Signs of Dog illness


Dog illness is a condition that affects your Dog’s health. It can be life-threatening and should not be taken lightly. It is important to see your vet if your Dog is displaying any of the signs below.

Dogs will, For example, display several signs when they are sick. They may be limping, refusing to eat or drink, sleeping more often, or having trouble breathing. Some signs are easier to notice than others, and some require a trained eye.

Dog illness includes:

1)- Behavior Change

The first sign of a sick dog is a behavior change. If your pet has been acting unusually and suddenly seems more tired or lethargic, it could be because they feel under the weather. They may also not want to eat or drink as much as they usually would. 

A)- Abnormal Behavior

Your pet may show abnormal behaviors in pain or discomfort, ranging from chewing on your furniture to urinating outside their litter box if you’re unsure what is going on with your Dog.

B)- Mode Changes

Mode changes because of illness in several different ways. This list includes changes in mood, appetite, and activity level. Dogs can also show signs associated with their age or breed.

2)- Change in Appetite

If your Dog refuses food and water, it could mean that their diet isn’t agreeing with them anymore, and they’re trying to stay away from anything that may make them sicker.

This is also a good indicator that they’re feeling under the weather because their body needs nutrients to fight off infection and illness

A)- Change in Eating Habits

If you notice your pet suddenly stops eating, this could mean that they’re not feeling well and need more nutrition than usual. The list goes on, but there are some general signs you should know if your Dog looks and feels a little off.

B)- Change in Drinking Habits

If your pet suddenly stops drinking, it could mean they’re not feeling well and need more liquid than usual.

C)- Change in Eating/Drinking Patterns

If your pet starts to eat or drink at odd times, this could mean that something is going on internally.

D)- Gagging When Eating/Drinking

If your pet is gagging while eating, it could mean they’re not feeling well and need more water. But, on the other hand, it could mean they have a medical problem like diabetes or kidney disease.

E)- Change in Eating Frequency

If your pet starts eating more or less frequently than usual, it could mean something is going on internally.

3)- Change in Sleep Habits

Dogs with a cold, fever, or infection often don’t sleep as much. If your Dog suddenly has trouble sleeping at night, it could be because they’re feeling under the weather

A)- Change in Sleep Patterns

Changes in your Dog’s sleeping habits can be a sign of possible illness or discomfort (i.e., restless sleep, waking during the night)

Dogs are not the only pets that change their sleep patterns when sick. Cats, horses, and even humans can show similar signs.

B)- Change in Sleep Timing

This is one of the most common signs that dogs have an illness. Dogs usually sleep for more than 12 hours a day, but when they are sick, they may sleep less or not. They also might not eat as much as they normally do and be reluctant to go outside to pee or poop.

4)- Change in Energy Level

If your pet seems to have lost their normal energy levels, it could mean they’re not feeling well and maybe even sick. Also, their mood usually impacts an animal’s energy level, so if your pet seems sad or lazy, it could mean they’re feeling under the weather.

One sign is that your Dog is less energetic and playful. They might also seem lazy or not want to play with their favorite toy. If they have lost weight or look thin, they should also be taken to the vet.

A)- Lethargy

If your pet has increased time between their normal activity periods, it could mean they’re feeling lazy and unable to move.

B)- No Longer Jumping or Play around

Imagine if your Dog is no longer able to play and run around. That is until you notice a change in his behavior, such as no longer jumping up on you.

In some cases, dogs may show signs of illness such as vomiting and not eating much. If your Dog shows any of these symptoms, be sure to take him to the vet.

5)- Change in the Dog’s Appearance

If your pet seems to have sores or spots on their skin, they could react to their diet or an infection.

A)- Change in Personality

If your Dog starts to act like they’re acting differently than they usually do, it could mean something is going on internally.

B)- Weight Change

If your Dog seems to have gained or lost weight, this could mean that they are carrying more or less fat than usual.

C)- Abnormal Gait

Abnormal gait is when a dog’s step or walk changes. It could be anything from a difference in the speed of their walk to their foot placement.

This could mean that your pet may be experiencing pain, discomfort, or something else internally. I hope this can help you as well! But, of course, you can always call your vet if unsure what to do.

D)- Loss of Coordination

Pawing at the ground, panting excessively, drooling, and having a generally unsteady gait are all things that could be symptoms of pain.

E)- Inability to Walk on its Own

If your pet cannot move or stand on its own, it could signify something’s wrong.

F)- Change of Vision

A dog’s eyes can indicate that they are not feeling well. A change in their appearance could be due to a change in vision, which could be caused by an eye infection, glaucoma, or cataracts.

6)- Excessive Drinking or Urination

If your pet seems to be drinking excessively or urinating more than usual, this could mean that they’re dehydrated and need extra water. This could mean that they have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Some dogs will also drink excessively if they have had UTIs.

7)- Vomiting, Diarrhea, or Constipation

If your pet is experiencing significant amounts of these three symptoms, it could mean that something is going on internally, like a change in diet or intestinal bacteria.

A)- Vomiting

A dog may vomit if it is sick. This usually happens when the stomach is full and has to release excess fluid. If the Dog vomits more than once, it may have a more serious condition. For example, it could have a blood infection if it vomits blood. It can also vomit bile if an obstruction in its intestines needs to be removed.


A dog with diarrhea often produces a lot of liquid and sometimes mucus. The mucus will be greenish-yellow or brownish-green in color and may contain blood or pus.

The liquid will also often contain mucus and bile from the Dog’s stomach. See a vet if your Dog has green or brown slime in their stool.

C)- Constipation

Constipation is one of the most common signs of illness in dogs, but it can also be caused by feeding your Dog too many hard-to-digest foods.

8)- Unusual Breathing Patterns

The most visible sign of a Dog’s illness is a change in breathing patterns. Bilateral or unilateral breathing, gasping for air without any obvious reason and shallow breaths are some of the symptoms that can be observed.

Other symptoms include coughing, wheezing, labored or rapid breathing, and panting. A short, quick breathing pattern and a struggle to breathe could signify distress.

9)- Shaking or Shivering

If your Dog is shaking and shivering, this might be a sign of pain. If your Dog cannot stop shivering, you should contact your vet immediately.

Some symptoms and signs can help you determine what kind of injury it could have sustained on its own or with other animals in the house. 

Most Common Reasons for Shaking/Shivering of Dog

– Anxiety

– Fever

– Seizure

– Heatstroke

– Parvo Virus

– Lyme Disease

– Canine distemper


Dogs are living beings and therefore have unique needs that require specific care. However, many of these needs can be managed or diagnosed through observation.

However, some illnesses can only be detected by a veterinarian or dog owner with experience recognizing certain signs. Some signs of a dog’s disease include a change in appetite, weight loss, excessive drinking, lethargy, and more.

Signs of a dog’s illness can be subtle. However, there are several behaviors that you should watch out for that may indicate your pup is sick.

Dogs will often display several signs when they are sick. For example, they may be limping, refusing to eat or drink, sleeping more often, or having trouble breathing. Some signs are easier to notice than others, and some require a trained eye.

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Paula Jones

I am a native of the Pacific Northwest and have been a professional veterinary technician for over nine years. An expert on pet-related, including nutrition, behavior, training, and last but not least, the pet's role as an emotional support animal.

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