If you’re not feeling well and need treatment, what do you do? Most people either get themselves to a doctor or tell someone they’re ill and ask for their help.
Unfortunately, dogs can’t do that, at least not in the way that we’re used to. That can be a problem, given that they’re just as prone to being under the weather as the rest of us. That’s why it’s vital that every dog owner knows how to tell if their pet is in good health or not. That way, they always know when to alert a vet about a potential problem.
These four signs aren’t the only indicators that your dog might be unwell, but they’re some of the best things to look out for.
Constant Biting Or Licking
When your dog bites or licks themselves, it’s not necessarily an immediate cause for concern. After all, people scratch or pick at their skin all the time and it doesn’t usually mean anything serious. However, if they keep up this behaviour, you may wish to investigate the areas that they’re paying a lot of attention to. It could be that they have irritated skin, a bug bite, or possibly even fleas. Some of those things could cause a lot of problems if not dealt with properly.
A good way to reduce the risk of these issues is to groom your dog properly. This way, you avoid any skin irritation, while also giving your pet a naturally glossy coat. How to groom your dog typically depends on their breed, with short-haired dogs requiring less maintenance than long-haired ones. Of course, grooming is an excellent opportunity to check your pet’s body and feel for any abnormalities, so don’t shy away from doing it whatever their breed.
If you thought that it was just natural for dogs to have bad breath, you might want to think again. While you shouldn’t expect their mouths to smell of roses, if the scent is incredibly unpleasant, it could be a sign that something’s off with your pet. It may be an indication that they have gum disease or periodontitis, issues that could result in tooth loss or potentially even serious health complications.
Alternatively, there’s a risk that it could be a sign oral melanoma, which is an aggressive form of cancer. Something like that you’d want to have dealt with immediately, which is why you should check your dog’s mouth regularly. Be sure to look for any lumps or growths in the area, too, and not just smell their breath. As unpleasant as it might be for both you and your pet, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Irregular Eating Habits
Most dogs love eating, which means if they suddenly go off their food, you know there’s a problem. A loss of appetite could potentially mean something serious, or it could just be a minor illness. Either way, if you notice that your pets eating habits become irregular, it’s important to visit the vet as soon as possible.
What they eat could actually be part of the problem. Dry food doesn’t boost a dog’s immune system or help with digestion the way that raw food does, so if you currently feed your pet the former, you may want to consider switching. A diet of natural dog food could reduce the risk of problems down the line, and you can get a subscription to these healthier meals via Bella & Duke. Their sole aim is to stop dogs eating processed food so they can get more nutrition and live longer, healthier lives.
Different Bowel And Bladder Movements
Most of us like to have our privacy when we go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, dogs don’t typically get that privilege, being forced to do their business in front of people. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, because your pet’s bladder and bowel movements could indicate whether or not they’re healthy.
If they’re going to the toilet too often or not often enough, it’s possible that they’re feeling unwell. Moreover, if their poop doesn’t look right – maybe it’s darker than normal or appears to have blood in it – then that’s also an indication that you might want to take them to the vets. These signs could suggest issues like cancers, infections, obstructions, or simply stress.
It can be an incredibly scary time when you notice that something isn’t right with your dog. However, while their body or behaviour might have suddenly changed, it’s important that you don’t panic. There are sometimes simple explanations for your pet not eating regularly or having a lump that don’t allude to anything serious. Just contact your vet as soon as you spot an issue and let the experts do their job.