As a loving pet owner, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your dog’s health and well-being. However, recognizing when your canine companion needs to visit a veterinarian can sometimes be challenging. To help you better understand when it’s time to schedule a vet appointment, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of signs and symptoms that may indicate your dog needs medical attention.

Abnormal Bathroom Habits

A significant change in your dog’s bathroom habits might be an early sign that they need to see a vet. Changes in the consistency, color, odor, or improper bowel movements can be indicative of various issues, such as inappropriate food, allergies, viruses, bacteria, intestinal parasites, or organ problems.

Diarrhea, blood in the stool, and constipation are all reasons to contact your veterinarian. If you’re not able to bring in a stool sample to be tested, be sure to take a photo of your pet’s feces to show your vet if needed.

Increased Water Consumption

While it’s essential for your dog to stay hydrated, excessive water intake can be a sign of an underlying health issue. Increased thirst may indicate that your pet is suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, or another condition that requires medical attention. If you notice your dog drinking significantly more water than usual, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Frequent Vomiting

Occasional vomiting in dogs might be due to an upset stomach or consumption of an irritant. However, if your dog vomits more than once within 12 hours, it’s time to consult a veterinarian. Continuous vomiting can signal a more severe condition, such as an organ failure, virus, pancreatitis intestinal obstructions, or endocrine diseases. Animals experiencing ongoing vomiting and diarrhea are also at risk of dehydration, and they might require supportive care, like fluids and anti-nausea medications, or even surgery in severe cases.

Loss of Appetite

A loss of appetite or avoidance of food might be a sign of illness or mouth injury. Keep an eye on your dog’s eating habits and make a vet appointment if it’s been more than a day or two since your dog has eaten. In some cases, a decreased interest in food can be indicative of dental issues, gastrointestinal problems, or other health concerns that require professional evaluation and treatment.

Breathing Difficulties

It’s essential to monitor your dog’s breathing patterns, as any changes can be a cause for concern. Labored breathing, fast panting, or particularly shallow breaths may indicate an underlying health issue. When the respiratory rates are faster, it’s most common signs of fluid buildup or decreased lung capacity, which can be caused by heart disease, pneumonia, cancer, or other respiratory diseases. If you notice any breathing changes in your dog, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for further evaluation. If you notice dog bad breath, make sure you contact us ASAP.

Unusual Eye Appearance

A noticeable change in your dog’s eyes can be a sign of an underlying health issue. Dilated pupils, constricted pupils, or one pupil that is dilated while the other is constricted can all be a cause for concern. Other indications that your dog needs to see a veterinarian include droopy eyes, eye discharge, or the third eyelid covering part of the eye. As these changes can happen normally throughout the day, consult your veterinarian if you notice a persistent or repeating change over an extended period.

Hyperactivity or Restlessness

While it might not seem like a symptom of illness, hyperactivity or restlessness can often signal a medical problem or injury in dogs. If your dog is pacing, running around nervously, or seems unable to settle down, they might be experiencing pain or discomfort. In some cases, this unusual behavior may be caused by an itch or irritation on their skin or fur. Be sure to give your dog’s coat a thorough inspection before calling the vet.

Hair Loss or Bald Patches

Hair loss or bald patches on your dog’s coat can be a sign of an underlying health issue. While ticks and fleas can cause hair loss, other potential causes include thyroid disease, allergies, or skin infections. If you notice hair loss in your dog, schedule a visit to the vet for testing and diagnosis. In some cases, medical treatment might be necessary to manage the condition and restore your dog’s healthy coat. As per Pets, allergens can cause hair loss.

New Lumps, Bumps, or Growths

As your dog ages, it is normal for a few lumps and bumps to develop! However, any new growths on your pet should be checked by a veterinarian, as they can range from simple abscesses to cancerous growths to bug bites. Some masses might be harmless and can be left alone, while others may require surgical removal and biopsy to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Lethargy or Listlessness

It can be challenging to determine if your dog is more tired or listless than usual, particularly if they’re already a laid-back pet. However, if your usually energetic dog is suddenly sleeping more, avoiding stairs, or unable to jump as high as before, it might be a sign that they’re not feeling well. Lethargy and tiredness can be symptoms of various issues such as infections, pain, and a range of diseases. If these symptoms are combined with other signs like a change in vomiting, appetite, diarrhea, pale gums or weight loss, it’s essential to bring your dog in for a checkup.

Visible Signs of Pain

Dogs and cats are known for hiding pain, so any visible signs of discomfort should be taken seriously. Limping, yelping, flinching, hiding, whining, reluctance to move, and panting can all be indications of pain and discomfort in pets. Pain can be related to simple issues like a broken toenail or more complex conditions like dental, spinal, or abdominal problems. Diagnostic tools like blood work, X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs may be necessary to pinpoint the source of your dog’s pain.

Persistent Coughing

While it’s normal for dogs to cough occasionally, a persistent cough lasting more than a day or two warrants a veterinarian’s attention. Various causes for coughing can include objects stuck in the throat, infections, or neurological or conformational defects in the larynx. It’s essential to understand that coughing in animals is considered abnormal, even if it has been occurring for years or since the animal was very young.


These are the signs that you need to visit a vet with your dog. Don’t forget to comment below if you have any more questions.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].