Dog Doesn’t Want to Play Anymore

They say a day spent playing with your dog is a day well spent! Our dogs love to spend every bit of their energy playing.

But what if your dog doesn’t want to play anymore?

Don’t be quick to blame your dog when this happens. Continue reading as we discuss why your dog doesn’t want to play anymore and how to get your dog to be more energetic and playful again.

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dog doesn't play anymore

Why Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Play Anymore

There are many possible reasons why your dog doesn’t want to play like they used to. Here are some possible reasons.

Old Age

Older dogs are not only weaker but also less interested in playing. No matter how playful they were as puppies, it doesn’t mean they’ll stay the same when they become adults.

It’s inevitable for your dog’s energy levels to decline as they age. 

It doesn’t mean that they don’t want to bond with you anymore. They could just be having a hard time physically.

Find games that do not require a lot of movement instead.

Some dog breeds are less active in nature than others, so they may stop wanting to play earlier. 

Dog breeds with low physical activity levels include:

  • Basset Hound
  • Bichon Frise
  • Bloodhound
  • Chow Chow
  • Havanese
  • Mastiff
  • Papillon
  • Pekingese.

To prevent your dog from being apathetic to play when they get older, socialize them as a puppy and provide a lot of play opportunities. 

Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety in dogs are different. While depression is a lack of interest due to loneliness, anxiety can be caused by separation, fears, or other overwhelming feelings.

Your dog’s depression may be evident in:

  • appetite changes
  • loss of interest
  • avoidance
  • paw licking
  • sleeping all the time.

Meanwhile, symptoms of anxiety include:

  • pacing
  • whining
  • panting
  • yawning and drooling
  • hiding or escape behavior.

Your dog may not want to play anymore because they are depressed or anxious as a result of a new environment, a new type of dog food, or the loss of a companion.

Remember that these symptoms may also signal physical health issues. Take your dog to the vet if you notice something suspicious.

Another way to help your anxious dog is by doing an anxiety wrap. These are proven effective in relieving stress in dogs, especially thunderstorm-related ones. 

Make sure to practice these wrapping techniques in a calm environment away from the stressful situation.


Most dogs simply lose interest in the same games and toys. They are intelligent animals, and they need adequate mental stimulation.

In a study from the Journal of Animal Cognition, researchers identified the novel preferences of dogs when it comes to toys. 

Most of them wanted new toys when they were provided with a variety of new and familiar toys. Dogs get bored with toys that do not emit noise as well.

Health Issues

Changes in your dog’s behavior may also indicate that they have health issues. Learn more about signs of pain in your dog that are unrelated to a lack of interest in playing.

A common condition dogs face is arthritis. This is common in senior dogs, and symptoms include weight gain, limping, and irritability. 

 If you notice signs of pain or behavioral changes then take your dog to the vet for a check-up.

How to Make Your Dog Playful Again

Keep Them Healthy

Make sure you offer your dog a balanced diet, so they have enough energy and nutrients to stay active.

If your dog is old or has a health condition, then you need to pay more attention to the food they eat. 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dog Food , Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs , Chicken and Brown Rice , 30 lb. Bag

Blue Buffalo has five yummy recipes that all have real meat as the first ingredient to help them build and maintain healthy muscles.  

The formula also has adequate amounts of carbs to give fuel to your dog and keep them energetic throughout the day.

Introduce New Toys

One way to keep your pooch excited about playtime is by introducing new toys. 

Naturally, they will only be interested in a few toys at a certain time. Give them a set of three to five toys for the week and then change it up.

UPSKY Store has a set of 15 different rope toys that are indestructible and good for their dental health.

UPSKY Dog Rope Toys Puppy Grinding Teeth 15 Nearly Indestructible Dog Toys Dental Cleaning Product Prevents Boredom and Relieves Stress

Everything is made of cotton to massage your dog’s gums and provide relief from stress.

Remember not to let them use all the toys at once. Too many toys will result in overstimulation that they won’t be able to choose any toy at all.

Squeaky Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers,Interactive Puppy Toys Ball with Squeaker, Almost Indestructible and Durable Pet Chew Toy for Medium and Large Breed

You also want to invest in high-quality, interactive dog toys. It can be as simple as a squeaky toy or as sophisticated as a puzzle toy.

For a puzzle toy, try Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Store’s Interactive Puzzle Toy. It has 3 types of treat-hiding compartments that need to be flipped by your dog.

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy, Intermediate

Give Positive Affirmations

When it’s time to play, try to make it enjoyable for them by creating a sense of positivity. 

Use positive affirmations and show a bit of excitement. Call them over to play, pat their head, and tell them they’re a good dog.

These tiny gestures and words may completely change their behavior. They will start to love playing again!

How to Play With an Old and Sick Dog

It’s a different story when your dog is already a senior and has some health conditions already.

It’s hard to watch them slow down and not enjoy physical activities as they did before.

But you can still have fun with them by calling them with your arms waving. Ensure that you are creating movement especially if they have hearing issues.

Then, if they arrive, simply offer them a treat and some love.

Stop the game if they start to get tired or bored. 

If your dog is too weak to play, simply being there for them and giving them a pat on the head and sweet words will help.

Make sure they get regular check-ups from the vet to ensure they stay in good health.

Bring Back Your Dog’s Love for Play!

It’s normal for your dog’s energy levels to decline as they age. When playing with a senior dog, keep it as gentle as possible. 

Other possible reasons for your dog’s lack of interest in playtime include depression, anxiety, and boredom.

Rotate your dog’s toys and give them plenty of positive affirmations to excite them.

In some cases, dogs don’t want to play anymore because they have an underlying medical condition. 

Find out how to look for signs that your dog is in pain and seek the help of a vet immediately if there is an issue.