dog’s body, but do they make your dog tired? This article will answer some common questions about whether or not antibiotics make dogs tired.

Do Antibiotics Make Dogs Tired?

Antibiotics work by targeting the bacteria or other bad cells in your dog’s body. They don’t make a distinction between good and bad cells, so while they are killing off bacterial cells, healthy cells may also be affected.

While there are no tranquilizing or sedating effects of antibiotics on dogs, some side effects can make your dog tired. These include diarrhea, vomiting, a loss of appetite, or allergic symptoms.

Additionally, your dog is rapidly fighting an illness, so it may be more tired than normal as the immune system is working hard to fight off the infection. Just as is the case with humans, it’s normal to feel tired and get some extra naps or hours of sleep when in the process of fending off a bug. 

What to Do if My Dog Is Tired After Taking Antibiotics?

If your dog is sick and acting tired, there are a few things you can do to help it feel better and stay safe as it recovers.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to make sure it stays hydrated. Offer your dog plenty of water and broth, especially if it is having trouble keeping anything down. Make sure to keep an eye on their water bowl and refill it regularly.

Provide lots of fresh water, which may encourage your dog to drink more than usual and will help keep it hydrated and better able to fight off any infections.

Maintain a Clean Environment

It’s also important that you maintain a clean environment for your pet when they are sick with an infection. This means keeping their bedding and sleeping area clean, as well as washing your hands regularly. This will overall help to reduce any additional infections while making the area comfortable and inviting for your dog.

Monitor Symptoms

If your dog is taking antibiotics and seems tired or sick, it’s important to monitor its symptoms and keep track of how it is doing. This will help you decide if you need to take it to the veterinarian for a check-up.

Feel free to take notes at the beginning and end of each day so it’s easy to remember how their progress is going. This will make it easy to tell if your pup is improving or feeling worse after the antibiotic treatment.

Minimize Activity

If your dog is very active, you may need to reduce its activity level while it is taking antibiotics. Too much exercise can tax the immune system and make it harder for your dog to recover.

Take shorter walks, and trade active play sessions for cuddle sessions when at home. A little activity can go a long way and is a good idea, but too much may cause your dog to feel worse.

Provide Nutritional Support

Antibiotics work best when combined with good nutrition. Make sure your dog still gets all the nutrients it needs while taking antibiotics by feeding him a high-quality diet.

You can also give your pup other nutritional supplements such as probiotics or fish oil, which will help support its immune system and promote healthy skin and coat. Check-in with your vet to make sure any supplements you provide will work well alongside the antibiotics.

Monitor Your Dog’s Temperature

If your dog has a fever, bring its temperature down with a cold compress. You can also give your dog over-the-counter fever reducers, but be sure to consult with your vet before giving him any medication.

The antibiotics should break any fever your dog has, but if its temperature stays high even after treatment, you may need to take them in for a check-up.

If your dog’s temperature exceeds 103 degrees Fahrenheit or is low and lethargic, you should take it to the vet immediately.

Keep Your Dog Away From Other Dogs

it may be a good idea to keep them inside and away from other dogs so they can recover without being exposed to other infections. This will also prevent the spread of any infection to other dogs.

Take a few days off from dog parks and cross the street when you’re approaching other dogs on walks. Although this may make your pup sad if they’re especially social and friendly, a brief period of isolation will be worth it in the end.

Add a Probiotic to Your Dog’s Diet

Adding a probiotic supplement to your dog’s diet is an easy, healthy way to help balance out the good and bad bacteria in their system. This is especially useful during the time that they are taking antibiotics because antibiotics can kill off beneficial bacteria along with the bad.

A probiotic supplement will help reintroduce good bacteria to your dog’s system and restore balance, which may help reduce any side effects like tiredness. This will also reduce the chance of any secondary infections caused by the imbalance in bacteria. They come in powders, treats, and are even integrated into many dog food recipes.

Talk with your vet to discuss which probiotic supplement is best for your dog.

