How to Tell if your Dog is Sick - Common Symptoms

The first step in helping your dog heal fast is to identify the issue as soon as it arises. Learn how to Tell if your Dog is Sick - Common Symptoms in Dogs.

Pets Blog
12. May 2023
How to Tell if your Dog is Sick - Common Symptoms

Dogs are unable to communicate their emotions to us. However, anybody who has ever had a furry buddy will attest to the expressiveness of canine body language. In the initial stages of a disease, dogs will naturally conceal their emotions. You may be able to detect certain small changes in your dog's personality and behaviour since you are familiar with them.

Usually, these minute variations mean that there is a problem. Recognising a condition as soon as possible is essential for your dog to heal fast. The following warning signals can help you identify whether your dog needs medical treatment or Not?

Urination: Increasing or Decreasing

A well house-trained dog won't start peeing in unexpected places around the house. Pay attention to the following signs

  • Difficulty urinating
  • changes (increase or decrease) in Urine volume
  • Blood in Urine


It's crucial to pay attention to these symptoms in elder dogs. An problem with the kidneys or diabetes mellitus may be indicated by excessive urine. Blood in the urine may be a sign of cancer, blood disorders, bladder stones, or an infection of the urinary system.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your dog is regularly peeing, stumbling over to urinate, or you notice blood. Take a urine sample with you if at all feasible.

Diarrhea or Vomiting

The most frequent causes for seeking veterinarian care are vomiting or diarrhoea, which are frequently the initial signs of a dog's sickness. The issue might be minor and temporary or immediately fatal. These symptoms can be brought on by dietary changes, trash-related incidents, bacterial or viral diseases, motion sickness, parvovirus in pups, or ingesting foreign objects.

If your dog had a single episode of vomiting or diarrhoea due to a stomach upset and was otherwise acting normally, keep an eye out for any worsening of the symptoms. Until symptoms go away, a bland wet diet, such as one consisting of rice and boiling chicken or hamburger, can be given in modest amounts.

Once you've determined that your dog is no longer throwing up or experiencing loose stools, the next step is to include dry food. Call your veterinarian, nevertheless, if the symptoms recur more than once in a 24-hour period and are accompanied by lethargy, weakness, anorexia, or ineffective vomiting (dry heaves).

Unexpected Weight Gain or Loss

Unexpected weight increase or reduction may indicate a medical problem. It could take a few weeks to see this symptom. Unexpected weight gain or loss is always concerning and can be brought on by a number of circumstances. The best course of action is to assess your dog to determine the underlying problem.

Alteration in Drinking Patterns

Your dog may be sick if he or she drinks more or less water than normal. Drinking too much water can signify that your pet has a fever, hormone problems, diabetes, or renal illness, while drinking too little water might signify that they don't feel well.

Watch your pet's water consumption. You might try increasing the number of water bowls around the home or flavouring the water with chicken broth if they are drinking less. Check to see whether they are peeing more frequently if they are drinking more. Visit your veterinarian and, if feasible, provide a urine sample if the issue continues.

Reduced Appetite

The majority of dogs have individual feeding routines and may consume more food on certain days than others. Loss of appetite can be a sign of many different issues. Others may be dangerous while others may be moderate. Conditions like anorexia may be an indication of dental disease if they are accompanied by foul breath.

You may try giving your dog their favourite goodies or a tiny bit of grilled chicken or hamburger. The best course of action is to visit your veterinarian if the issue persists for more than a day or is accompanied by additional symptoms including lethargy, vomiting, and weakness.

Hair Fall or Itchy Skin

Skin infections, fleas, or allergies can result in chronic itching, commonly known as alopecia, or hair loss. This might be really uncomfortable.

Look for fleas, flea filth (which resembles freshly powdered pepper), redness, discharge, swelling, soreness, or an odd odour while inspecting your dog's skin. A bath can relieve minor symptoms, but a veterinarian should examine more serious ones.

Difficulty Breathing, Wheezing or Coughing

Nasal discharge, wheezing, breathing difficulties, and coughing are all symptoms of a respiratory condition. These signs might indicate everything from the common cold to heart failure, kennel cough, or canine flu. A condition known as tracheal collapse, which is frequent in several tiny dog breeds, might be indicated by hearing a honking noise.

Consider it a medical emergency if your dog has trouble breathing or if the tongue or gums are tinted blue. An occasional cough has to be watched carefully, and if it persists or is connected to other symptoms, it needs to be investigated. Any abrupt change in a dog's health might be a serious emergency!

Eye Changes

Squinting, keeping the eye closed, or having red or runny eyes are symptoms that might indicate anything from a minor infection to glaucoma or an ulcer.

Try to stop your dog from pawing or rubbing its eyes, then call your veterinarian. Rubbing your eye might really harm it. In addition to administering the medicine as directed by your veterinarian, an e-collar could be necessary.

Rising Stiffness, Lameness and Difficulty

A fractured bone, arthritis, hip dysplasia, joint issues, infections like Lyme disease, and other conditions can all make it difficult to walk or produce a limp.

If your pet is stiff or limp, limit their activities. You might be able to let your dog a day of rest if the ailment is minor and everything else about their behaviour is normal. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned or the issue continues.

Personality Changes

Dogs frequently exhibit behavioural changes, such as decreased activity or lethargy, when they are in discomfort or not feeling well. Normal gregarious dogs who are ill may begin to isolate themselves. A friendly and active pet could start becoming snippy or aggressive.

See whether your dog growls when you approach a certain area of their body that they may be experiencing discomfort in. Not all sick dogs will behave badly while they're unwell. Some canines could start to act more needy or clinging. Some just exhibit regular alterations, which is indicative of canine cognitive impairment.

Keep an eye out for any other symptoms in your dog, such as lameness, a lack of appetite, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, or straining to pee. Contact a qualified veterinarian if you detect any major changes in your dog's behaviour or other symptoms.


Note - We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct. Some article is created with help of AI.


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Lately commented
Excellent post. I am facing a few of these issues as well..
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