Jul 22nd 2020

​How to Tell If Your Dog Is Sick

As a dog lover, it is natural that you always want your pet to stay healthy and happy. It cannot be denied that pet lovers treat their dogs as their family members. If you’re one of these dog lovers, you must be responsible for keeping their good health. With that, you must know how to tell if your dog is sick. So, you can detect their illness early and enhance their overall health.

Stomach troubles

One sign to tell if your dog is sick is when he or she has been suffering from stomach troubles. If you observe that your pet has diarrhea and vomits frequently, it is time for you to take them to your veterinarian. Stomach troubles are also associated with poor appetite and lethargy.

Stomach troubles also include bloody diarrhea, abdominal swelling or pain, loss of appetite, repeated vomiting, restlessness, bloating, dry heaves, and more.


Your dog may be sick if he has a fever. You can use a thermometer to take the temperature of your dog to know if it has a fever. If your beloved pet has above 103 F temperature, it is time for you to contact a vet.

Outward appearance

If you notice physical changes in your pet and it makes you worried, you can call the vet immediately. If you encounter the following signs, your pet is sick:

  • Hair loss
  • New bumps and lumps
  • Consistent itch
  • Rash
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Oozing or bloody sores or lumps
  • Sudden changes in old bumps and lumps
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Consistent scratching at ears or shaking of the head

Neurological issues

Some neurological issues can indicate that your dog is sick. The following are some nervous system problems that require you to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

  • Heat tilt
  • Stumbling
  • Seizures
  • Stupor
  • Disorientation
  • Weakness
  • Repetitive circling
  • Repetitive twitches
  • Loss of consciousness

Obvious pain

Unfortunately, dogs can’t tell you how they feel. They can suffer from different pain, which makes them feel ill. The following signs can help you to determine if your dog is suffering from extreme pain:

  • Agitation
  • Drooling or trouble chewing
  • Reluctance to walk, jump or move
  • Obvious joint or bone swelling that is warm to touch
  • Stiffness or lameness that can last over 24 hours
  • Guarding of a body part while growling as you approach

You must immediately seek help if your dog was hurt due to a car accident or scuffle with other animals. You should give them immediate care if there’s uncontrolled bleeding.

Potty problems

The sudden changes in your pet’s bathroom habits can be an indication that they are sick. Some of these potty problems include:

  • Trouble defecating
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Urinating blood
  • Frequency or improved volume of urine
  • Fecal accidents in previously housetrained dog
  • Urinary accidents in previously housetrained dog

Or if you noticed that your dog’s poop is not the usual chocolate brown or there are watery feces, it could be a sign of digestive problems or food poisoning. This could be due to the food that they eat that may not be ideal for them or your dog is just eating too much food.

Providing suitable food is important as it can aid in their digestive system. If you are looking for dog food for less poop, there are actually many different brands suitable for different breeds. Do a thorough research and choose one that best fits your dog’s appetite. All in all, there are various reasons that could cause your dog to suffer from a digestive problem, and it would be hard to pinpoint one without consulting a vet.

Change in behavior

If you notice that your dog has a sudden change in behavior, there is a possibility that he is not feeling well. These behaviors include:

  • Withdrawal
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Lethargy
  • Clingy or needy behavior

Difficulty in breathing

Respiratory illnesses can risk the life of your beloved pet. Therefore, you must take immediate action to improve their health. You must immediately call a vet if you observe the following signs on your pet:

  • Noisy or wheezing breathing
  • Labored breathing
  • Honking cough
  • Consistent gagging
  • Consistent cough that can interrupt sleep and last for over 24 hours
  • Consistent nasal discharge with blood or mucus
  • If you observe that your dog finds it difficult to breathe, check their gum color and tongue. It must be pink. If you see a bluish tint, it is best to get an emergency care

Dry, cloudy or red eyes

If you observe that your best friend has dry, cloudy, or red eyes, then it is obvious that they feel uncomfortable. You must ask for help from your vet to treat your pet.

Foul smell

Dog have a natural odor. However, if you encounter foul smell from their ears, nose, eyes, anus, mouth, skin, or genitals, then they are probably sick. Take note that skin infections, dental disease, urinary problems, and ear infections can produce an unusual smell.

Preventing Your Dog from Being Sick

Preventive care is essential to prevent your pet from being sick. With this, you can also detect potential early illnesses that can be detrimental to your dog’s health. It is important to prolong their lifespan so you can spend more quality time with your beloved pet. You should always consult a professional veterinarian to guide you regarding your dog’s health.

Treatment and Diagnosis

Some signs of illness are undetectable, hence you should consult the advice of a vet for preventive care testing. These can include:

  • Blood count for blood-related conditions
  • ECG to determine abnormal heart rhythm that can lead to heart disease
  • Urine tests for urinary tract infection and kidney failure
  • A thyroid test to check if the thyroid gland produces less thyroid hormone
  • Tests to determine if your dog has tick-borne, heartworm as well as other infectious illnesses

It is essential to diagnose or treat any disease of your dog early to improve their overall health. Prevention is better than cure.

Do you want to keep your dog healthy? Bring them to the veterinarian regularly for preventive care testing. It is always good to diagnose any illness early before things get worse. Aside from following the advice from the vet, you must also be responsible for offering your dog a healthy lifestyle. For more related information regarding dog’s health, lifestyle etc, do head over to this Facebook page.

Make sure to feed them with healthy and nutritious foods to enhance their immune system against different illnesses. It is also necessary to provide them regular play and exercise for mental and physical stimulation. Give them time and love that they need, so they can avoid possible illnesses that can be a threat to their life. Keep your dog healthy and happy most of the time. If you observe the above signs from your dog, it probably means that they are sick. In that case, bring them immediately to the veterinarian.