Your dog can never tell you when something hurts or when it doesn’t feel well. However, it is possible for you to notice change and tell that your dog is unwell. A dog’s body language is very easy to understand and can confuse you if you do not know the signs and symptoms. After doing research, the following signs and symptoms will help you know when to visit a veterinary doctor.


High temperatures are associated with sickness. One of the ways of checking dog’s temperature is by feeling its nose. Normally, dogs should have a cold, wet nose. If the nose is hot, the dog is likely suffering from fever. You can verify the fever by measuring its temperature. Any temperature above 103F is a sign of fever.

Stomach problems.

Once in a while, your dog may vomit after giving it many treats, but this should not persist. If your dog is passing bloody diarrhea and vomiting for more than 24 hours repeatedly, it is a sign of sickness. Also, if your dog’s appetite is deteriorating as days go by, you will need to seek help.

Other signs include a distended belly and abdominal pain.

Respiratory problems.

Dogs too are prone to respiratory diseases like humans. The following signs can help you know that your dog has a respiratory disease:

  • If your dog has difficulties when breathing. The breathing could also be noisy or labored. Once you notice this, check the color of the tongue. Normally, the tongue should be pink but if there is a blue stint, take your dog to the vet immediately.
  • Persistent coughing that is accompanied by blood or mucus.

Trouble During Elimination.

Always keep a close eye on your dog’s elimination patterns. If your dog has trouble when urinating or defecating or is passing increased amounts of urine, then it is time to seek help.

Change in Behavior.

A healthy dog should be happy, active and enthusiastic. When unwell a dog will demonstrate a drastic change in the way it normally behaves. This could manifest in the form of agitation, irritability, being clingy, lethargy and withdrawal. If your dog exhibits any of these behaviors, it is a clear signal that something is wrong.

Drastic Change in Physical Appearance.

Your dog’s appearance and external features should be consistent. However, if you notice the following, do not hesitate to seek help.

  • Hair loss.
  • Sudden increase and loss of weight.
  • Development of lumps that ooze blood or pus.
  • Repeated rubbing of ears or shaking the head.
  • Itching and skin rashes.


Pain is something your dog will not hide from you. Watch out for resistance to jump, agitation, difficulties in chewing, and stiffness that lasts more than a day. Any of these signs communicate pain which could be as a result of injuries or an infection. Avoid giving any painkillers to your dog not unless they were prescribed specifically to it. Also, never administer any human drugs to dogs as they may have very adverse effects on them.


If you notice any of the signs and symptoms stated above, seek medical assistance to save your dog’s life. Some of the signs show when an illness is in the advanced stages.