How to Tell if Your Dog Is Sick

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Sick: The Complete Guide

There’s no dispute that dogs are beloved pets. In fact, 53% of American households have a dog. They’re like family members, so it’s important to know when your dog is sick. Unlike human companions, dogs can’t verbalize when they don’t feel well. 

Therefore, you have to pay attention to signs that’ll let you know when they’re ill. To learn how to tell if your dog is sick, take a look at the signs below. Also check out flea collar for dogs from DEWELPRO.

Fluctuating Weight

Although weight loss is not usually an indication that there’s a problem, it may be a concern when there’s significant weight loss. If your dog is not on a diet or exercising more than usual, then most dogs don’t lose a large amount of weight. Not to mention, weight loss can happen without any other abnormal symptoms associated with it.

On the contrary, there could also be a health risk for dogs who gain weight without any alterations to their diet. It can take several weeks for this sign to be discovered. 

Therefore, weight signs are a bit tricky.

Loss of Appetite

If you’re wondering how to tell if your dog is sick, pay attention to its appetite. This is one of the primary indicators that there’s something wrong. When your pup begins to lose interest in eating or drinking, that’s a red flag. 

The majority of dogs generally have their own way of eating. For example, some of them might eat more food on one day than on others. However, if your dog completely walks away from their food or doesn’t finish their meal, it’s time to take them to the vet.

Also, pay attention to whether or not they drink more water or less water than usual. That’s also one of the signs of a sick dog.

Respiratory Issues

When your dog is experiencing respiratory problems, it’s usually associated with coughing, nasal discharge, sneezing, and wheezing. The severity of these symptoms can be as simple as a cold or as serious as canine flu.

 If it is the flu, the other symptoms associated with it are a runny nose and red eyes. Also, listen for different noises that they make because it could be an indicator of a tracheal issue. 

Furthermore, if your dog’s gums and tongue turn into a bluish color, take them to the emergency vet immediately.

Changes in Behavior

Your dog is like a family member. So chances are you know their personality in and out. But if at some point you begin to recognize a change, don’t ignore it. If your dog is usually playful and happy, and you notice that they become withdrawn, it could be because they’re sick.

Also, if your pup generally is affectionate and sweet, but they become aggressive that’s also one of the signs of a sick dog. If this change in behavior lasts for more than a few days, take your dog to the vet. 


One of the obvious ways of how to tell if your dog is sick is in their body language. Pain is hard to hide for both humans and canines alike. If your furry friend is experiencing pain throughout their body, you’ll notice things like stiffness, limping, shallow breathing, and an inability to get comfortable.

Pay attention to if they are reluctant to go out and play, or if they can’t lay down without squirming or moving. This is one of those symptoms that’s easy to spot.

Pain typically happens because of an internal illness or an injury that occurred.


Most dogs will whimper or look for attention because they love their owners. They may cry when you leave or when they want a treat. However, if your dog becomes excessively whiny or clingy, that might be because they’re feeling sick. When they don’t feel well, they’ll usually reach out to their owners a little more for extra comfort.

If this type of behavior persists, go and get them checked out. They could be experiencing internal pain that needs attention from the vet.


Shaking is pretty normal, and it’s not always an indicator that there is a problem. But it’s also one of the signs your dog is sick. Sometimes a dog will tremble and shake because they have a spinal injury. Other times it’s due to a neurological condition like epilepsy or a stroke. 

Violent shaking also occurs when dogs are experiencing seizures. 

When your dog is shaking abnormally, there could be something seriously wrong. Especially, because that’s usually a direct correlation to problems that are affecting the brain and nervous system. Take them to the vet as soon as possible.


Most than likely, you know how often your dog goes for a bathroom break. But when you notice excessive urination, that could be a problem. This is definitely true if they are having urinary accidents inside and they are usually good about letting you know when they need to go outside. 

If your dog is either urinating more than usual or straining to urinate, it’s probably an indicator of a bladder infection, diabetes, kidney stones, electrolyte disorders, kidney disease, or a urinary tract infection. 

It could also be due to Cushing’s disease. If that’s the case, check out this natural cushings treatment dogs article for more information.

How to Tell If Your Dog Is Sick

If you pay close attention to the signs above, you can get your dog the help that they need. When it comes to the health and well-being of your pup, being attentive to their needs is the first step in making sure that they are well taken care of.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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