How To Tell If Your Dog Is Sick: 11 Common Symptoms

Dogs are wonderful companions. They bring colorful energy into our homes and lives. They are our family members, too, and just like the rest of the pack, we deeply care for our furry children. 

We would do anything to make them feel better when they get sick. 

However, sometimes dogs are not easy to read regarding their health concerns because they can neither talk nor complain to us. 

The worst part of their incapability to express what they are feeling or which part is hurting is that we can only detect the sickness when it is already full-blown. No one wants that.

Fortunately, there are tell-tale signs to look after to confirm if your dog is not feeling well. Awareness of these symptoms is a huge step toward reducing the risks.

How to Tell If Your Dog Is Sick

1. Odd eating habits

The first one to look for is your dog’s eating habits. Did it change? Did he or she leave the bowl untouched, which your furry child has never done before? If your dog skipped a meal or two, that is a cause for concern and a red flag. Your dog needs examination as soon as possible. It can be a stomach ache or something else. Who can better tell than the vet?

Most diseases cause unusual eating habits so if you notice this change, immediately take him for a check-up.

You can also give your otherwise healthy and active dog nutritional supplements to ensure that they are not lacking any vitamins or minerals in their body. 

2. Drinking excessively

This can be tricky for those without enough knowledge of how much a dog should take in a day. Most dogs drink 1 ounce of water for every pound that they weigh on a daily basis. Pregnant dogs who recently had puppies often need more water than usual. 

Living with your dog daily and refilling their water stations are enough indications of how much they drink in a day. You can immediately tell the difference if they are binge drinking. When a dog drinks too much, and beyond their usual intake, it can mean that they are starting to develop kidney disease or diabetes. Urinating less and excessively are also tell-tale signs.

3. Rough coat or dry coat

Thick, shiny, and soft. Those are the describing words for a healthy dog coat. However, if you notice that their coat becomes dull, rough, dry, or has bald patches, there is something wrong. 

It can be an allergy, skin disease, or any condition. 

4. Vomiting

This symptom is easy to spot. Though most dogs occasionally vomit when they disagree with what they have eaten and want to get rid of it. However, vomiting can be a real cause for concern when it happens frequently or several times in a row, vomiting with blood, or your dog has a fever.   

This can badly cause dehydration, so seek help right away.

5. Strange stools

Is your dog constipated? Is your dog’s poop dry? Dietary problems and dehydration are usually the culprits. Take them immediately to the vet when you see worms in stool or your dog suffers from diarrhea for more than 24 hours. Check out for straining and blood or mucus in the stool.

6. Sudden weight loss

Your dog losing weight quickly is a serious indicator that something is not okay. Bring it immediately to your vet’s attention. 

7. Bloodshot eyes

Red eyes or too much eye discharge can indicate an injury or infection. Don’t ignore this cause it can lead to blindness if left untreated.

8. General lethargy

Dogs can only show you their gate like babies and toddlers who can’t express their feelings. So if you notice they lack more energy than usual and look tired, it is time to move.

9. Coughing

Move quickly when you notice your dog coughing a lot because something might be stuck in their throat. If it persists, you know what to do. It can also mean kennel cough, heart disease, heartworm, lung disease, or other conditions. Prevent heartworm with HeartGard Plus. You only need to administer the chewable once every 30 days. It can kill unwanted worms and parasites in your dog’s body.

10. Limping

This is also easy to spot. Take your dog to the vet immediately when you notice this.

11. Unusual noises

They may not be able to talk, but they can squeak or cry. When something really hurts, they make unusual noises. While it can sometimes be a way for some dogs to vie for attention, never ignore any whimpering sound. 


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