Sick Dog? Ask These Questions!

Only through expressive body language can your beloved four-legged friend explain discomfort. Long stares or the absence of an ordinarily affectionate dog leads to worry.  In wanting to ensure good health, the owner’s first step is to answer a list of vital questions!

Is there a distinct change in energy levels?

“Slothfulness” and “sluggishness” are rare terms to describe a four-legged friend. This symptom alone is a condition of the circulatory system.  Dog lovers must be aware of the nutrition levels within a brand of food.  Brands differ from flavor to flavor; therefore, the label can help you find the right ingredients to support body functions and temperature, leading to a boost of energy levels.

  • Modifying meal times and frequency can impact blood sugar and serotonin levels.
  • Commit to a daily routine of exercise, including long walks, off-the-leash runs, and games.
  • Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition affecting the hips. Consider supplementing your dog’s diet with a veterinarian-grade chewable version of glucosamine chondroitin to ease arthritic pain.

How is the interest in food?

The Alpha has (i.e., you have) a vital role in a dog’s well-being.  The caregiver has a more detailed knowledge of eating and daily habits than anyone else in the household.  The slightest change in meals immediately raises a “red flag” of warning, especially if a dog walks away from food or wants to eat, but noses through the morsels.   It could be only stress, environmental changes, or an upset stomach; factors which resolve within 24 hours. Try an alternative diet for 24 hours, comprising boiled chicken breast, white rice, and low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. A blockage of bowel movement or the effects of diarrhea and vomiting require an examination.

Beyond two days, the refusal to eat more than two meals is uncommon.  One possibility is a dental disease resulting in bad breath and pain.  Check the mouth for red gums, a broken or loose tooth, or severe gingivitis.

Any difference in the consumption of water?

A canine’s body structure is quite similar to a human’s.  Liquids reduce the temperature for fevers. The presence of contaminated water may deter interest.  Since water is a direct link to health, its vital that fresh water is available at all times.

Is there a new symptom resulting from a prolonged thirst? 

Excessive dehydration may lead to additional symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.  Repeated gagging, sneezing, or coughing, for instance, are signs linked to an allergy or infection. Veterinarians can pinpoint problems if it’s an infectious disease, such as rabies, periodontitis, or Parvo, or a disease related to the hormones or kidneys, or diabetes.

Knowing the timeline and symptoms will help determine the diagnosis and treatment. Be prepared for a question concerning your dog’s stance when urinating. Descriptions of a hunched back, yelping cries, and blood are all reasons for immediate care.

Is there a snap or growl when touching a particular area of the body?  

The act of petting is more than just a symbolic display of love; it allows the Alpha to discover a tick or bite, dry skin, or an area of discomfort. If the response is a show of teeth, the attempt to bite, or a deep, long growl,  Identifying the location can lead to relief.

  • Check the ears for a yellow or brown discharge that may cause allergies, excessive moisture, or overproduction of wax. A shake of the head encourages the softened wax out of the ear canal.  Use a cotton ball to wipe it out.
  • Skin allergies are often attributable to environmental factors, such as pollen, grass, dust mites, indoor heating, and air-conditioning. Excessive licking or scratching indicates a need for treatment.  While you can use specially formulated shampoos and provide a Vitamin E supplement or oil, some dogs require an annual shot to resolve problems.


As a pet, a furry friend’s health changes with age. Through daily interaction and care, you can combat illness.  Awareness of the symptoms is just one way to prevent a prolonged illness.  Even 10% of healthy pets have an underlying disease only noticeable through preventative care screening. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian!



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