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Is My Dog Sick? Signs Of Illness In Dogs

Dogs are one of the few animals that seem to have mastered the art of ‘masking’ their illness. You can’t possibly tell your dog is sick until it’s days into the sickness and has seriously fallen ill.

For that very reason, we recommend dog owners keep a close check on their dogs at all times, especially when you witness the signs and symptoms listed below…

Top 5 Signs of Illness in Dogs

Here are a few prominent signs of dog sickness, along with what health conditions they indicate:

Excessive Water Consumption

A healthy dog drinks approximately 30ml of water for every kilogram of body weight. This means a 1.4kg Chihuahua will drink about 42ml of water every single day. If it drinks significantly more than this, it’s a cause for concern, and you should take notice of it immediately.

Excessive water consumption usually indicates dehydration. It’s most common in sick, elderly, pregnant, or nursing dogs. However, it can also occur in completely healthy dogs when their body temperature exceeds 41°C in Summer or due to excessive activity. Symptoms of dehydration can include

  • Low energy
  • Thick rope-like saliva
  • Little to no interest in eating
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes

If you notice all of these in your dog, we recommend confirming your suspicions by checking your dog’s gums. Touch your dog’s gums, they should feel moist if the dog is properly hydrated. Similarly, gently press on your dog’s gum so that the pressure of your finger creates a light spot. As soon as you remove your finger, the normal colour of the gum should return. Again, if the colour doesn’t return, the dog is severely dehydrated.

Now, dehydration itself can be an indicator of lots of other illnesses or diseases. These are:

  • Diarrhoea 
  • Fever
  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

All of these have more related symptoms, and we’ll cover those in the next sections. 

Low Water Consumption

If your dog is drinking significantly less water than it should, it probably indicates your dog has an injury in its mouth. It could be a piece of plastic, rock, or splinter that’s stuck in its mouth or a cut caused by any of these objects.

Apart from an injury in the mouth, your dog might have also cut down its water intake due to sensitivity in teeth. When the cold water touches the sensitive spot, it might cause a lot of pain. 

For both these cases, we highly recommend taking your dog to the vet. 

But apart from mouth and teeth injuries, low water consumption could also be due to cooler temperatures or reduced activity. If this is the case, you’ll notice that your dog has a little bit reduced diet too, but otherwise, it appears all relaxed and happy. 

Dogs may also refuse to drink water when they are in new places. This is because they do not recognise the smell of water, and being away from home often causes anxiety and nervousness in dogs. To counter this problem, we recommend taking a bottle of water with you whenever going to a new place. If you plan to stay at this place for over two days, then it’s likely that the dog will adapt to the new smell of water.

Change In Behaviour 

When you notice a sudden and drastic change in your dog’s personality, take notice of it immediately. Some noteworthy changes in behaviours are as follows:

  • Excessive tail chasing
  • Oversleeping
  • Compulsive licking
  • Isolation or lethargic behaviour
  • Obsessive chasing behaviour 
  • Overly aggressive behaviours
  • Easily startled
  • Overeating
  • Pacing
  • Growling

Some breeds of dogs are also susceptible to problems with their ears, like infections, and may scratch or rub their ears on the ground. Studying how to care for your dog if they have ear sensitivities can help improve their quality of life and may also help you save money on expensive trips to the vet.

Also, if you notice that your pet is aggressively growling if you touch a certain body part. It indicates pain in that particular area and helps you figure out what kind of pain or sickness your dog is facing. 

It can be really difficult to tackle a change in behaviour, so we recommend using CBD oil to soothe and relax your dog until you figure out what exactly is wrong.

Loss of Appetite

Eating habits vary from breed to breed. If your dog is not eating in an appropriate amount, it could be because of the following reasons:

Again, figuring out what’s really causing a loss of appetite can be a difficult job. And hence, we recommend using CBD oil to soothe your dog until you’re able to notice other symptoms and take the required action. In fact, providing your dog with CBD oil might even fix the appetite issue without requiring more input from your end. 

If you’re wondering how to give CBD oil to your dog, just add 1-2 drops of CBD oil. We recommend trying CBD Oil Ireland into your dog’s usual feed, mix it well, and let your dog devour the food. You’ll see how relaxed it is, only a few hours after consumption.

Vomiting & Diarrhoea

Vomiting and diarrhoea – both of these are super alarming symptoms of an underlying illness. We highly recommend taking it seriously. 

These usually indicate:

  • Parvovirus (in puppies)
  • Ingestion of a foreign object
  • Accidental exposure to pesticides
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Ingestions of toxins or poison
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Extreme stress due to change in environment 
  • A sudden and drastic change in diet

When you notice vomiting or diarrhoea, we do not recommend trying to diagnose the illness yourself. Immediately seek a vet’s help!

Final Words

The symptoms mentioned above are the most common signs of illnesses in dogs. Make sure you keep a close check, and if you see this developing, please take your dog to the vet. Also, make it a habit to take your dog for regular checkups. Because, as mentioned earlier, you won’t know your dog is in pain until it’s severe and can no longer mask the pain. 


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