Did you know that humans love dogs more than other humans? No really, research has shown that humans are more empathetic to dogs than other humans.
Dogs can get sick, just like humans, however, they can’t tell us that they don’t feel well. To protect your dog from sickness you need to always be aware of the signs your dog is presenting you.
Learn the signs and symptoms of a sick dog so you can get your furry four-legged friend the help he or she needs.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Sick
According to Statista, 80% of pet owners took their pet to the vets last year. Statista also found that 66% of pet owners regarded their pet as their best friend, so if you want to look after your best friend, you need to make sure that you cater to their needs.
If your dog isn’t feeling well, they will show you as best as they can. It is then your responsibility to pick up on the signs and symptoms that your dog is presenting and then get them the help they need.
Subtle changes in your dog’s behavior and personality will be how your dog shows you that something isn’t quite right. So make sure you look out for these changes:
1. Change in Behavior/Personality
If your dog is acting weird, or their behavior has changed dramatically then this might be a sign that something is wrong. For example, your dog might become more irritatable this might be a sign that they are sick.
Other changes in behavior to look out for include lethargy, agitation, withdrawal, or even presenting needy or clingy behaviors.
For example, if your dog was previously social but you’ve noticed they are no longer interested in other dog’s and social situations, this could indicate that your dog is sick.
If your dog’s personality changes suddenly you need to take them to the vets. The vet will see if there are any underlying problems which are causing your dog to act differently.
2. Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain
General weight loss might not be something to worry about. But if there is no explanation for their weight loss then this might mean that they are sick.
A number of dog illnesses are linked to unexplained weight loss, for example, they might have liver disease or an infection. It is vital that you pay attention to your dog’s weight and note any unexplained changes.
Unexplained weight gain might also be an indication that something is wrong with your dog. If for any reason your dog has suddenly gained or lost a lot of weight, you should take them to the vets.
3. Difficulties Breathing
If you notice that your dog is struggling to breathe, this might be a sign that something is wrong.
Difficulties breathing might be a sign of respiratory problems, for example, if your dog is coughing, wheezing, or has any unusual nasal discharge.
These dog symptoms could signify that your dog has a cold or even the flu. Often if your dog has a cold or the flu, there will be other symptoms present, such as redder eyes or a runny nose.
If your dog is having difficulties breathing and seems to be making a honking noise, this might indicate that something more serious is going on. Be sure to check the color of their tongue and gums, if they have a bluish tint, then you need to seek immediate veterinary care.
4. Toilet Troubles
Dog illness symptoms such as toilet troubles might indicate that something is wrong with your pooch.
Your dog might have problems passing urine, or producing stools. Also, the frequency in which they have to go to the toilet might have changed. If this is the case and you are concerned about your dog, then you need to go to the vets.
Toilet troubles in dogs could be a sign of infections, constipation, or even arthritis. Often toilet troubles are more likely to be present in older dogs.
Make sure you keep an eye out for bloody urine or loose stools because these might be due to serious health conditions that need addressing immediately.
5. Loss of Appetite
Another sign that something is wrong with your dog is if they suddenly show no interest in eating or drinking. A sudden loss of appetite might be caused by kidney failure.
Your dog may eat more one day, and less another day. This is perfectly normal. However, you need to look out for a consistent loss of appetite. If your dog isn’t finishing his/her food then you need to call the vet.
Similarly, if your dog is drinking less or more water than usual, this might be a sign that your dog is sick. Drinking too much water might be a sign that your dog has a fever or hormone problems.
If you notice any tummy troubles, such as vomiting or diarrhea that lasts longer than 24 hours then you need to seek veterinary care.
6. Physical Changes
One of the easiest ways for you to identify if your furry friend is ill is by checking their physical appearance. Changes in their physical appearance could include:
- New lumps and bumps
- Bloody or oozing lumps
- Sudden weight loss/gain
- A rash
- Hair loss
- Persistent itching
If you notice anything that is suspicious, keep a track of it and record your dog’s symptoms. If it continues to trouble you, make sure you go to the vets.
For example, if your dog has a new lump, monitor it and record any additional symptoms. Then if it continues to grow, or hasn’t gone within a few weeks, take your dog to the vet.
Hair loss or itchy skin is a physical change you might see in your dog. They might be losing their hair or itching more because they have fleas, ticks, or mites. Hair loss might also be caused by fungal or yeast infections, or staph infections.
7. Noticeable Pain
If your dog is in noticeable pain then you need to seek help immediately. Look out for:
- if your dog has trouble chewing
- if your dog is drooling more often
- if your dog is stiffer than usual (for longer than a day) and for unexplainable reasons
- if your dog is reluctant to move, i.e. doesn’t want to go for a walk
- if your dog is protecting a certain part of their body and growls when you go near it
- if your dog yelps when you touch a certain part of their body.
For example, if your dog has a bone or joint swelling that is warm when you touch it this might be a sign that they are ill. Especially if your dog is less enthusiastic to walk or jump. This might be a sign that arthritis is affecting your dog.
If you witness any noticeable pain that your dog is in, make sure you take a trip to the vets to find out what is troubling your pet.
How to Keep Your Dog Healthy?
There are a number of ways you can keep your dog healthy and happy. Such as by giving them:
- a balanced and nutritious diet
- plenty of exercise
- and taking them to the vet regularly
Ensuring your dog is getting the right food is very important for your dog’s health. Talk with your veterinary about how you can ensure your dog is getting a balanced and nutritious diet.
You also need to make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise. Your dog will need between 30 minutes to two hours of exercise each day, depending on your dog’s age, size, breed, and overall health.
You should take your dog to the vet at least once a year, for an annual check-up. If your dog is older, then you should consider taking them twice a year. If you’re worried about your dog’s health, you should go take him/her to the vets immediately.
Additionally, you can give your dog cannabis oil (CBD oil). CBD oil has many health benefits, such as it can relieve stress and anxiety, and it can treat arthritis, back pain, nausea, and symptoms of cancer.
Where to purchase CBD oil for dogs? Talk to your vet about if CBD oil is a good idea for your dog and your vet can also advise you on where to buy cannabis oil.
Seek Help if You Think You Have a Sick Dog
Always be on the ball with any changes in your dog. And if you see a behavior or symptom that you’re concerned about, get help.
Above are just some of the symptoms and signs that your dog might be ill. There are many more signs, and if you know your dog well, you should be able to pick up on any changes.
Nobody wants to see their dog get sick. But if you have a sick dog the sooner your dog can get the treatment he/she needs, the sooner your dog can get better. If you haven’t yet, consider getting pet insurance to offset your veterinarian bills.
Research your dog’s symptoms to find out what might be causing your dog to act differently. And if you’re still concerned, take your dog to the vet.