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Signs that Point to Dog Illness

It can be a little scary dealing with your first dog illness. Understanding your dog’s symptoms is the first step to finding out how to make your dog feel better. In this article, we are going to address some of the most common symptoms of dog illness.

Although your dog may try to play off that he is perfectly normal, it is just his instincts telling him to do so. This instinct comes from the wilderness where sick or lame animals were left behind.

You may have to pay close attention to any signals that may be slipping through his instinctive barrier.

Examining The Stool: What The Symptoms Mean

The best way to determine if there is something going on inside your dog is by observing his eating habits as well as his stool. The thought of examining your dog’s feces may be less than appealing, but it will give you the best idea as to what is wrong with your dog.

If the stool has blood in it, it could be a sign of worms or even intestinal blockage.

If there is blood in your dog’s urine, that often points to a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or some form of internal injury.


Diarrhea could be caused by many different things and is more difficult to diagnose. When a dog changes from one type of dog food to another, or experiences a stressful situation, the result can be loose stool. However, diarrhea can also be caused by Parvovirus and Coronavirus.

Changes In Eating Habit

A large increase in the amount of water your dog drinks could mean canine diabetes, or kidney or liver disease.

If your dog has made a habit of skipping meals or has lost his appetite altogether, it’s best to call your vet right away.

Skin Problems And Choosing The Right Types Of Dog Food

Another dog illness to look out for is dry, itchy skin or bald patches. Most dogs should have a thick and lustrous coat. When your dog’s coat starts thinning in areas or feeling more and more rough, that may be a sign that he isn’t getting enough nutrients through his diet.

Most skin conditions can be traced back to the dog food. If you use a store brand or generic brand of dog food and you notice that your dog’s skin or fur starts to suffer, it might help to switch to a name brand food.

Also, try choosing a food where the meat source is specifically stated. It should state whether the meat is beef, chicken, lamb, etc. If it simply says “meat”, it could actually be by-products of meat - the less desirable and less healthy parts of various animals.

Loss Of Interest

Sometimes our dogs can appear completely lethargic for no reason. Laziness on a hot day or after a great deal of activity is not uncommon, but if your dog has lost all interest in activity, it could be a sign that he is not well. This may be shown in various ways, depending on what kind of schedule your dog runs on a daily basis.

Does he normally go crazy when you say “time for a walk”, but suddenly doesn’t seem interested anymore? Maybe he no longer wants to play, or seems confused or unsteady on his feet. If this behavior continues on for longer than two days, you should schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.


Vomiting is something else to look out for, but it’s a little harder to diagnose. It’s okay for a dog to vomit occasionally. Maybe he’s getting rid of the “treasures” he found rooting through the trash can, but if the vomiting is accompanied by a dry nose and fever, depression, or obvious pain, you should get him to the vet.

Just remember that no one is more qualified to diagnose your dog than a veterinarian. If you have any doubts about your dog’s health, the best course of action is to schedule an appointment with your dog’s regular veterinarian.



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