Signs Your Dog Is Ill

Observe Your Dog For Signs of Any Changes!

Different Dog Parasites

Different Dog Parasites


As pet owners, we want nothing but the best for our furry companions. Dogs bring joy, love and companionship. They do show signs they are ill. So, it is essential to keep a close eye on their health. By recognizing the signs of illness in your dog is crucial for timely intervention and proper veterinary care if needed.

By being vigilant and observant, you can help ensure your dog’s well-being and potentially prevent serious health complications later. They will display some signs that when you see them, you can take appropriate action.

While it’s always recommended to consult a veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis, in this article we aim to provide you with valuable insight into some of the common signs that may indicate your dog is unwell.

Below we are going to share the most common signs when your dog could be ill.

Changes in Eating Habits

Overweight Dog

Overweight Dog

One of the first signs that something may be wrong with your dog is a sudden change in his eating habits. Dogs typically have a healthy appetite, so a noticeable decrease or increase in his food consumption can be an indicator of any underlying health issue.

If your dog is refusing meals, eating significantly less, or displaying disinterest in their food, it could be a sign of illness. Conversely, a sudden increase in appetite, accompanied by excessive thirst, may be indicative of certain diseases, such as diabetes, or hormonal imbalances. You need to monitor your dog’s eating habits and seek veterinary advice when changes occur. This is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Anytime your dog stops eating altogether it is a medical emergency. Puppies experiencing decreased appetites should be seen immediately as their reserves are small and they can get into trouble quickly.

The sooner you notice any differences in their eating habits, you should contact your vet immediately.

Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain

Transition To New Dog Food

Transition To New Dog Food

If you should notice a significant and unexplained changes in your dog’s weight it can be an alarming sign of illness. Weight loss is often associated with various health issues, including gastrointestinal problems, parasites, dental diseases, or metabolic disorders. On the other hand, an unexplained weight gain can be an indication or hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism, or excessive caloric intake.

Regularly assessing your dog’s body condition and promptly addressing any noticeable weight changes can contribute to early detection and intervention.

A dog’s weight gain can be associated with any increase of his intake of his daily food or training treats that are in excess of 10% of his normal daily caloric intake. You can reduce his food intake until his desired body weight is reached. Or, increase his daily exercise activity to burn off more calories.

Another reason could be a change in his food. You need to transition from his old food to the new over a period of 10 days. Days 1 & 2, feed ¾ of the normal food with ¼ of the new. Days 3 & 4, feed ½ of the old with ½ of the new. Days 5 to 7, feed ¼ of the old with ¾ of the new. Days 8-10, serve only the new food. If your dog doesn’t seem to like the new food or if he experiences digestive upset, extend the transition over a few more days.

Note: Use this schedule when changing puppy’s food to adult dog food.

Altered Behavior or Activity Level

All dogs are creatures of habit, and any noticeable changes in their behavior or activity level may signify an underlying health problem. If your dog is usually active and playful and suddenly becomes lethargic, withdrawn, or disinterested in activities they once enjoyed, it could be a sign of illness or health problem

Conversely, if your dog becomes unusually restless, agitated, or displays repetitive behaviors, it’s worth investigating further. Behavioral changes can be caused by pain, anxiety, neurological issues, or underlying medical conditions.

By monitoring your dog’s behavior, you can seek professional guidance which can help identify and address the root cause of the illness.

Remember, the earlier the detection the better it is for you and your dog. He is showing signs that something is wrong, and you need to take the appropriate action.

Respiratory Distress

If you should notice any respiratory problem in your dog it should never be ignored. Difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing, or excessive panting can indicate respiratory infections, heart conditions, allergies, or other serious health issues.

Any noticeable changes in your dog’s breathing pattern should be promptly evaluated by a veterinarian. Rapid or labored breathing, bluish gums, or coughing up blood require immediate medical attention. The early diagnosis and intervention can significantly improve your dog’s chances of recovery.

So, it is important to keep an eye on your dog at all times. Have your family members report to you any changes they see in the dog. Stress to them the importance it is for the dog’s overall health and well-being. By doing this, all family members are on board looking out for your dog’s health.

Skin and Coat Abnormalities

Common Dog Allergies

Common Dog Allergies

Another area of concern is the condition of your dog’s skin and coat. This is an excellent indicator of their overall health. Skin problems, such as excessive itching, redness, hair loss, rashes, or sores, can suggest allergies, parasites, infections, or underlying systemic health issues.

A dog’s skin condition can have a wide range of causes, from external parasites like fleas and mites, to allergies and serious endocrine disorders.

Similarly, a dull, dry, or greasy coat may be a sign of nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalances. Regularly check your dog’s skin and coat, as well as addressing any abnormalities promptly, as it is crucial for maintaining their well-being.

You can report any abnormalities to your veterinarian so they can properly diagnose the cause and provide treatment for the condition.

Some of these conditions can be treated at home, but it is wise to contact your vet first before doing any at home treatments unless under his care.

 Prevent Excessive Damp, Mildew or Mold

Excessive damp dog beds can lead to the growth of mildew and mold. If you notice the dog bed is excessively damp for no obvious reasons, then there is more that needs to be dealt with.

It is recommended that all dog owners check the underside of the dog’s bed particularly in the winter. Flip the mattress regularly so that both sides are being well aired. Generally, this is all you need to do. However, if the bed is damp for no reason it needs to be raised off the floor to stop the moisture from forming.

The ingestion of mold can lead to gastric symptoms such as decreased appetite, vomiting, and stool changes. Signs of an allergy to mold might include excessive scratching, chewing, or licking, which sometimes progresses to the point of fur loss and the development of sores.

The bottom line here is to keep an eye out for moisture forming under the dog’s bed to prevent any mold or mildew from forming.

Dog Bed Health Concerns

We mention some of the concerns dog owners should consider when purchasing dog beds.


Some dogs may get allergies do to the materials used in making the bed. They include synthetic fabrics or foam fillings. These allergies can cause skin irritations, itching, and respiratory problems.

Dust Mites and Parasites

Dust mites and other parasites can infest dog beds, especially if they are not cleaned regularly. Over time, these pests can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations in dogs. By cleaning the bed regularly, you minimize their effects on your dog.

Poor Support and Orthopedic Issues

Low-quality dog beds or beds that lack proper support can contribute to orthopedic problems. This is especially true in older dogs or those with existing joint and muscle issues. Inadequate support can worsen conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia.

Toxic Materials

Certain dog beds may contain some toxic substances such as flame retardants, formaldehyde, or dyes that can be harmful to dogs if ingested in inhaled. Always ensure that the dog bed is made from safe materials and are free from any toxic chemicals. This is true for some dog beds that are made in China.


By recognizing the sings of illness in your furry friend is vital for their health and happiness. Being attuned to any changes in their eating habits, weight gain or loss, behavioral changes, respiratory patterns, and skin conditions, allows you to take proactive measures to address potential health issues promptly.

It is important to remember that this article only served as a general guide, and a veterinarian should always be consulted for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Regular veterinary check-ups and open communication with your veterinarian are a key to ensuring your dog’s long and healthy life. By staying vigilant and providing your dog with the care they deserve, you can catch any potential health problems early and improve their chances of a full recovery.

Don’t forget to all family members on board for looking out for any changes in your dog’s behavior. Have them report any changes they see so you can take the appropriate action.

Finally, to mitigate these health risks, it is crucial to select a high-quality dog bed made from safe materials, clean it regularly, and provide proper sizing and support for your dog’s specific needs. Regularly inspect the bed for signs of wear and tear, and replacing it when necessary, can also help maintain your dog’s health and well-being.

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