Sometimes when your dog is under the weather, the signs are crystal clear. Other times, the symptoms are subtle and can be overlooked. Here are some signals related to eating patterns, energy levels, physical and behavioral variations, and mood changes that could indicate your dog is ill.
Changes in eating patterns
Dogs may occasionally experience a minor virus or digestive problem that will cause a day or two of waning appetite. A change in eating habits could otherwise be a sign of a serious problem. If the following behaviors persist or change dramatically in a short period of time, contact your veterinarian.
Eating far less than usual, or seeming uninterested in eating altogether
Exhibiting finicky eating habits when she normally eats heartily
Suddenly demonstrating an insatiable appetite
Vomiting after eating
Changes in energy levels
Just like their human pals, dogs’ energy levels increase or decrease daily depending on factors such as weather or activity. Contact your vet if your dog displays these characteristics over a period of several days:
Sleeping more than usual
Seeming indifferent to activities he’d normally enjoy, such as fetching a ball or going for a walk
Acting restlessly or paces
Other physical and behavioral symptoms
There are too many possible physical and behavioral indications to list, but there are telltale signs of sickness in your canine:
Watery or sunken eyes
Tripping or loss of balance
Urinating in the house or other place where she’d normally not
Rapid weight loss or gain
Ear discharge or odor
Frequent and irregular bowel movements (diarrhea)
Lack of bowel movements
Panting throughout the day, especially when trying to go to sleep
Drinking water excessively
A dog who is usually very outgoing but suddenly begins loafing in a corner of the house may be feeling down and out. Likewise, a dog who is normally friendly and gentle with children may show aggression when illness strikes.
If you suspect your dog is sick, call your veterinarian for an appointment. And remember: you know your dog better than anyone. If none of the above symptoms apply to your dog but your instincts tell you something isn’t right, have him checked out anyway. The resulting peace of mind will make everyone feel better!