Top 3 Signs Your Dog Is Trying to Tell You He’s Not Well

No one knows a pet as much as its owner, so they will likely know the telltale signs that something is wrong with their pup.

Maybe they’re not playing with their favorite toy or following their usual habits throughout the day. You may be best placed to spot the signs exclusive to your own dog, but Dr Linda Simon, senior veterinarian at UK-based Fetched, has shared the three key signs she advises any dog ​​owner to pet to be on the lookout.

“Dogs can show subtle signs when they are unwell, so owners should be on the lookout for any changes in behavior or patterns,” Simon said. News week. “Some of the most common things we might observe include a lack of energy, a lack of appetite and sleep more.

“There is no set pattern to the signs a dog develops when they are unwell, as it depends on the underlying problem, as well as the dog’s temperament, or severity of their condition.”

A dog in bed does not feel well
Image of a sick dog asleep in bed, with a thermometer and an ice pack. Senior veterinarian Dr Linda Simon suggested the three key signs to look out for when a dog is unwell.
damedeeso/Getty Images

When a dog is not feeling well, it can last for a few hours, days, or even weeks in more serious cases. However, it is best to let a dog rest when he is out of sorts, so he can return to normal in no time.

Lack of energy and general disinterest

As Simon suggests, the first sign owners should look out for is their dog’s lack of energy. This can mean general lethargy, but it can also manifest as a lack of interest in things that usually make them happy.

“A lack of energy can mean a disinterest in things the dog would normally enjoy, like going for walks or playing with their toys,” Simon said.

“They may even seem depressed and sluggish. There is no time or end point, as a dog may be lethargic for a short time, around 12 hours, if they have a mild stomach upset. However , a chronic medical problem that goes untreated, such as arthritis or diabetes, could mean persistent lethargy.

It’s not always because your dog suddenly has less energy than usual or is less bothered by his toys, Simon said. In some cases, it may be something as simple as being “tired after a long walk the day before”, or perhaps the weather has warmed up and they are having difficulty coping with the heat .

Loss of appetite or possible vomiting

It’s no secret that dogs can eat just about anything and everything they see, so when you notice that their food bowl has barely been touched and they’re not looking for treats, it This is usually an indicator that they are not feeling well.

Skipping a meal or two won’t drastically affect the dog, so Simon urges owners not to worry too much when they first notice this sign.

“A lack of appetite may or may not accompany vomiting,” she said. “For some dogs, nausea means they don’t want to eat and they vomit. Conversely, I sometimes see dogs vomiting, and it has no effect on their appetite.

“How long a dog can go without eating depends on many factors, including whether it is drinking, whether it has vomited or had diarrhea, its size, its age. A newborn puppy should eat every every few hours, otherwise he may become dehydrated and develop hypoglycemia.However, a large breed adult dog can go a few days without eating and still appear relatively normal.

An adult dog can afford to skip a meal or two, as Simon said, “that wouldn’t ring any alarm bells.” But if it is a prolonged lack of appetite, the veterinarian advises owners to encourage them to eat something.

His advice is to tempt the dog with boiled chicken and rice, and if he manages to eat that, then it’s a positive sign.

Dr. Linda Simon, veterinarian
Dr. Linda Simon, Senior Veterinarian at Fetched. Simon spoke to Newsweek about three signs in your dog’s behavior that are immediate causes for concern and may be caused by other factors, like hot weather.
Dr Linda Simon

Need a lot more sleep than usual

You might think it’s not possible for your dog to sleep more than he already gets each day, but when he’s not feeling well, that might be exactly what he’s doing. Just like humans, when a dog is not feeling wellthey will try to recover by sleeping and letting their body repair itself.

“The amount of extra sleep a dog needs when they’re not feeling well varies,” Simon said. “For some they might sleep a little more, for others they might sleep all day. Generally, the sicker a dog is, the more sleep it will want.

“This need for extra sleep can last for a short period of time between 12 and 24 hours, or for several days and weeks, depending on what is happening with the dog. For example, if a dog has liver failure, he will become more sleepy as time goes by. that the disease “progresses. Owners should encourage rest and sleep, and not try to wake the dog. “

However, a lazy, sleepy dog ​​shouldn’t be a cause for immediate concern, as Simon explained that this can also be a problem. result of hot weather or an aging dog. Older dogs naturally sleep more, so this may just be a sign that their age is catching up with them.

Generally, if a dog is showing these signs, Simon suggests owners allow the dog to rest and allow the dog to move at its own pace. Requiring them to maintain their usual activity level could be more of a barrier.

“We want to encourage rest, which will help their bodies recover,” she said. “Sleep and rest are extremely important to getting better. Although we want to take our dogs to the bathroom, they should not be taken for exercise walks when they are not feeling well.

“If a dog is truly not himself and the signs are not improving with rest, a veterinary check-up is best.”

IIs there a health problem in your pet that worries you? Let us know via health@newsweek.com. We can seek advice from experts and your story could be published on News week.