Unfortunately, dogs can’t tell us when they are feeling under the weather, but there are signs and clues we can look out for. You, as their owner, are responsible for ensuring they get the very best care and medical attention, and the sooner you can identify a problem, the less they will need to suffer. Some issues might resolve themselves, but others may need medical attention. Here are six signs to look out for, which may indicate that your dog is sick, but remember if you are in any doubt at all, you should always contact a veterinarian for advice.
- Do they have a high temperature?
It is an idea to keep a pet thermometer handy around the house as a high temperature could be a sign of a fever. While it’s important to keep in mind that a dog can be unwell without a fever if they are above 102.5 Fahrenheit (or below 99.5 Fahrenheit, you should contact a veterinarian for advice.
- Are their gums pink?
A healthy dog will usually have pink gums, and when you press on them, they should go white for a second or two before returning to pink again. If a dog has pale or even blue/grey gums, it could be a sign that they need veterinary attention. Visit heartandpaw.com to make an appointment.
- Are they acting out of character?
Look for signs that your dog is not feeling themselves. This could be lethargy or a generally lower level of energy, or they may be hiding, pacing around, having difficulty breathing, or walking. In some cases, dogs may become more irritable than usual or be reluctant to let you touch certain areas of their body.
- Are they eating and drinking normally?
Just like humans, dogs may not feel up to eating or drinking much when they feel poorly, or on the other hand, they may have an unusually big appetite. Keep an eye out for changes in their habits, including their peeing and pooing. If they are particularly thirsty and urinating more than normal, they may have kidney conditions or even diabetes.
It is worth looking at the wee and poo itself for traces of blood or unusual coloration. Diarrhea can be a simple case of having eaten something which did not agree with them, but if it continues, it may be a sign that they are unwell. If diarrhea continues for too long, it could lead to dehydration.
- Are they vomiting?
Most dogs will vomit occasionally, and it’s usually nothing to worry about, but if it continues for an extended period, you should make an appointment with a veterinarian. If you see anything in the vomit itself, such as blood, a piece of bone, or another foreign object, it may be an emergency.
- Are they coughing?
Coughing is not something dogs do very often and could mean that they are suffering, especially if they are coughing frequently, are finding it difficult to breathe, and have discolored gums. If your dog is coughing, make an appointment to see a veterinarian.