Is Your Dog Sick? When to Worry.

Is my dog sick?

Do you know the signs of illness in your pet? Just as adults exhibit signs of sickness, your pet also has a range of ways to show he doesn’t feel well. Knowing the signs of illness is important as a pet owner. Getting help for a sick pet before major health problems occur is possible with this information in mind. Regular veterinary visits reduce health concerns for a dog, but problems can still and will occur. The following list includes some of the most common signs that your dog is sick.

This is not a complete list of symptoms, and the signs may vary from one pet to another. However, following this information can help keep your pet safe when he is sick or ill. Schedule an appointment with the vet if you notice these signs and symptoms. It is better to take the dog to the vet and get a clean bill of health than the alternatives!

Respiratory Problems

Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory problems may indicate your pet has a cold. Or, the signs would indicate something more serious, such as canine influenza. The latter health problem can be deadly. Most pets with canine influenza exhibit a range of additional problems apart from respiratory concerns. Nevertheless, scheduling an appointment with the veterinarian can rule out any serious concerns or get appropriate treatment for diagnosed illnesses.

Elimination Issues

Elimination issues are almost always caused by a medical condition. They also usually indicate a major health concern. Act quickly if your pet suffers from elimination issues since it is likely serious. A house-trained puppy is unlikely to begin urinating and defecating in the house unless he is sick. If your pet suddenly begins urinating or defecating in the house or showing other elimination concerns, call the vet. Other signs of elimination trouble include increased or decreased urine volume, changes in stool, etc.

Appetite Changes

Eating is the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re sick. This includes your pet. Appetite changes are one of the first signs that suggest sickness in a dog. If he refuses to eat for more than 24-hours, it is likely caused by an illness that needs veterinarian treatment. A dog that will not drink water is at risk of dehydration. Call the vet immediately if your dog refuses both food and water.

Behavior Changes

Is your usually happy, peppy pet no longer smiling and joyful? Has his tail stopped wagging, and the slobbery kisses ceased? Does your dog lie around all day and regress the pats on the head and belly rubs? It’s safe to say that abnormal behavior changes signal trouble and needs immediate attention. Every pet has days when they simply do not feel like themselves. They want a break from the norm. However, if the behaviors continue for more than 24-hours, it’s because of concern. It especially concerns when behavior changes combine with other symptoms of an illness.

Puppy Dog Eyes

Those sweet puppy dog eyes that win our hearts over can also indicate a problem. If your ordinarily happy, peppy dog suddenly has those sad eyes, he could be sick. When you feel terrible, it is sometimes hard to put on a happy face. The same holds for your puppy. When he shows those sad puppy dog eyes for extended periods, assume that he does not feel well. You can cuddle your puppy -and should- but get him medical attention when/if necessary!


Diarrhea is a common sign of illness in pets, just as it is a sign of trouble in humans. If you notice a change in your dog’s stool, he may be suffering from a virus or a stomach illness. Diarrhea is one way the body has to eliminate waste and harmful substances from the body. It is especially important to talk to the vet if there are changes in the color of the poop. Any time you notice blood in your dog’s stool, there is a problem that needs medical attention.


We always show concern after our pets vomit. It’s never a nice feeling and occurs only when our stomach or other organs are irritated. There are many causes of vomiting. Some aren’t so serious, while others indicate a major health concern. Repeated vomiting is a cause for concern. Your dog may vomit due to a minor concern such as allergies, though it may be something much worse. The uncertainty is the worst, especially when it can affect your dog’s health in the future. Visiting the veterinarian may be a good idea, especially when other signs are present.

Persistent Scratching/Licking

Many pet owners do not give it a second thought when they notice their pet licking himself. After all, pets do this to clean themselves when there are an itch and other reasons. It is common amongst dogs and cats, after all, and isn’t a reason for concern. Or is it? If your dog is excessively scratching or licking at a specific area, you may very well have something to worry about. Not only is there likely a big reason your pet is licking/scratching, but it may also lead to hot spots. Fleas and ticks often cause a pet to scratch. However, it can also indicate a more serious health concern.


When we’re sick, we feel horrible. It is hard to put on a happy face or resume normal activities. And sometimes, crying is the only thing that makes us feel better. Your pet has the same emotions. He cannot communicate with his human to tell us what is wrong. And so, he may whine, cry or whimper to alert you that something is wrong. These sounds also help him feel just a little bit better when he feels his worst. Pay attention to these signs when nothing else could be wrong with your dog.

1 thought on “Is Your Dog Sick? When to Worry.

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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