We may feel that we know our dogs inside and out, but while we might feel like we can read their minds, the truth is that we speak very different languages. So, when it comes to letting us know that they are feeling less than their best, dogs can struggle to get the attention they need. They can’t tell us where it hurts or what they need, but they do have their own ways of showing us that they are not well. Here are seven signs that your dog might be unwell and when it might be time to call a vet.
1. They’re off their food
One of the clearest signs that a dog is not well is when they stop eating. Often a dog will only be off their food for a day, but if it continues for longer than this, it is worth taking them to a vet to get them checked over.
2. They are hiding a lot
When feeling vulnerable, dogs (like many other animals) try to hide themselves away, even from their families. Wanting to be alone can also be a response to a significant change in their environment, such as moving to a new home, living with stressed owners, or bringing a new person or pet into the home. If there has not been a big change in your home recently, it is worth taking them to a local vet to check they are not unwell. Visit easyvet.com to look for a vet clinic near you.
3. They are drinking a lot of water
Each day, the average dog will drink 20-70 ml of water per kilogram of body weight. Drinking an excessive amount of water can be a sign of kidney disease or diabetes. Of course, if you have recently introduced more dry food to their diet, that could also be a reason for drinking more water.
4. They are having toilet trouble
You can tell a lot about a dog’s health from their toilet habits, so a change in that department can be cause for concern. A dog that is unable to defecate as it usually would, i.e., constipation, diarrhea, dragging their rear end on the floor, or struggling to urinate, is probably not well. It may only be a temporary issue, but it may be worth taking them for a check-up.
5. They are abnormally defensive or aggressive
Even the most passive and gentlest of dogs can become defensive or aggressive when they are in discomfort. If your dog does not want you to touch a certain part of them and tells you by avoiding you, grumbling, growling, or even snapping, it could be time to take them to a vet.
6. They are licking repetitively
If a dog is licking or rubbing a particular part of its body repetitively, it could signal that something is wrong. Licking or gnawing at their paws is a common sign of an allergy or irritation while licking the floor could suggest that they have a digestive issue.
7. They are lethargic
While it is natural for older dogs to become less active and to sleep more, when a younger dog loses interest in activities they used to enjoy, they are probably feeling under the weather.