Take Your Dog to the Vet

If the tiredness is excessive, it’s important to take action and bring your pup to see the vet or to an emergency clinic. If your dog is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, call your veterinarian:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Lethargy or lack of energy
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours
  • Vomiting for more than 12 hours
  • A loss of appetite for more than 24 hours

It can be challenging to tell the severity of the situation, so it’s always better to be safe and have your dog checked out by a professional if you’re unsure of the symptoms.

Do Antibiotics Have Side Effects on Dogs?

It’s common for antibiotics to have side effects on dogs. If you know what they are beforehand, you will be better able to assist them through the healing process.

Stomach Aches

Stomach aches are a common side effect of antibiotics. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or is easily upset, you might want to consider giving them medicine for their aches the day they take the antibiotic.

You may notice your pup eating slower or not at all, having diarrhea or vomiting, and being generally lethargic.

Allergic Reactions

Another common side effect of antibiotics is allergic reactions. This can show up as a rash, hives, swollen lips or tongue, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. If your dog has any of these symptoms after taking antibiotics, take them to the vet immediately.


As mentioned before, antibiotics can make dogs tired as they work hard to fight off infection. If your dog is excessively tired after taking antibiotics, it’s important to bring them in for a check-up with the veterinarian.


Vomiting is also a common side effect of antibiotics, and it can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. This happens because antibiotics kill off large numbers of bacteria, which can affect your dog’s stomach. If the vomiting is excessive or lasts longer than 24 hours, you should call your veterinarian for advice on how to proceed.

There may be certain supplements or medications your vet can prescribe to help reduce the vomiting. You should also encourage your pup to drink water since dehydration is a common side effect of vomiting.


Like vomiting, diarrhea is also a common side effect of antibiotics. It can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours and is usually caused by the antibiotic killing off too many bacteria in your dog’s system at once. Diarrhea indicates that your dog’s body is trying to get rid of the bad bacteria as quickly as possible, which can actually be helpful in the long run.

If your dog’s diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours, you should call your veterinarian for advice on how to proceed. There may be certain supplements or medications your vet can prescribe to help reduce diarrhea if it has become excessive.

Loss of Appetite

Another common side effect of antibiotics is the loss of appetite. Eating less can actually help the body to redirect its digestive energy towards fighting off pathogens and fighting infection.

If your dog’s loss of appetite isn’t accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, it should be perfectly fine for 24 to 48 hours. But if it’s excessive or goes on longer than this time frame you should call your veterinarian to get advice.

You’ll also want to monitor your dog’s water intake and ensure that they’re getting enough water to stay hydrated. Even though they can go a day or two without much food, they still need to drink water to stay healthy.

Yeast Infections

Antibiotics can also cause yeast infections. Yeast is a type of fungus that’s naturally found in your dog’s mouth, ears, and digestive system. If their immune systems are compromised, they can end up with an excessive amount of yeast which causes itching around the eyes or belly area along with a stinky skin odor.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, you should take them to the veterinarian for a skin culture. You can also give your vet a call if you have any questions or concerns about yeast infections after taking antibiotics.

There are a few yeast-centric probiotics on the market that you can add to your dog’s food and treats to help manage yeast infections. Just be sure that you consult with your vet first before giving them any new supplements or medications since they might interfere with the antibiotics already in their system.

Can Antibiotics Make Dogs Lethargic or Drowsy?

No, antibiotics do not have a tranquilizing or sedating effect on dogs. However, there are some side effects that can make your dog tired. They may also be tired from the initial illness itself, which requires energy to fight off.

Your dog’s tiredness should not look like lethargy or drowsiness. For example, if your dog is pacing around slowly, seems disoriented, and is unresponsive to you, it may be a good idea to call your veterinarian.

If your dog is simply tired from the medication and the side effects, it will act relatively normal, but take more time for resting, naps, and sleep at night. This is a healthy response to the medication and generally resolves within a few days.