How to Tell If Your Dog Is Feeling Unwell

Our pets can fall unwell just as we can. They are unable to tell as how they are feeling, though, so it is important that we are able to recognise signs of illness so that we can get them treated as soon as possible. Sometimes the signs can be quite obvious, at other times they are a lot subtler.

Knowing your pet’s personality is important in being able to tell when they are under the weather. Much of the time, ailments don’t product any physical symptoms other than a change in their behaviour. Being able to read this behaviour can be essential in identifying and diagnosing problems. Here are some common symptoms if illnesses found in dogs.

Runny Eyes or Nose

Runny eyes or nose can be an indicator that there is a problem with your Pooch’s respiratory system, this is quite likely to be the case if they also appear to be out of breath. Dogs can also get the flu colds just as we do, with symptoms that are similar to ours. If there is discharge around the eyes then this could also indicate an infection. There are numerous ailments that could cause runny eyes and nose in your dog and they are usually treated without too much difficulty.


Fleas are often the cause if your pooch is scratching excessively. They are easy to detect and easily treated. They are not the only problem that can lead to scratching, though, and some can be trickier to deal with. Skin mites, such as the type that cause mange, can be difficult for the layman to detect but are reasonably easy to deal with once diagnosed. Sensitive skin and allergies could also be a cause. If left untreated, the constant irritation could cause a great deal of anxiety for your pooch, so it is best to have them treated as soon as possible. Skin that is broken through scratching could also become infected if left intreated.

Unusual Bowel and Urinary Problems

If your pet’s toilet habits are different than normal, it might be necessary to go to a vet to ask for a diagnosis. The chances are that it would be something fairly straightforward at fault, such as a change in diet, but it could also be an indicator of something more serious. Infections can take hold in the bowels and urinary tracks and parasites can also cause complications. In some cases, it could even be down to organ diseases or cancers.

Loss of Appetite

Most dogs usually have a very healthy appetite and will gladly easy whatever food comes their way. If they appear to have lost their appetite and even their favourite pet foods are of no interest to them, this is a good indicator that they are not well. Some dogs can be fussy eaters so a loss of appetite might simple be down to them being picky. It could also be that eating is causing them pain because of toothache or gum disease. In some cases, it is an indicator that they are seriously ill and in need of urgent help.

Change in weight

A common cause of weight loss in pets is parasites. Intestinal worms in particular can digest the contents of your dog’s stomach, meaning that your dog gets little to no nutrient themselves. If there are no obvious signs of a worm infestation then you should take your pooch to a vet as soon as possible to get them checked out. In addition to weight loss, weight gain could also be an indicator that all is not well and that a trip to the vet may be in order.


Is your usually well-mannered pooch acting aggressively? If so, this is a strong indicator that they are not well. Quite often, their aggression is caused because they are in pain and that they are simply warning you away so that they don’t get hurt. If you are able to, try to check your dog out for injuries and also observe when they walk to see if they are moving freely. If pain is not the cause, then there could be something much more serious happening.


Dogs tend to have boundless energy. If your dog is usually full of energy but has recently become lethargic, then there is likely to be something wrong. It could be something as straightforward such as parasites, which can ingest energy giving nutrients themselves. In other cases, there might be something more complex happening. In older dogs, it might just be that their days of running endlessly are coming to an end. If you are not sure, then it is wise to visit a vet for a professional diagnosis.

Just like with people, most ailments in dogs are fairly easily dealt with. Drugs will often put things right, or it might even be something as simple as changing their diet. If you are in doubt, then it is best to visit a vet as soon as possible to find out what is really wrong. It may be nothing, but it is best to be sure just in case.