How To Tell If Your Dog Is Sick

We all love our dogs very much, and hate to see them get sick…but sometimes they do, and we all want to know how to tell if your dog is sick.  Because the first step in being able to effectively treat a dog is to be able to tell that the dog is sick in the first place!  All dogs will display different symptoms for different illnesses, but there are some common signs.  The first thing to do is know what a healthy dog looks like!  They should have bright eyes, a shiny coat, and be breathing about 15-20 times per minute.  In addition to that, here are some of the most common signs that a dog is sick.

How To Tell If Your Dog Is SickBehavior Change:

Dogs will exhibit pronounced behavior changes if they become sick.  Most commonly they will lack energy and just loaf around,being less playful or unwilling to participate in activities.  If they are doing this, they are most certainly not feeling well.  At the other extreme, a dog may display unreasonable aggressive behavior that is not normal for them, or may just want to be alone all the time.  If you notice this, make sure you contact your vet, as it is an almost certain sign of illness in your dog.r, so do not hesitate to consult your vet if you see this symptom of illness in your dog.


This may seem obvious, but it is all too easy to miss.  If your dog has blood in their urine or stool, it is extremely important to have them checked out by a vet.  Blood in their excretions can be any number of serious illness from a kidney infection, urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or other internal organ problems.  This means that somewhere in your dog’s digestive tract they are bleeding, and it is of utmost importance to get them checked out by a vet professional.


Diarrhea can be caused by changes in diet, or your dog simply eating something they should not be eating.  Diarrhea is generally not a serious symptom, but should be of concern if it goes on for more than a few hours.  If a dogs diarrhea persists, it can cause the dog to become dehydrated, which can cause serious health problems and will almost certainly make your dog sicker.


Just like in humans dogs will vomit when they are sick.  It will usually because something is in their stomach that shouldn’t be, like some bad food or a foreign object.  Dogs can also vomit food if presented with a major change in their diet. Just like diarrhea, it can cause a dog to become very dehydrated, so make sure they have water available.  If vomiting persists, you should most certainly seek out the advice of your vet.

Your dog may display other more obvious and human-like signs as well, from fevers to swelling, or difficulty breathing.  The most important thing is to always be on the lookout for drastic changes in your dog’s behavior or general attitude.  If you do this, you will definitely be able to tell when your dog is sick.