Warning Signs That Your Dog Is Sick And Needs A Vet

If only our lovely pets could tell us when they need something. We know when they want to eat when they want to go out and when they want affection, but there are times when we need them to communicate with us. Keep reading to know the most common warning signs that your dog is sick.

Like if they don’t feel well. We can tell when something is off with our pets, but it’s hard to know how serious it is.

Though they can’t tell us with words, they can let us know in other ways when they need help. There are times when they are simply under the weather and will get over it, and other times when they need the help of a vet.

8 Signs Your Dog Need To Go To A Veterinarian

Since emergency vet bills can be expensive, it pays to know the signs when you need to go to the vet, so you aren’t there for every sniffle. As a pet owner, you should take your dogs health serious, especially if the following symptoms persist:

1 – Vomiting

Dogs are often eating things they shouldn’t and then vomiting it up. That alone shouldn’t really be much cause for concern. However, if your dog is consistently vomiting, then that could be one of the main signs of illness, and you should look into it.

When it looks like it may be a problem is when it is unusual. If your dog is frequently vomiting and not just once, then take notice. If the nausea is accompanied by lethargy and it seems like he has a fever, then these are signs that he is indeed sick.

A fever and frequent vomiting can lead to dehydration, also so even if the illness is going to pass on its own, you may need to see a vet stop the dehydration. If the dog vomits and it is also accompanied by diarrhea, then this is even more of an issue.

2 – Sudden weight loss

Dogs that lose appetite are telling you that something is up. Think about the last time they turned down a meal. If that answer is never and lately they have been eating less, then you want to start looking for other signs. Skipped meals for more than a day is cause for concern.

Another sign is that they are losing weight quickly. When you notice a drop in weight, then don’t delay and take your dog to the vet. As dog owners, you can notice a change in your dogs weight and loss of appetite.

Small dogs that lose more than a pound are in greater danger than big dogs as they have less to lose. Generally, anything around a 10% loss in weight is cause for alarm.

3 – Struggle to urinate

Many dogs have false alarms. They ask to go out to do their thing but end up not peeing. This alone is not a problem.

What is a problem is when they are trying to pee and are struggling with it. How to know if they struggle?

When it has been much longer than normal without peeing, then you’ll likely notice. After it has been a while, then they will show signs that they are in discomfort since they haven’t been able to go for a while.

It could be a urinary tract or bladder infection, so it is a good idea to go and see what the problem is. If this is the case, then treating this infection is crucial for your pets health.

Tip: Call the Vet and find a care team that can provide medical advice diagnosis or treatment to your dogs and cats.

4 – Rough coat

Your dog’s coat is like a litmus test. When it is shiny and smooth with a healthy glow, then they are usually in good health. They are eating right and getting enough water. Bad coats, combined with difficulty breathing, are also warning signs your dog might need to visit a veterinarian.

When the coat starts getting rough, dry, and scratchy, then there is likely something missing from their diet, or they may be getting ill. Patchy bald spots are an indication that there is something beyond bad diet at play.

It could indicate an allergy to new food or medicine that they may be taking. It can also be a skin disease. Lastly, they may have an immune disease that has its own system attacking their skin, which is causing the fur to fall out.

If you notice hair loss and any behavior changes on healthy dogs, it might be time for veterinary attention.

5 – Red eyes

Causes of red eye on dogs
Image Source: canna-pet.com

Another sign that something is amiss is when your dog has red eyes that are difficult for them to keep open. If they are frequently squinting and there is more discharge than normal, then you should bring him into the vet.

It could be an infection, or it could be something internal, so the only way to know is to get checked. When left untreated, there is a huge risk of blindness, so don’t delay. Also, if you notice that your pooch has itchy skin, then it can be an allergic reaction to food.

Seek veterinary help and ask about changing your dogs eating habits. Many other diseases and conditions are caused by a dog or cat bad eating habits. Things like bad breath and rotten teeth can be consequences of such bad habits.

6 – Lethargy

Dogs get tired too and sometimes just don’t feel like doing much. That’s natural. When a very active dog suddenly loses interest in just about everything, then you should take notice.

