When a dog is sick or in pain, it is an unpleasant experience for them, just as it would be for you. But, unlike humans, dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong or how they feel. So it’s up to us to look out for the signs that something may be going on so we can help them feel better. Then, we can help them recover with help from our vet, some high-quality dog supplements, and a whole lot of love and care. We will cover eleven telltale signs that your dog may be sick or in pain, as well as some tips on how to help them recover using natural dog supplements and remedies.
1) Weak and Lethargic
Like when we don’t feel well, dogs can also become tired and listless when they’re not feeling right. So if your dog seems unusually tired or low on energy, take note and look for further signs that something could be wrong.
2) Lack of Appetite
Something could be up if your dog is generally a strong and unfussy eater but is suddenly not eating their regular food. Decreased appetite is a sign that they may be sick or in pain, but another reason could be that your dog’s diet is not agreeing with them. Your vet will possibly need to run some tests to get to the bottom of things.
3) Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea are two related signs that your dog could be suffering from an upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues. If they’re not eating or drinking and also vomiting or having diarrhea, too, get them to the vet ASAP.
4) Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing
If your otherwise healthy and robust dog suddenly has difficulty breathing or swallowing, take them to a vet straight away. They could have throat or mouth injuries that need immediate attention.
5) Changes to Their Eyes, Gums, or Skin
Changes to your dog’s eyes, gums, or skin can indicate illness. For example, the area around their eyes can darken. In addition, their gums may lose their healthy pinkness, and their skin may become dry, flaky, or scaly. These can be signs of anything, from contact with a dangerous substance to allergies.
6) Elevated Heart Rate
If you notice your dog’s heart beating more quickly than usual, it could be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have a dog with an existing heart condition, the symptoms will be much more severe, so take it to a vet straight away.
7) Sudden Behavior Changes
Is your dog ordinarily boisterous and outgoing but is now retreating and hiding? Are they usually mellow and calm but suddenly showing signs of aggression? Lasting changes in their mood or behavior that seem to have no explanation could be a sign of illness or injury.
8) Seizures or Convulsions
It goes without saying that seizures or convulsions are incredibly worrying. A seizure is when a dog’s body and limbs jerk suddenly and involuntarily, often with their eyes rolled back. This can be a sign of anything from low blood sugar to something more serious. If you suspect that your dog has seizures, take them straight to the vet for treatment.
9) Over-Grooming or Scratching Frequently
If your dog is licking or scratching their body excessively, it could signify that something is up. It can indicate they have dry, irritated skin that could be caused by anything from the season to allergies. But, at times, over-grooming can also be a sign of physical discomfort, anxiety, or stress. If you’ve tried using an itch-relief dog shampoo for sensitive skin and the behavior continues, it’s time to visit your vet.
10) Sores, Rashes, or Bruises
Sores, rashes, and bruises are three signs that your dog could be unwell. Bruises will show up as discoloration on the skin, and sores and rashes can manifest in various ways. You may notice them on or around your dog’s eyes, snout, or mouth or on their paws and legs. Any wound that is oozing or weeping fluid could be a precursor to something more serious. If the area is simply dry and irritated, you might do well to use a natural soothing dog balm to calm the inflammation. If that doesn’t work, it’s time for a better diagnosis.
11) Panting Excessively, Drooling, Coughing, or Sneezing
Our last point covers all the remaining classic signs that your dog could be unwell. Excessive panting or drooling may be expected during warmer months. Still, if it continues on too long, it can also be a sign of something else. Coughing and sneezing can indicate minor respiratory problems to a severe bronchial infection. If the behavior continues, take your dog to the vet for a checkup.
So, What Now?
If you’ve noticed any of the signs mentioned above in your dog, it’s essential to visit your veterinarian. Although many of the problems that lead to these signs are minor and can be treated with medication or at-home care, some may require more extensive treatment or long-term monitoring. After your dog is all better, it may be worthwhile to evaluate what led to the issues that brought you to the vet to begin with? Ask yourself questions like:
- Am I feeding my dog the best possible diet to keep them healthy?
- Am I opting for high-quality natural dog treats to reward behavior and keep them busy?
- Am I giving them enough comfort, love, exercise, and play to keep them cognitively stimulated?
- Are there any bad habits, like overfeeding or dental neglect, that I can avoid in the future?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I should be making to keep my dog healthy?
- Should I switch their flea and tick medications?
Keeping your dog healthy is easier than you think. All it takes is a little dedication and consistency. With just a few small changes, you’ll be amazed by how happy and healthy your dog can become.