|Photo by Laura L. Benn|
It is never easy to learn that your dog is unwell. In fact it is one of the hardest things pet parents have to deal with. But how do you know when to take your dog to the vet? The answer is, of course, whenever you are unsure about your pet’s well being (it is always better to be safe than sorry). Yet there are some tell-tale things you can watch out for to help you make the call. Here are six simple signs you should constantly watch out for to tell if your dog is in pain…
1) Unusual movement
If you dog starts to limp, has trouble getting up or lags on their walks it may be cause for concern. Monitor your dog’s actions closely at all times, even when they are as fit as a fiddle, so that you can recognize if and when their abilities change.
No, no, we don’t mean barking per se. If your dog starts to whimper or whine for no apparent reason, chances are they are trying to tell you something. So don’t brush their little voices off right away without paying true attention what might be bothering them. A trip to the vet may not be a bad idea.
3) Altered breathing
Heavy breathing, excessive panting or sudden snorting may be indications that something is not quite right internally. Just as though you came across a person having difficulty breathing, treat this symptom with caution and immediate medical attention.
4) Extreme sensitivity
If your dog begins to cringe when approached, touched or in any way handled, it’s probably safe to say that they are hurting in some way. Dogs with injured paws, for example, may try to bite if touched, not out of meanness, but as a way to try and protect their injury. If your dog acts out in this manner, completely out of character, don’t immediately scold them. Again, they may be trying to communicate something.
5) Change in appetite
All dogs love food, but if you notice that they are suddenly eating much more or far less than they’re usual serving of kibble, you may have reason to be alarmed. Monitor their eating habits closely so you can better inform the vet of any changes.
6) Change in coat condition
Sudden malting, excessive licking of a specific area or change in coat condition can all be earlier indications that something is wrong. It is a good idea to also keep an eye on your dog’s skin condition whenever grooming in case changes appear there also.