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Signs Of Illness In Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can get ill. They are very good at hiding pain, which doesn’t help matters. If you think your dog might be unwell, you can do a few routine checks.

Healthy looking dog
It's not always immediately obvious when a dog's feeling ill, but look out for clues such as increased lethargy or loss of appetite

Changes of Behavior

Has your dog changed his usual habits without any obvious reason? Are there changes in his appetite, drinking habits, toilet habits, energy levels, general enthusiasm or reactions?

First of all you need to rule certain things out – things that are not to do with illness:

  • Has another dog or pet been staying in the house?
  • Is the dog away from familiar sights, sounds, smells and locations?
  • Is he being bullied or ignored by another pet?
  • Has he lost a companion recently?
  • Is your pet a she-dog, and is she coming into heat
  • Is your she-dog possibly pregnant or undergoing a false pregnancy?
  • Has he or she recently been spayed or neutered, or had any other medical procedure?

A well trained dog will look happy and alert
Some changes in behavior may be easy enough to explain - if, for example, your she-dog is pregnant, in heat, or has recently been spayed

If you can rule out all the above, contact your vet at once.

Next, you should look for other signs of health problems. These include:

  • Excessive grooming in specific areas of the body
  • Heavy panting for no obvious reason
  • Changes in temperament or other behavioral oddities
  • Not wanting to be held or fussed as usual
  • Nervousness or shyness
  • Sleepiness
  • Unusual aggression towards people or other animals, or other antisocial behavior
  • No obvious reaction to sounds

An upset dog having an injection
An upset dog having an injection

If any of the above behaviors persist for more than a day, contact your vet.

Customer Images


Wyatt, 30 January 2019

dog 12 yrs old (a bitch) seems to be urinating or scenting at an rate which is concerning sometimes spending a long time squatting to urinate with very little coming out ?Any suggestions as to problem??