As with humans, if a dog is not feeling all too well, there will be signs and symptoms. Some of these may be very simple ones, in which case we are often prone to miss them. If you’ve been wondering how to know if your dog is sick, in this article you’’ll find the tell-tale signs that you should keep a lookout for.
There are a number of common signs that may tell you that something is not right with your dog. An easiest sign to spot is foul breath. Most dog parents typically assume that dogs’ breath comes with a natural not-too-pleasant smell. However, this is far from true. Normally, foul breath in a dog indicates that the creature has developed either diabetes or some other kidney problem.
Another sign of diabetes in your dog is when all of a sudden, he starts drinking more water than he commonly does. Or, this may also mean that something is wrong with his adrenal glands. On the other hand, if he is drinking his usual share but isn’t urinating as much, that may point to some trouble in his urinary tract.
By far, the most usual sign that your dog is sick is when he suddenly loses interest in eating. Yes, it may happen that he has somehow gotten bored with his diet. However, if the lack of appetite continues, you can surely read that as a sign of illness.
Sometimes, your dog may suffer from diarrhea or may start vomiting (this can also be a symptom of a drunk dog). Or this could simply be caused by overeating. However, if the vomiting continues and if he loses interest in eating or if there are traces of blood in his stool, you must take him to the vet at the earliest. A simple deworming routine may get him back to the normal; however, those symptoms may also be signs of a more serious disease.
Again, if your dog suddenly goes slack with his normal activities such as playing, running, going for a walk with you, etc., take that as a hint from him that he isn’t feeling all that well. Even more so if you notice that he is having trouble moving around or is struggling when out for a walk with you (stumbling, staggering, or a lumbering, heavy gait). These are almost always sure signs of illness and if you notice these in your dog, make sure to immediately book an appointment with your vet.
Also, if your dog acts unusually touchy, irritable, or snappish when you try to pet or touch him, these are more signs that he’s not feeling good. If you find your dog (who used to be commonly energetic) has suddenly turned lethargic or is sleeping too much, again you should read it as a sign that he’s ill.
Changes in common breathing pattern—such as labored breathing, shallow inhales, or faster breathing—are also symptoms of illness in a dog. If he starts sneezing or coughing frequently, this can indicate something graver than allergies.
Again, cloudy or running eyes or eyes with the third eyelids (nictitating membranes) covering part of the eyeballs can mean one or other of different eye conditions. The last condition (third eyelid) may also indicate problem in the dog’s digestive tract.
Another telltale sign that your dog isn’t well is when his nose feels warm to the touch. This is since the temperature of the nose goes up when a dog is ill. Similarly, patchy, raw or blood spots on the dog’s skin are some clear visual clues that he is not well.
At times, you may see your dog shaking his head way too much and at frequent intervals. This happens when he is having an earache either because something has gotten into his ear or because he has an ear infection.
Finally, if you notice any lump or node at any part of his body, take him to the vet for an examination. This is since the lump may signify that he is developing a possible tumor or cancer. The tumor may be a benign one, but surely you won’t want to take chances!
It helps to know the tell-tale signs that your dog is sick, but it’ll be better if you could prevent your furkid from getting sick. Besides ensuring that you give your dog sufficient exercises, another important factor is nutrients. You want to ensure that your pup is getting the right nutrients.
Foods that make up your dog’s daily diet are crucial to his health and his overall well-being. You are a loving and caring pet parent. You feed him high quality food. And yet, are you sure that your dog is receiving the right nutrients from his diet?
As with us humans, a dog needs different groups of nutrients at different stages of his life. Nutritional requirements of a 4-month puppy, for example, differ considerably from those of a senior dog. Again, if your dog is in labor, it becomes so much more important to see that she is eating the right foods and has access to proper nutrients.
Of course, a dog parent must see to it that his canine companion is receiving the right amount of calories suitable to his age and breed. This will also depend on how active the dog in question is. A hunting dog like a greyhound will typically require more calories than, say, a herding even if they are the same age and of the same size.
Sometimes, a dog eats more than is healthy for him and becomes overweight in the process. However, that still doesn’t mean that is getting the right nutrients. It simply means that he is overeating. It can be dangerous for the dog if he’s overeating as it can lead to health problems.
There are certain signs, symptoms and behavioral patterns that may indicate that your dog is not receiving the right nutrients from his usual diet. For example, if your dog has a dull or matte coat (often with dandruffs in them) or if he is frequently suffering from diarrhea or constipation, these are signs that his diet is lacking in some or other important nutrient(s). Problems with a dog’s coat, for example, are normally caused by lack of essential fatty acids in his diet.
If your dog acts lethargic, that is another sign of that he is not receiving the right nutrients. However, this may also mean that he is having problems absorbing the nutrients from his food. This usually occurs when the dog is underfed or is fed poor quality food.
Poor nutrient intake also results in runny eyes, noses and other kinds of allergies. Feeding your dog a better quality food from a reputable brand may solve the problem of allergies. That said, what exactly are some of the common nutritional needs of a dog?
Is Your Dog Getting Enough Nutrients?
First of all, a dog must always be fed an omega-rich diet that contains both omega 6 and omega 3. This group of nutrients helps dogs to have strong bones and will also keep their internal organs as well as their digestive system in proper order. On the other hand, lack of sufficient omegas in a dog’s diet will typically result in him suffering from allergies, runny eyes and will make him vulnerable to a number of infections.
If your dog is getting sick all too often, that can be a sign that his diet is lacking in vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential in ensuring that the dog is able to properly absorb all the different groups of nutrients that is getting into his system.
Vitamin A deficiency may also lead to different eye problems for the dog. The latter, however, may also be caused by Vitamin B as well as Vitamin E deficiency. Furthermore, Vitamin B deficiency can even lead to cardiac problems if the deficiency is an acute one.
A good way to check if your dog is suffering from vitamin B deficiency is to look at his tongue. If the tongue has turned a black or brown color, this is a sign that the deficiency is already great enough to be alarming and you must immediately book an appointment with your vet if and when this happens. Know that low levels of vitamin B can be fatal to your canine friend.
As a dog parent, you want the best for your furkid. As such, it’s vital that you constantly check for signs that your doggie may be displaying to let you know that he’s unwell. It’s a good idea to schedule regular appointments with your vet for a thorough check-up to spot early signs of illnesses.
Ensuing that your pet dog is fed the right nutrients is also another essential factor. Providing your doggie with nutritious food and exercises will help to extend their lifespan.