How to Tell if a Dog Is Sick: The Basics Explained

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According to the 2020 National Pet Owners Survey, 85 million U.S. families own a pet. More than 63 million of those families own a dog. 

Are you one of the millions of families who have a dog as part of your household? If you are, you probably want to know how to tell if a dog is sick. 

This guide will discuss some common symptoms to look for. Keep reading to learn what they are. 

Digestive Issues

One of the most obvious signs your dog is sick would be if they start experiencing digestive problems. This could include vomiting or diarrhea, or both of them combined. 

Take your pet to a vet hospital as soon as you notice these issues come up. While it could be a mild stomach bug, there could be something more serious going on. 

When your dog is not eating, they’re likely sick as well. A loss of appetite could be because of changes to your dog’s food or a more serious condition. 

When Your Dog’s Lethargic 

Other signs a dog is sick include lethargic behavior. If your dog sleeps more than he use to, doesn’t want to play like before, or refuses to walk, this is a sign a larger issue is occurring. 

There is a range of issues that can cause lethargy. A viral infection, heart disease, obesity, different types of cancer, and old age can all decrease your dog’s energy levels and make it harder for them to move. 

Sudden Aggression

A typically friendly dog turning aggressive is a cause for concern. Your dog might behave that way if you try to take their favorite toy or when you approach them as they’re eating. 

While these aren’t the best behaviors, they might be normal for your dog. If your dog begins to act aggressively toward you for no reason, you should have them examined. 

This likely stems from a psychological issue like depression. 

Changes in Weight

Many illnesses in dogs can cause sudden weight changes. Other weight changes occur slowly, and it might take a while for you to notice there’s an issue. 

Weight gain might signal hormonal issues. If your dog doesn’t stop gaining weight, it can develop obesity. 

Dogs who lose a lot of weight might be suffering from cancer. This is why checkups with the vet are crucial so you can catch any health issues early on. 

Drinking Excessive Amounts of Water

Another sign of sickness is when your dog starts drinking more water than usual. While staying hydrated is important, excessive thirst could signify conditions like kidney or liver disease. 

Search vet clinics near me so you can schedule an appointment and get your dog examined right away. 

How to Tell if a Dog Is Sick: Signs to Look For 

If you’re wondering how to tell if a dog is sick, there are certain signs you should search for. Any changes in appetite or weight can indicate a health issue. 

Check out some of the other pet blogs on our site for more tips.