To go to the vet or stay home: that is the question. Honestly, it can be a challenge to know you need to go to the doctor…it just makes sense that it would be confusing to navigate the same question for your pup!
Of course, some situations are clearly emergencies. If your pup has difficulty breathing, a traumatic injury, begins limping or reacting in pain, suddenly stops eating, or suddenly collapses, you know a visit to the veterinarian is your top priority. But what about less obvious situations?
Since your pup relies on you to care for them, it’s your responsibility to be observant and ensure that your pup’s needs are always your priority. Watch for these 5 signs your dog needs to see the vet as your interact with your pup each day!
5 Subtle Signs
- Changes in temperament. Aggressive or otherwise dramatically different behavior is concerning. Your pup may be responding to something in their environment and need training or adjustments to your home, but it’s important to eliminate medical reasons for these changes as well. Sometimes, a dog’s behavior can change due to pain caused by something you don’t see. Pain due to health concerns or a persistent injury can make a huge difference in their behavior!
- Change in water consumption. If your dog suddenly cannot get enough water and it’s not explained by increased activity or temperature, contact your vet. Constant thirst, a sudden inability to urinate, or urinating excessively can be symptoms of diabetes, kidney concerns, or bladder issues.
- Changes in stool. If your pup is frequently experiencing loose stool or constipation, see your vet. An occasional bout of diarrhea or a skipped day of poo isn’t a huge concern, but if these symptoms continue for more than a day or two, visit your vet.
- Changes in energy level. Sudden lethargy or restlessness can be symptoms of medical concerns. If your pup has dramatically changed in energy level without explanation, consider visiting your veterinarian. If they stop engaging in active play and are generally disinterested in moving around, they may be injured or sick.
- Changes to skin, fur, or eyes. If you notice the appearance of bald patches, constant itching, or irritated and scaly skin, speak to your veterinarian. Sometimes these skin troubles are caused by allergies to an ingredient in their food or an environmental irritant. It’s often simple to avoid a few allergens for your pup, saving them potentially years of annoyance and misery. Red, weepy, or otherwise inflamed eyes are also a good reason to visit the vet. A simple eye infection can cause long-term damage if not treated, so best to be proactive!
Remember, you know your pup best! With each of these more subtle pup problems, it’s a sudden and dramatic change that should signal the need for a vet’s expertise. Spending time with your pup and getting to know them well is the best thing you can do to help them live a healthy and happy life. Your pup counts on you for help when they need it, and a quick visit to the vet can solve a myriad of problems and give you peace of mind. Be an attentive and caring owner, and your beloved furever friend will thank you!