Early Signs that Indicate Your Dog has A Health Problem

For most of us, our dogs are real members of the family. So, the last thing we want to think about is seeing our dog sick. Unfortunately, just like with humans, dogs are also exposed to health risks and can get ill. We have to face that this is part of our reality and take proper measures to prevent this from happening.

The good part is that many health issues can be prevented or diminished if we can tell something bad is happening. Dogs can’t speak, so they won’t be able to let you know there’s a problem. Luckily, some signs warn you, so all you need to do is learn how to spot them as soon as they appear. Being able to tell that your dog has a problem means a faster recovery for your companion, lower vet bills, and diminishing risks that could endanger its life.

  • Loss of Appetite

Dogs love food, as any dog owner can confirm. Still, when dogs don’t feel well, they tend to refuse their meals. It’s like they’re not in the mood to eat. Of course, don’t panic if your dog refuses its meal one time or during an entire day. This may happen, especially in the warm season, when dogs prefer eating in the evening when the temperature is more acceptable. Also, a picky dog may try to manipulate you by refusing its bowl of food, hoping it will get something better instead, like food from your table or snacks.

Loss of Appetite

When is it obvious there’s a problem? If your dog doesn’t eat at all for two or three days or the loss of appetite is associated with weight loss, or even with weight gain, you should visit the vet. A loss of appetite or refusal of food is early signs that something terrible is going on. If you find that your dog has a bad mood or spends most of the day lying, then you should take it to the vet. It may be in pain or physical discomfort and finding the cause is a must.

  • Apathy and Loss of Interest in Regular Activities

Each dog has its favorite activity. Whether it’s chasing the ball, chewing on its favorite toy, or going for walks, it’s that special something that will make your dog wag its tail each time. But when your loyal companion is not feeling good, its interest in activities that it used to enjoy daily will decrease. If this happens, you should wonder why. Boredom can indeed make your dog change its preferences in terms of activities it considers interesting, but when nothing appears to be capturing its interest, then you may be facing health problems.

Apathy and Loss of Interest in Regular Activities

A dog that seems like lacking its energy does things with a minimum level of enthusiasm and prefers resting most of the day could be a sick dog. If these symptoms are associated with low interest in food as well, the vet should check your dog and find out what’s bothering it.

  • Drinking Water, too Much or Too Often

It is a must to offer our dogs fresh water for drinking daily, especially if dry kibbles are part of your dog’s diet. Whichever is the season freshwater must be available at all times, in an area where the dog can reach it with ease. Still, if you notice that your dog is drinking water rather often, and urinates a lot as well, this may be a symptom.

Dogs will drink more water if it’s warm outside. But, if there’s no apparent reason for overheating and the dog drinks water like it’s really thirsty, a trip to the vet is recommended. When your dog drinks a lot of water, it will urinate more, of course. So, there are higher chances for it to have accidents around the house if you can’t take it out when needed. This usually happens when the dog is left at home alone for extended periods. If it’s a puppy, accidents are normal. But if we are talking about a mature dog that didn’t use to have such problems before, a vet may discover the cause of excessive urination and water drinking.

  • Too Much Drooling, Accompanied by Bad Breath

There are dog breeds that tend to drool more than others, in particular during the summer. Some dogs drool when they crave for food, especially when someone is eating in front of them. Even so, excessive drooling can tell you that your dog is sick. It may mean that the dog has an upset stomach or it experiences nausea. If bad breath is also present, issues with the digestive system or oral problems may be the cause. Still, it is recommended to take the dog to the vet instead of trying to diagnose it yourself.

  • Sleeping More Than Usual or Apparent Changes in Behavior

Every dog owner knows his or her dog well. Most certainly you know when it is happy, excited, fearful, and so on. Under these circumstances, a change in your dog’s behavior should be closely monitored. If you notice your dog is not doing things as it used to, if it prefers to sleep more or spend time in a retreated area, you should keep an eye on the dog for a while. It’s possible for the dog to be tired, especially if you spent a lot of time in the outdoors or exercised more than usual. But if that’s not the case, changes in the dog’s behavior or habits could indicate a health problem.

Sleeping More Than Usual or Apparent Changes in Behavior

When dogs are feeling uncomfortable or ill, they prefer finding a peaceful corner where they can rest without being disturbed. A sick dog will be a dog with an overall bad mood, so it won’t feel like playing or spending time in crowded areas of the home. If this scenario continues for more than a day or two, take the dog to the vet. Something might be bothering your companion and you should find out what it is on time.

  • Difficulty in Walking or an Apparent Stiffness of the Limbs

Did you notice that your dog stands up with difficulty? Or maybe it walks in a way that appears to be uncomfortable? These symptoms may be typical in old dogs or dogs suffering from arthritis. But a dog that is not known to have health problems should not present such symptoms. If your dog that is getting older, a lower degree of mobility or stiffness, especially in the morning, may indicate joint problems. Just like in the case of humans, dogs are prone to developing joint issues as they age.

Besides joint-related health issues, walking with difficulty and experiencing stiffness or pain in the limbs could come from an accident. If the dog spent time in the outdoors unsupervised and returns presenting these symptoms, you should take an accident into account. Runaway dogs face the danger of being hit by a car or getting into fights with other dogs. So, your yard should be well fenced if you leave your dog outside unattended. It is recommended to take the dog to the vet if it seems to move uncomfortably, to rule out the possibility of an injury.

Difficulty in Walking or an Apparent Stiffness of the Limbs

As a recommendation, dogs with a long body, such as the Dachshund, should be stopped from jumping on and off the furniture, and from going up and down on the stairs. This kind of movements can produce damage to the spine of the dog, which for this particular breed is longer than usual.

  • Digestive Issues that Appear Rather Often

A dog can suffer, from time to time, due to diarrhea or constipation. Diarrhea can occur if you abruptly change your dog’s diet. This means that you change the brand of dry kibbles or give the dog food that is made for humans. Even if you feed it dog food exclusively, which is most recommended, changing the brand of dry kibbles can produce digestive problems.

If a dog suffers from diarrhea on an often basis, it may be facing a health problem. In the event of frequent episodes with diarrhea, dehydration can become a real risk. This is severe in the case of small puppies, which can easily and quickly get dehydrated up to a critical point. Cavapoo puppies, for instance, are fragile in their first months of life. If you are not familiar with the Cavapoo, Charlotte Dog Club will provide all the info and guidance you need, including all the support for finding your ideal puppy. You can find Cavapoo puppies  at Charlotte Dog Club, together with other appreciated companionship dog breeds.

Constipation is another serious matter. The abdomen can get swollen and painful in the absence of proper bowel movements. So, if you notice any signs that show digestive issues, the dog must be seen by a veterinarian.

Vets recommend making the passage from the usual brand of kibbles to the new one in a gradual manner. The change should span over two weeks, time in which you will introduce the dog to the new variety of kibbles and remove the old type. At first, you will add a small quantity of the new dog food into the old one, gradually increase the new type and reducing the amount of the former one. This process will give the dog’s digestive system the change to get accustomed to the fresh food and reduce the occurrence of digestive issues.

Bottom Line

The previously mentioned signs are among the most often that occurs when a dog is not well. Keep them in mind, and you will be able to notice when there’s something wrong with your dog. Taking the dog to the vet promptly can save you from costly vet bills and heartache of seeing your dog suffer.

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