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This is one of the most common dog health questions that come up. After all, you don’t want to appear like a hypochondriac parent nor do you want to be a slack one who’s dismissed important signs as just a tummy ache that will go away. In general, you know your dog best and if your gut feel tells you something is amiss, I’d say to play on the safe side and go in for vet check up. That way, you will sleep easier knowing full well that your dog’s health isn’t compromised. Having said that, there are many dogs (generally the larger breeds) who are terribly stoic and will not let on that they are sick till they are at death’s door. If you have one of these, then I’d say any small sign eg going off his food, looking depressed is reason for you to take him into the vet. So the rule of thumb is know your dog and be alert to any changes in general appearance, behavior, feeding/drinking habits or voiding. These are the common signs that something is not right with your dog:
* inappetence ie stops eating.
* changes in water consumption ie drinks a lot
* changes in consistency of feces ie starts getting the runs. Note that puppies dehydrate easily and even a mild case of diarrhoea could be life threatening.
* vomiting – if it persists then it’s time to take the dog in for check up. If it’s just one episode after eating garbage then I’d say it’s probably something he’ll get over.
* changes in behavior – stops playing with the ball, moping around, refuses to go for walks.
* losing weight for no apparent reason
* urinates a lot more
Of course there are other more obvious signs you get which are indications of you dog being sick eg whimpering in pain and limping, but the above should alert to you take further action to seek help from your vet.