My Dog Keeps Pacing and Won’t Lay Down

Pacing in any living thing can indicate that it’s suffering from an unpleasant condition, such as a medical condition or even just general nervousness. 

When it comes to dogs, it’s critical not to waste time and to figure out what’s going on as soon as possible. 

Pacing in dogs for more than 15 minutes is usually a sign of distress, and it can be very dangerous. 

In the case of a dog experiencing nausea, it may pace back and forth until it can expel its stomach contents or the situation resolves itself. 

Furthermore, it can be a symptom of more serious problems. This condition can be a combination of several different illnesses or none at all. 

For a better understanding of what may be happening to your pet, let’s take a look at five possible causes, as well as what you should do if your dog won’t stop pacing.


5 Reasons Your Dogs Won’t Stop Pacing

1: They’re Bored and Hyper

Dogs are frequently bursting at the seams with boundless energy. They may simply run off all of their excess energy if they are out in the wilderness. 

This is not possible, however, when one is confined to one’s home for the entire day. 

Your dog may be pacing in an attempt to expel this energy so that they can relax to try and combat this energy source. 

A good way to assist your dog is to pick up their favorite toy and engage in some playful interaction with him. 

Performing an exercise daily is a great way to quickly assist them in getting rid of any excess energy, and it also helps them to become even healthier. 

Another effective method of draining energy is to play tug-of-war.

2: They’re Anxious

The presence of anxiety is common in not only humans but also dogs. 

Their anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, including an uncomfortable bed, dealing with separation anxiety in one of your children, cats, and other factors. 

As previously mentioned, draining the anxiety’s energy can help to alleviate it. 

By soothingly conversing with them or engaging with your dog in playful activities, you can attempt to calm them down as well. 

If you rub the belling of the animal and tell it that everything will be fine, this may suffice in some cases. Anxiety is unpleasant, but with you by his side, it should lessen in intensity.

3: They Feel Sick

In addition to becoming uneasy and filled with adrenaline, sick dogs find it difficult to relax and sit down, making it difficult for them to recover. 

Nausea is the most common illness that can result in this symptom. 

When they are sick to their stomachs, the dog may believe that walking is an excellent way to relieve this extremely unpleasant feeling. 

In a way, your dog may believe that pacing helps him “get away” from the feeling of being stuck in the bed. 

When you notice your dog is feeling sick, put him somewhere cool and calm them down by talking to him in a soothing tone and rubbing his stomach.

4: They’re Scared or Excited

Some of you may be familiar with the sight of your dog running after another animal, such as a raccoon if you’ve lived on the outskirts of town. 

Various living things, including animals, wasps, and other insects, can cause extreme stress in dogs. 

Their excitement at the sight of these living things causes them to become scared or ready to chase and play with the creatures they encounter. 

The result of this can be that they begin pacing without even realizing they are doing so. The behavior is natural, as wolves are known to pace when they perceive a threat. 

However, if there are no wild animals or bugs in the area, this is unlikely to occur.

5: They Want Your Attention

Depending on the breed, some dogs may believe that pacing back and forth is what gets your attention. 

Pacing is an instinctive behavior for excited wolves, so this could be the case. The reason for the rapid pace is to get you excited so that you will join them for a game of catch. 

If they stop pacing after you attempt to play with them, this is likely the case. 

A child who paces may also need to go to the bathroom, so if it has been a while since they last went potty, now may be the best time to take them outside to relieve themselves. 

If they stop pacing after using the toilet, you’ve discovered the source of his agitation.

Things To do When This Occurs

1: Keep a Close Eye

If your dog is pacing back and forth, it is critical that you keep a close eye on him or her at all times. 

It’s possible that this is an indication of serious medical problems, even if it is most likely just a symptom of anxiety or excessive energy. 

Because canine healthcare does not meet the same standards as human healthcare, it’s vital to recognize when something is wrong as soon as possible rather than waiting.

If they’ve eaten anything like gum, this could be what’s causing the anxiety due to an upset tummy.

2: Keep Him Calm

In the vast majority of cases, pacing will not help the situation in any way. As a result, you must maintain control over your dog. 

Pacing back and forth may aggravate the situation and make your dog even more exhausted than they are already. 

If your dog is feeling unwell, it should be resting rather than pacing around the house. 

Place them in a cool area with access to water until you can figure out what’s wrong with them.

3: Call a Vet

Several factors contribute to the pacing of a canine companion. As previously stated, it’s most commonly caused by a high level of excitement. 

But even if this isn’t the case, it’s still a good idea to consult with a veterinarian. 

Because dogs are extremely adept at concealing their emotions, even if your dog is ill, they may not exhibit any symptoms other than pacing back and forth. 

A veterinarian will be able to determine whether or not you should bring them in.


When a dog paces, especially for an extended period, it can be quite frightening. It’s normal for a dog to pace for a few minutes after being walked. 

They could be bored, or they could be on the lookout for a misplaced toy, for example. 

However, if this continues for more than 15 minutes, I recommend keeping a close eye on the situation and possibly checking for any signs of illness. 

And, of course, if your dog is acting lethargic, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Dogs typically don’t show physical signs of problems such as kidney disease until the problem has progressed to a more serious stage, making it critical to treat an ill dog as soon as possible.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.