How to Recognize When Your Dog is Sick
We all want our pets to be happy and healthy. Unfortunately like humans, animals can come down with sicknesses or injury. The only difference is that animals cannot verbalize to us that they aren’t feeling well. Being able to recognize when your dog is sick is important, especially in the early stages.
Luckily, by observing your pet’s everyday habits, you can decide whether he may require further attention from a veterinarian.
Here are some common indications that your dog may be sick:
- Eating and Drinking Habits - Look for a loss of appetite or a change in food intake as well as excessive drinking. Failure to eat can mean your puppy is feeling distress.
- Bowel Movements - See if there is any change in the frequency, color or consistency of your dog’s bowel movements, including: darker urine or diarrhea, bloody stool, evidence of parasites, etc.
- Coat and Nose - Your dog’s coat is a good indicator of it’s health. A soft and shiny coat is expected, while a dull, dry coat could foreshadow a health problem. Also, an unusually dry nose, just as crusting or nasal discharge could indicate sickness.
- Behavioral Changes - If your dog is acting unusually lethargic or depressed they may be feeling under the weather.
Noticing these signs of sickness in your dog is half the battle. The more you spend time with your puppy, the more familiar you will become with it’s mannerisms and what’s normal versus what is not.
You can also keep a first aid kit on hand to take your dog’s body temperature. Healthy dogs have an average temperature of 101- 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to be safe than sorry; so if you have a suspicion that your dog may be sick, contact a veterinarian for further instruction. Take note of the symptoms you’ve observed and your veterinarian should be able to decide the next step.