It’s true that dogs are a man’s best friend. With millions of dogs as pets in the US alone, canines have become more prevalent in households than ever. If you have a dog of your own, you likely treat him or her as another member of your family. When you notice your dog’s behavior changing or if you believe they are sick, there are a few signs to watch out for to know when it is time to take them to the vet. Knowing when to take your canine family member to the vet in a timely manner can help prevent potentially life-threatening health issues or diseases.
Avoiding Food and Normal Eating Times
One of the most telltale signs that it is time to take your canine friend to the vet is their loss of desire to eat. A dog’s lack of appetite indicates a potential infection or underlying disease that has yet to be diagnosed or treated properly. Additionally, your dog’s stomach may be upset due to an underlying health issue that you are not aware exists. Monitor your dog’s eating habits along with the amount of food they eat each day to determine if it is out of the ordinary for your pup.
Dogs and cats alike typically drink water when they are thirsty or after eating a full meal. However, if you notice your dog thinking more than usual and at odd times, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your local vet. Extreme thirst in animals is often an indication of diabetes, kidney infections, or even a kidney disease.
Rough or Missing Coat
While all dogs have different coats, it is important to keep an eye on it each time you bathe and brush them. If your dog has a rough coat or is missing patches of fur, they may have a common allergy due to the types of food or treats they are eating. Oftentimes, switching foods and choosing alternative solutions with healthier and natural ingredients helps fur to grow back. Visiting a vet is a way to determine what type of allergy your dog has and whether or not they require specific medication or lotion to remedy the issue.
Changes in Stools
Anytime you are cleaning your yard, be sure to take a look at your dog’s stools to ensure they are healthy and unchanged. Watery, bloody, or discolored stools can indicate an issue with your dog’s intestinal tract or stomach.
Limping in dogs can be a sign of benign or cancerous tumors along with internal issues that have yet to be diagnosed. If you notice your dog is limping, check underneath their paws to ensure they do not have a splinter or an object lodged in between their paws. As dogs get older, they are more susceptible to developing both benign and cancerous tumors, both which need to be addressed as quickly as possible with a visit to the vet.
Howling or Yelping
Howling and yelping are not the same as a traditional dog’s bark. When you are a dog owner, you become familiar with your dog’s bark and various cries. However, yelping and howling often indicate some type of pain or discomfort. If you believe your dog is acting strangely due to the change in their barks, contact your vet.
While vomiting does occur in dogs and is not extremely unusual, it is important to monitor how frequently your dog is vomiting as well as its color and texture. Dogs often vomit after eating too much too quickly, especially when treats or canned food are involved. However, if you notice that the vomit is different from their food or contains blood, call your vet’s emergency number to schedule an immediate appointment to rule out internal bleeding.
Changes in Eye Color or Look
As dog’s age, their eyes begin to become more glossy and in some cases, faded, especially when faced with blindness. If you notice eye discharge, foggy eyes, or red eyes, take note and schedule an appointment with your vet. Take photographs of your dog’s eyes while waiting for your veterinarian appointment to show the doctor if significant and rapid changes have occurred during the waiting period.