| Pet Care Advice By Veterinarians |

My Dog Hit His Head and Is Acting Sleepy: What Should I Do?



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

Learn more about us.

If your dog hit his head and is now acting sleepy, you may be wondering what to do. Dogs can hit their heads for a variety of reasons – from falling off the bed to getting into a fight with another animal.

However, in some cases, a dog’s drowsiness may be a sign that something is wrong and he needs medical attention. In other cases, it may just be a minor injury that doesn’t require any special treatment.

In this blog post, we will discuss the signs that your dog’s head injury requires medical attention and the steps you should take if that is the case.

Key Takeaway

  • If your dog hit his head and is acting sleepy, he might be showing signs of a concussion or traumatic brain injury, and you should seek immediate veterinary care.
  • You can determine if your dog is okay after hitting its head by observing for signs such as altered consciousness, disorientation, difficulty walking, vomiting, or any unusual behavior, and consult a vet immediately if any of these symptoms are present.
  • If your dog has a brain injury, they may show signs such as altered consciousness, lethargy, difficulty walking or balancing, unusual behaviors like circling, hyperactive reflexes, or even enter a state of stupor or coma.

My Dog Hit His Head and Is Acting Sleepy

My Dog Hit His Head and Is Acting Sleepy

A possible reason why a dog is acting sleepy after it hit its head could be because of a concussion. When the brain is jarred, it can cause concussions which lead to symptoms like headache, dizziness, and sleepiness. If your dog has hit its head and is now exhibiting these symptoms, it’s best to take them to the vet for further examination.

A concussion is a type of brain injury that can occur in dogs. Concussions are usually caused by a blow to the head and can result in various symptoms including confusion, disorientation, and loss of consciousness. In some cases, concussions can also lead to more serious problems such as seizures or paralysis.

A concussion can cause confusion and disorientation, both of which can make a dog tired. The injury itself can be physically taxing, causing pain and discomfort that can lead to fatigue. Concussions are serious injuries that can have long-term effects on your dog’s health.

There is not just one definitive test for diagnosing a concussion in dogs. Instead, your veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination and order some diagnostic tests such as imaging (e.g., CT scan or MRI) of the brain.

Based on these findings, your veterinarian will determine whether your dog has suffered a concussion and, if so, what treatment is necessary.

If your dog has suffered a concussion, the most important thing you can do is to provide supportive care. This may include restricting your dog’s activity level and monitoring them for any changes in behavior or neurologic function.

Signs Of Head Injury In Dogs

Signs of a head injury in dogs can include altered consciousness, lethargy, difficulty standing or balancing, vomiting, differing pupil sizes, seizures, and confusion.

Altered Consciousness

Dogs with a head injury may have altered consciousness which could indicate bleeding in the skull, decreased blood flow to the brain, or fluid causing pressure. They might appear dazed or disoriented, and their response to stimuli may be slower than usual.


Lethargy is another common sign of a head injury in dogs. They might seem exceptionally tired, uninterested in activities they usually enjoy, or they might sleep more than usual.

Difficulty Standing or Balancing

A dog with a head injury might have trouble maintaining balance or even standing up. This could present as stumbling, swaying, or falling over.


Vomiting is a symptom that can occur with a head injury. This is due to the pressure and trauma on the brain which can affect the digestive system.

Differing Pupil Sizes

A condition called anisocoria, where pupils are different sizes, can indicate a head injury in dogs. Additionally, the pupils might not react to light as they normally would.


Seizures can occur if a dog has a head injury. These might range from mild twitching to full convulsive episodes.


A dog with a head injury might appear confused. They might not recognize familiar people or places, or they might seem generally disoriented.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is OK After Hitting The Head?

My Dog Hit His Head and Is Acting Sleepy

If your dog isn’t being sleepy, lethargic, anxious, disoriented, dizzy, vomiting, crying, or whining after hitting the head, it is probably alright. However, it is important to monitor your dog for the following two to three days as some signs may occur later on.

If your dog has hit their head, it is important to watch out for any changes in its behavior, such as becoming more tired than usual or appearing disoriented.

Some of the most common signs of concussion in dogs include:

  • Lethargy or depression
  • Anxiety or fearfulness
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pawing at the head or face
  • Unusual vocalizations (crying, whining, etc.)

If your dog is acting differently or seems to be in pain, you should schedule a visit to the vet. The vet will be able to assess your dog and determine if they need any further treatment. In most cases, a simple examination and some rest will be all that is needed. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health!

There are a number of ways to treat concussions in dogs, but the most important thing is to rest. Dogs with concussions need to be kept calm and quiet, and any activity should be limited. crate rest is often recommended for dogs with concussions, as it allows them to stay calm and limits their activity.

Often, dogs with concussions will also be given medication to help them rest and heal. If your dog has been diagnosed with a concussion, follow your vet’s instructions carefully and keep an eye on your dog for any changes. With proper care, most dogs recover fully from concussions without any lasting effects.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has a Brain Injury?

The most common symptom of a brain injury in dogs is seizures. Seizures can be caused by many things, but if your dog has never had them before and they suddenly start happening, it’s worth taking them to the vet to get checked out.

Other symptoms of a brain injury can include changes in behavior, such as increased aggression or lethargy, and problems with coordination. If you notice any of these changes in your dog, it’s best to take them to the vet for an examination.