It can come in the form of not wanting to get out of their bed for hours at a time or being disinterested in playing their favorite games. You’ll know the difference between feeling a bit down and tired and lethargy.

If you notice that your dog vomits and has diarrhea accidents in the house for more than a couple of days, then call your vet.

7 – Dragging their rear end

Dragging their bum across the ground or rug is called scooting. It is a sign that something is irritating their bottom. The most common reason is that they have worms.

Another possibility is their anus sac, which controls scents, could be infected with an abscess. When this is the case, pets will often be seen biting and licking around the area in an attempt to get some relief.

If it’s worms, then you should be on the lookout for small, white worms that resemble grains of rice. Worms need to be dealt with very soon to ensure that your dog is getting the proper nutrition from their food. Left untreated, worms can cause damage to organs.

Tip: Read our dog training tips to help your pooch learn different tricks for pet.

8 – Excessive thirst

If your dog is one of some medication already and suddenly drinks water far more frequently than normal, then this could be a side effect, and you should consult your vet. However, this symptom might be normal when your dog walking or exercising them constantly.

Excessive thirst when they are not on medication is a common sign of something else. Unless the thirst is happening only after heavy exercise on a hot day, then it could be a sign of a disease.

It could be a sign of diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, or some kind of infection. A new type of food could also be the reason and needs to be changed. Also, some veterinary medicine might be suggested to help your pooch.

Common dog diseases

Cute dog covered with a red blanketThough your dog may not ever come down with any of these diseases, they are something to watch out for. If you bring your dog to parks with lots of other dogs around, or you tend to kennel him when you go on vacation, then these diseases get passed around very easily.


Rabies is a potentially fatal disease that goes viral between animals. If a rabid animal bites your dog, then it is transmitted from the saliva into the wound. The most common idea is that adult dogs infected with rabies will become violent and totally change their behavior. These are the symptoms of the “Furious” rabies, but there is another form. “Paralytic” rabies attacks the system and causes your dog to be weak and lack coordination.


Dogs love to drink out of puddles and seem to find stagnant water to drink very easily. This can lead to a disease caused by bacteria. If you have ponds, canals, or any water runoff in your area, then make sure your dog stays away. If your Pit Bull dog is often lethargic and vomiting frequently, then this is a common cause of that.

Kennel Cough

Wherever there is a dense concentration of dogs, there is a chance that this highly infectious disease can be spread. Often from kennels conditions az, but also from popular dog parks. If your dog has a dry cough that sounds similar to honking, then they likely have kennel cough.

Canine Distemper

Distemper is an extremely contagious viral disease that is spread through the air. It is spread from dog to dog, so if your dog is often playing with strange dogs, then the chances of contracting it are high. The symptoms are high fever, ear infections, coughing, lethargy, loss of appetite, heavy breathing, hair loss, red eyes, and a runny nose. There is no cure, so make sure to have your dog vaccinated against it to prevent it.

Canine Coronavirus

Though this may seem like a recent disease based on current events, it has been common in dogs for quite a while. It is normally something that comes and goes without much fanfare and is often mistaken for a cold. If symptoms persist, then it is likely not a cold and needs to be treated. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and cough. Visit a pets care provider if you notice a pets behavior recently.


There is usually nothing to panic about when your dog does fall ill. Many problems will pass on their own without needing to see a vet at all. But, since our dogs can’t let us know how they feel, it is a good idea to take their symptoms seriously and have them checked to keep your pet healthy.

Prevention is the best medicine, of course, so make sure you are giving your dog the proper diet and exercise. Avoid areas where they can contract contagious diseases like a sick dog park and always keep up with their vaccines. A safe trip to the vet is necessary for Afghan Hound senior dogs that have thirst and urination problems.

Sicknesses are inevitable even when you try to do everything right, so find a trusted vet for when they do get sick. Your dog may be sick of serious heart disease. Health issues like changes in urine will be reflected in your dogs behavior and pets life. Follow our blog for dog breeding, dog name tips, and additional information about dog or cat health topics.

Last Updated on 31/03/2020 by Karen Snow