Your dog is a part of your family. They relax with you while you watch television, go for walks with you in the morning, and even help to eat your food. However, unlike the human members of your family, they can’t talk, which means that they can’t complain when something is wrong with them. Because of that, it’s up to you to figure out when your dog needs to see a vet. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to know when your furry friend is sick or injured. To help you with this, here are seven warning signs you should look out for.
1. Excessive Thirst
It’s incredibly important that you keep an eye on how much water your dog is drinking each day. If you have to top up their water bowl more than you normally do, but they haven’t done any more exercise than on a regular day, this could be a sign that they’re drinking too much. Drinking more water than normal can be an indicator that your dog is developing diabetes or kidney disease, so monitor the situation and pop to the vets if their excessive thirst continues.
2. Strange Eating Habits
On a hot day, it’s not unusual for a dog to skip a meal or two, but if your pooch leaves any more food than this, you should take it as a red flag. Loss of appetite can be a symptom of a number of problems, from dental issues, like a broken or loose tooth, to arthritis in dogs. If your dog stops eating for two days, they should go for an examination. Similarly, if your dog starts to eat too much and tries to get into the garbage, this could also be a sign that something is wrong.
3. Sudden Weight Loss
Regardless of whether or not your dog is overweight, sudden weight loss should always be treated as a warning sign. Even if your dog is trying to shed some extra fat, losing weight quickly can be a sign of a serious health problem. Because of this, it’s important that you check your dog’s weight regularly. If it ever drops by ten percent or more in a short space of time, you should bring it up to your vet. For small dogs, this could be as little as one or two pounds.
Most dogs throw up every now and then, and, more often than not, it means absolutely nothing. However, there are certain situations where your pooch’s vomiting should be cause for concern. For example, if your dog starts vomiting blood or has vomited several times in a row, you should call a vet right away. Even if your dog is throwing up for no real reason, excessive vomiting can cause other problems, like dehydration, so it’s crucial that you seek help as early as possible.
5. Lack Of Energy
As with lack of appetite, all dogs feel a little sluggish when the weather is particularly hot. They might also lack energy if they have been for a really long walk, even if it was the day before. However, if you notice that your dog has seemed sluggish or tired for two days or more, and haven’t really been interested in going for a walk or playing, you should contact your vet. Lethargy can be a symptom of a number of illnesses and conditions, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Red Eyes
When you look into your dog’s eyes, they should be clear and bright, so if you’ve noticed that they’re red or cloudy, have excessive discharge, or that your dog’s been squinting a lot, it could be an indication that they are injured or have an infection. Eye problems can progress incredibly quickly, leading to issues with eyesight, and sometimes even blindness. Because of this, it’s crucial that you take your furry friend for a checkup right away.
7. Emergency Symptoms
Along with the symptoms above, there are a number of emergency symptoms that you need to watch out for. These include difficulty breathing, seizures, open wounds, unconsciousness, swollen and hard abdomen, and extreme pain, which can be seen as shaking and whining. If your dog ever exhibits one of these symptoms, you should take them to a vet right away. If your regular veterinary surgery isn’t open, you should call a 24-hour emergency clinic.
It’s not always easy knowing when to take your dog to the vet, but they can’t speak up when something is wrong with them, so it’s up to you to spot the warning signs.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.