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10 Signs That Your Dog May Be Having Health Problems and What You Can Do About It

 As a dog owner, you need to stay vigilant and attentive to your pup’s well-being. Sometimes, subtle changes in their habits or demeanor can be indicators of underlying health issues. 

By knowing the critical signs to look for and taking swift action when you notice any potential health irregularities, you can ensure your canine companion remains happy and healthy. 

10 Signs Your Dog May Have Health Problems and What to Do

While there are a few things you can do to improve your pup’s health at home, you should always speak to a veterinarian before diagnosing or using our recommended interventions.

1. Excessive Scratching or Licking

If you notice your dog scratching or licking itself more than usual, it might be experiencing skin irritation or allergies. Common causes include fleas and allergies. To alleviate discomfort, try using a flea treatment recommended by your vet and experiment with hypoallergenic diets.

2. Persistent Coughing

When your dog is frequently coughing, it could indicate an underlying respiratory issue, such as kennel cough or canine influenza. Consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment options to help improve breathing quality. Do not give your pup human cough syrup.

3. Bad Breath

Bad breath in dogs might signify dental problems or digestive issues. Regular teeth cleaning can reduce bacterial growth, while veterinarian-recommended dog probiotics could improve digestion. Ensure proper oral hygiene and routine vet visits to maintain good dental health.

4. Unusual Appetite Changes

A sudden change in appetite may signal various health issues ranging from dental pain to organ failure. To catch these changes, be sure to monitor your dog’s food intake levels closely. Always consult your veterinarian if a drastic decrease or increase occurs over an extended period.

5. Unhealthy Skin or Coat

A dull coat or irritated skin often reflects improper nutrition or other health concerns like hypothyroidism which require professional assessment and tailored treatments. Sometimes, dietary changes are enough, but your dog may also need adjustments to their medication.

6. Difficulty Moving

Limping, stiffness, or difficulty getting up could be signs of joint pain due to arthritis, sprains, injuries, ligament tears (e.g., ACL), among others. Whether you want to use a dog-safe pain killer or CBD-infused treats, you should contact your vet before feeding your pet pain meds. 

7. Behavioral Changes

If you’re noticing a drastic change in your pup’s behavior, that’s almost always a sign that’s something wrong. Unless behavioral changes are caused by environmental factors (i.e., new baby or moving), your pet could be sick. They may also have an undiagnosed anxiety disorder.

8. Increased Thirst and Urination

Excessive drinking and increased urination can point to diseases such as diabetes or kidney issues. They could just be hot, but pay attention. Keep track of water consumption, and if any abnormalities are observed, contact your vet for further evaluation and possible intervention.

9. Discharge from Eyes or Nose

Eye or nasal discharge indicates infections, allergies, or other health issues needing attention from your vet for immediate relief through prescribed medication and ongoing care. Never try to treat these issues at home, as they’re almost always indicative of an underlying problem. 

10. Weight Loss/Gain

Rapid weight loss or gain without intentional modifications in diet may allude to metabolic problems like thyroid disorders that require further investigation. Rapid weight loss or gain is another common sign of an underlying health problem, so speak to your vet immediately. 

In Conclusion… 

Being proactive in monitoring and addressing potential health issues is invaluable for your pet's well-being. Recognizing the signs early on can make all the difference in catching solvable health issues. Don't ignore those subtle clues, and always consult with your vet when needed. 

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