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All dog owners want their pups to be happy and healthy. But, as much as you love your dog, it can be hard to identify whether or not they need to go the vet. Unfortunately, we can’t communicate with our dogs and have them tell us when they’re feeling ill.
So how do dog owners know whether or not their beloved pet needs to see the doc?
By keeping an eye for a the subtle symptoms. Your dog will do his best to avoid showing that he’s in pain. It’s in the nature of most animals to try and mask sickness, as in the wild it is perceived as weakness and makes them vulnerable. However, there are some subtle hints your pup will give you that will let you know it’s time to load them up for the field trip to the vet.
Lameness or Abnormal Movement
One of the more visible symptoms that your dog isn’t feeling too well is that their normal movement is off. If your dog is limping, appearing lame, or is walking or running in an abnormal way, you should take them into to see your vet. Lameness is a symptom to a wide range of medical issues that could be affecting your dog.
Lack of Energy
Lethargy is a sign that something may be troubling your dog. A lethargic dog may be uninterested in playing, going for a walk, or participating in activities they usually enjoy. Normal fatigue or sore muscles can sometimes be due to high temperatures, but you should see a vet if symptoms persist for more than two days.
Abnormal Urination or Bowel Movements
If your dog is either going to the bathroom at a higher-than-usual rate, or at a less-than-usual rate, it suggests that something is up. Some of the causes of abnormal bathroom usage could be an infection, diarrhea, digestive blockage, food poisoning, or parasites. To play it safe, talk to your vet and see what’s going on with your pup.
While observing your dog’s stool isn’t the most pleasant element of dog ownership, it’s wise to keep an eye on it when you’re cleaning up after your dog. Some indicators that something could be wrong with your dog’s stool include:
- Worms within the stool
- Diarrhea or watery stool
- Straining while defecating
- Blood or mucus in the stool
- Discoloration of the stool
You spend more time with your dog than anyone else does. That makes you the expert on their normal behavior. If you notice that your dog’s behavior changes significantly, it could be a symptom of a medical issue that requires the attention of your vet. Slight behavior changes are normal, but anything that is prolonged should be noted.
Like humans, most pets can get allergies as well. If your dog is displaying allergic symptoms, you’ll want to visit the vet and discover what might be triggering the allergy. Allergic symptoms include:
- Excessive scratching
- Nasal discharge
- Eye discharge
- Red eyes
Occasional vomiting isn’t unusual for dogs. Animals may vomit to get rid of something that their system disagrees with, or if they overeat. But if your dog vomits excessively or if their vomit features blood in it, it’s time to go see the vet. Vomiting dehydrates your dog, which invites a number of nasty healthy concerns.
Whether you measure out the amount of water your dog drinks daily or not, you’ll be able to detect if your dog is not drinking enough water, or, if they’re drinking too much. A dog that drinks more water than usual could be developing kidney disease or diabetes. If you find yourself refilling their water dish more than usual, you might want to take your dog into the vet and get them checked out.
Pet Insurance Makes Vet Trip Easier
Sometimes, it is difficult to tell if a dog is sick or injured. Our dogs cannot communicate with us in words, so we must rely on their actions and attitudes to guide us. You should watch for signs of illness so you can get your dog to a veterinarian in a timely manner. It’s helpful to establish a relationship with your vet, so you feel comfortable calling them upon signs of something being wrong with your dog, instead of taking them in every time.
Going to the vet can be pricey. One way to help mitigate the financial strain of taking care of your dog is to get pet insurance. Pet insurance allows pet owners to have the peace of mind that their dog is covered in the event of a unforeseen, and expensive, medical issue. Learn more about the tremendous benefits of pet insurance.