As a dog owner, there is no doubt that you absolutely love your best friend. They are part of your family and a very good companion to both you and the kids. One of the best things about dogs is that they don’t complain. While that is a wonderful trait, it is also the one trait that could spell doom for him/her if you aren’t paying attention. That’s mostly because it means they won’t be able to let you know when they are unwell.
To compound that problem, there are some dog diseases that can be transferred to humans. According to the CDC, if you don’t take care of your dog and get him regular checkups, your dog could end up making you or a member of your family sick as well. That is why you need to learn all the signs that could indicate that your dog is not healthy.
Thankfully, regular checkups can help to ward off any major issues that could cause your dog discomfort or illnesses. Your dog needs to see a vet at least once or twice every year even if he/she isn’t sick. Most people don’t do this because it involves money. However, if you get dog insurance to visit a vet, you will rid yourself of that problem and can take excellent good care of your dog throughout the period of the cover.
That being said, here are some signs that could show that your dog is not healthy:
1. Strange Eating Habits
For the most part, dogs have a pretty regular eating habit. However, it is not very uncommon for some dogs to skip a meal or so whenever it is hot outside. There are, however, some red flags for which you should be on the lookout. If your dog goes for about two days without eating or inexplicably starts raiding the trashcans outside, then something is definitely a miss and you should take them in for a checkup.
2. Dry or Rough Coat
Healthy dogs tend to have thick, soft and shiny coats. Of course, this depends on how well you take care of him/her as well as how often you bathe them. But even without using the best dog shampoo, your pet’s coat should have a shiny and healthy look. You even get shampoo that doesn’t require water, for those pups that are terrified. If, however, your dog’s coat is rough, dull, dry and tends to have some bald spots, this is an indicator that he/she might be infested by some parasite and they need to see the vet as soon as possible. Alternatively, it could be a result of poor diet, some kind of allergy or a strange skin disease. Either way, a visit to the vet is in order.
3. Sluggish and Lethargic Behavior
Granted, there are those days that your dog just doesn’t want to do the things that he normally does such as go out and play, walk around or take part in any activity. For the most part, this happens when it’s very hot out and your dog just wants to lie there and remain cool. However, if this lethargy behavior persists for more than a couple of days then it’s a clear sign that something is off and you should take him in to see the vet.
4. Vomiting and Unusual Stool
There is a good chance that your dog vomits occasionally. Usually, they do this to get rid of something they just ate and that doesn’t agree with them. However, there are some kinds of vomiting that should cause you concern and demand an immediate visit to the vet. If your dog does any of the below, you should take him in for a checkup:
- Vomits blood.
- Vomits several times in a raw or very frequently.
- Has a fever.
The main issue here is that this severe vomiting could cause dehydration or even diarrhoea which is an obvious sign of a disease. Your dog’s stool should typically be firm, moist and kind of small. If they have diarrhoea or are in the extreme opposite – dry, hard stool, then they might have a dietary problem or a disease. You may need to get some reusable dog diapers while in the house just in case.
5. Cloudy Eyes
The thing about dog diseases affecting the eye is that they can progress very rapidly and within no time at all, they could very well cause blindness in your dog. You should immediately take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice that they have red eyes, cloudy eyes or have excessive discharge from their eyes.
6. Sudden and Excessive Weight loss
Just as is the case in humans, whenever a dog loses weight suddenly and at a rapid rate, it is an indication that they are suffering from something and should be taken in for a checkup. If you own a large dog, any time they suddenly lose more than 10% of their weight they could end up dehydrated and malnourished. For small dogs, anything more than 1 pound lost suddenly is a red flag.
There are also those typical indicators of warms such as dragging their hindquarters on the floor. Any time you see any of these signs in your dog, it shows that they are not as healthy as you would want them to be and should see the vet immediately.