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Overtired Puppy Symptoms [Does Your Pup Need More Zzz’s?]

The most common symptoms of an overtired puppy include crying, zoomies, nibbling, panting, licking, following you around, behavioral issues, and lethargy. Of course, not all puppies will have the same symptoms. Some puppies may cry while others follow you around the house. 

Puppies seem to have limitless energy, but it is actually very possible to exercise them too much! 

Keep in mind that your puppy is still an undeveloped dog. They cannot keep up with the same amount of exercise that their older counterparts are used to. 

While it may be fun to play with your puppy all day long, it’s important to remember that they have to take a break every now and then. Building their strength and body is hard work, so let your puppy rest! 

Of course, each dog is different in its daily activity needs, but every dog can become overtired. This does not mean to just not exercise your dog. Lack of exercise can lead to many health problems, such as obesity, joint problems, or behavioral issues. 

If your dog is exercising a fair amount every day, it is important to also provide them with a recovery period to catch their breath and slow down.

How Do I Know if My Puppy is Overtired?

If you are a new puppy owner, you may not know what symptoms to look for to determine if your puppy is overtired. 

Sometimes it’s hard to know what your dog is feeling, but it is your job as their owner to care for them in any way you can. 

If you have questions about your puppy’s health or think there is something serious going on, call your vet. 

In the meantime, keep an eye out for any of these symptoms manifesting in your puppy.

Excessive Panting

Panting is how dogs release heat within their bodies and bring oxygen into their systems. 

Dogs will typically pant when they are getting tired or when they get too hot. But if you see your puppy excessively panting, it may be a sign that they are overtired. 

You may notice that your puppy’s panting is extremely fast and hard. If this is the case, you need to give them a break. 

Let them take a drink of water and rest for a while. If the panting does not slow or lessen, consult your veterinarian.

Excessive Thirst

Another common symptom of overexertion is excessive thirst. 

Your dog needs water to fuel its exercise, just like us humans. When they get overworked, your dog’s body will go into overdrive. It needs water for temperature regulation, internal lubricant, and many other internal processes. 

If your dog is extremely thirsty, there’s a good chance they’re overexerted.  Make sure your dog always has access to water. Dehydration can lead to severe problems and even death in extreme cases.


If your puppy is overtired, it can also become sluggish. 

While your puppy may normally lead the way on walks, an overtired puppy may lag behind you, struggling to keep up. 

Puppies are often hyper and excited to explore, so anything that causes them to have a drastic energy shift is cause for concern. 

Your puppy may have pulled a muscle from overexertion, injured themselves, or just used up all of their energy. These are all excellent reasons to give them a break and let them rest and recover.


Puppies only have so many ways to express themselves. One of the first ways that dogs learn to communicate with each other is through nipping. 

To a puppy, this is a way to express displeasure. To us, it may just be annoying, but do not ignore nipping! 

Often, overworked dogs will nip at you to show that they are done with whatever activity you are taking part in. 

Your puppy probably will not listen to you telling it to stop nipping if it is in a state of overexertion. 

Obviously, this can cause future problems. Puppies biting someone may be cute (even with their razor-sharp teeth), but bites are a real danger as they get older. If you see your puppy nipping, pay attention. 

How Much Should I be Exercising my Puppy?

An overtired puppy can certainly be problematic, but do not worry if your puppy wants to run around a little! Dogs require exercise, it’s simply a matter of ensuring they get the right amount. 

Puppies do not have the same needs as adult dogs. They may fool you with seemingly unlimited energy, but they actually require a good deal of rest. 

Do not forget that besides physical activity, their bodies are also growing, which burns a lot of energy. 

Puppies can sleep up to 20 hours a day. Not all of this time will be spent in a deep sleep. Your puppy can be resting in a light nap, lying around, or dreaming during this time.

Stick to 15-minute periods where you play with your puppy, and then let them recharge before starting another play session.

Watch Out For Heat Exhaustion

If you live in a warmer climate, heat exhaustion is a genuine issue to keep on your radar when exercising your pet. 

Heat exhaustion can be extremely serious. If your dog shows symptoms of heat exhaustion, they require immediate treatment. 

Keep an eye out for your dog panting with a scooped tongue, breathing difficulties, frothing or excessive drooling, a lack of coordination, confusion, vomiting, or inability to get up. 

If your puppy shows these symptoms, get them out of the sun immediately. Do not cover them with anything, even if it is a cold blanket. 

Give your pup some water to drink, but make sure you only give them a small amount at a time. Cold water should be applied to the groin, armpits, ears, and stomach of the dog. 

You can also cover their neck and groin with ice packs to help lower their body temperature. Keep rinsing your dog with cool water if you can and get them to the vet ASAP. 

If you catch heat exhaustion fast enough, your puppy will not have any long-lasting issues. However, if your dog ends up getting heatstroke even once, the chances of it happening again increase. 

Heatstroke is a more severe version of heat exhaustion, with similar symptoms. These symptoms are often more extreme and include the dog’s gums turning red. 

If your puppy has an increased body temperature, they require immediate attention. Never take chances with your dog’s health. Make sure they always have somewhere to cool off when they need to take a break from exercising.

Remember – Puppies Are Just Baby Dogs

Playing with puppies is always fun, but it is important to stay conscious of the fact that they are just baby dogs. They need to recuperate from heavy physical activity. 

Nevertheless, if your puppy is ready for more exercise, it can be a great way to bond with your dog and tire them out for a nap! 

But keep in mind their limits, especially in warm climates. Stay vigilant when it comes to heat exhaustion or heat stroke because they can lead to organ damage if left untreated. 

You can give your dog a long and happy life if you exercise them frequently with adequate recovery time in between. When you see signs of an overtired puppy, you know it’s time to take a break.

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