There are some tests that your vet can perform to check for a brain injury. One is called a CT scan, which uses X-rays to create a detailed image of the inside of the body. Another is an MRI, which uses magnetic waves to create a detailed image of the inside of the body. If your dog has had a head injury, your vet may recommend one or both of these tests.

Your vet will also want to perform a neurological exam. This involves checking your dog’s vision, hearing, balance, and reflexes. Your vet may also ask you questions about your dog’s behavior and how he or she is acting at home. All of this information will help your vet determine if your dog has a brain injury and, if so, how severe it is.

If your dog does have a brain injury, treatment will depend on the severity of the injury. For mild injuries, rest and pain relief may be all that is needed. For more severe injuries, hospitalization and aggressive treatment may be necessary. If your dog has a brain injury, it is important to work closely with your veterinarian to create a treatment plan that is right for your dog.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has a Swollen Brain?

Your dog may have a swollen brain if they exhibit symptoms such as seizures, changes in pupil size, behavioral changes, loss of balance, or decreased responsiveness.


A dog with brain swelling may experience an elevated body temperature. This is because the inflammation can disrupt the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature.


Dogs with a swollen brain may exhibit signs of pain such as whimpering, restlessness, or reluctance to move. They might also be more sensitive to touch, particularly around the head area.


Seizures are a common symptom of brain swelling in dogs. These may range from mild twitching to severe convulsive episodes and can be accompanied by loss of consciousness.

Changes in Pupil Size

Brain inflammation can affect the nerves that control the pupils, leading to either unequal pupil size or an overall decrease in pupil size. This is often noticeable when light is shone into the dog’s eyes.

Behavioral Changes

Dogs suffering from brain swelling may exhibit behavioral changes such as depression or aggression. They might also show signs of confusion or disorientation and could have difficulty recognizing familiar people or places.

Loss of Balance

Impaired balance is another sign of brain swelling in dogs. Affected dogs may stumble, fall over, or have difficulty walking straight. They may also tilt their head to one side says Wag Walking.

Decreased Responsiveness

A dog with a swollen brain may become dull and unresponsive. In severe cases, they may even slip into a coma. This is due to the pressure exerted on the brain tissue, which can disrupt normal brain function.

Can a Dog Sleep After Getting Hit In The Head?

If your dog hit their head, you should avoid letting your dog sleep for too long, as this can exacerbate any potential brain injuries. Instead, try to keep them awake and active, while still providing plenty of rest and relaxation time. If your dog seems to be feeling better after a few hours, then it’s likely safe for them to sleep.

If your dog has suffered a blow to the head, it’s important to keep a close eye on them and look for signs of a concussion. However, if you think your dog may have a concussion, it’s best to take them to the vet right away.

However, if their condition deteriorates or they continue showing signs of a concussion, please seek professional medical help immediately.


Q: What are the common causes of dog head injuries?

A: Dog head injuries can be caused by a variety of factors. Some common causes include falls, collisions with objects or other animals, being hit by a car, rough play, or trauma to the head from an external source. It is important to identify and address the cause of the head injury to prevent further harm to your dog.

Q: Should I apply any first aid if my dog hits his head?

A: If your dog hits his head, it is generally advised to minimize any further risk of injury and seek immediate veterinary care. While you may be tempted to apply first aid, it is best to let a professional veterinarian assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment based on the severity of the injury.

Q: Can a dog’s head injury be serious?

A: Yes, a dog’s head injury can be serious. The severity of the injury depends on various factors such as the force of impact, the location of the injury, and the overall health of the dog. In some cases, head injuries can lead to brain trauma, internal bleeding, or other complications that may require immediate medical attention.

Q: How long does it take for a dog to recover from a head injury?

A: The recovery time for a dog with a head injury can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the individual dog. Some mild head injuries may resolve within a few days with proper rest and care, while more severe injuries may require weeks or even months of recovery. It is important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions and monitor your dog’s progress during the recovery period.

Q: What should I do if my dog is acting sleepy after hitting his head?

A: If your dog is acting sleepy after hitting his head, it is important to keep them in a quiet and calm environment. Allow them to rest and observe for any changes in their behavior. If they become increasingly lethargic or show other worrying symptoms, consult a veterinarian for further evaluation.

Q: Are there any specific activities I should avoid if my dog has a head injury?

A: Yes, it is generally advisable to avoid any activities that could potentially worsen the head injury. This includes restricting vigorous physical activities, preventing access to high places where the dog may fall, and avoiding situations that could lead to further head trauma. Consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations based on your dog’s condition.

Q: Can a dog recover from a severe head injury?

A: Dogs have the potential to recover from severe head injuries, but it depends on the specific circumstances and the extent of the injury. Some severe head injuries may require surgery or intensive care to ensure the best chances of recovery. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your dog’s specific situation.

Q: How can I prevent head injuries in my dog?

A: While it is impossible to completely prevent all accidents, there are certain measures you can take to reduce the risk of head injuries in your dog. These include keeping your dog on leash during walks, securing your dog in the car with a pet seat belt or carrier, providing a safe and hazard-free environment both indoors and outdoors, and supervising your dog during playtime to prevent rough or dangerous behavior. Regular veterinary check-ups can also help identify any underlying health conditions that may increase the risk of injuries.

Conclusion and final thoughts

After discussing the various possible causes and symptoms of a dog hitting its head and acting sleepy, it is important to remember that every situation is unique.

It is always best to consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

They will be able to provide a professional diagnosis and recommend proper treatment.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

Learn more about us.

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Latest posts

DMCA.com Protection Status