One of my puppies died last year barely three weeks after being born. She was sick but I did not notice until we traveled to my parents’ for Christmas. Dogs are like children, we care so much about them yet we cannot talk to them or know when they are sick. But you as the pet owner might notice that they are not being their regular selves. So their behavioral change will communicate what they cannot say in words.
Here are a few signs to check out for to help you know your dog’s well being.
- Eating habits – Dogs generally have a hearty appetite unless they have been eating and are full, so that would explain why they would not be interested in more food. If your dog has no appetite and has skipped a couple of meals especially if it’s his favorite meal, you need to consult your vet. Ensure that food served to your dog is not so cold or hot. If it is a meal you have prepared yourself, e.g. dog rice, ensure that it has been well cooked to eliminate this as a reason your dog is not interested in the food.
- Energy Levels and decreased activity – Dogs are meant to be generally playful and full of energy. If your dog is not playful or seems lethargic, it’s a sign something is wrong.
- Vomiting – This can be a bit confusing because your dog may vomit yet it is perfectly healthy. If your dog eats well, has no signs of lethargy but vomits induced by eating leaves or grass, that is not a bad sign at all. You should consult a vet if your dog has trouble eating and vomits anything ingested. That goes for water too. If your dog has bloody vomit that is a sign of gastrointestinal illnesses so it is advisable to contact your vet as soon as possible.
- Diarrhea – This is generally not a good sign. It either means your dog consumed food that has gone bad or has an infection. To avoid this, ensure that your compound is clean and your dog has clean toys to play with. Pieces of plastic and clothing can be harmful to your dog. Bloody poop or diarrhea could be a sign of parasitic infections.
- Changes in weight – Weight loss is also a sign of illness, more so if your dog still has its meals as usual.
- Shedding of fur – It is normal for a dog to lose a coat of fur but a new coat should grow back in a healthy manner. If your dog is losing so much fur and its itching and the skin has red coloration this could be a sign of fungal or yeast infection.
Other signs also include urinating less or more frequently and excessive thirst could be a sign of diabetes. Yes, dogs do get diabetes. Coughing may be a sign of lung disease, so when your dog has chronic cough, do not ignore. Consult your vet.
There you have it. Now you know what to look out for if you suspect your dog is sick. Looking out for the signs is not enough always remember to take your dog to the vet regularly for check-ups.