How To Know If Your Puppy Is Sick – Five Signs

No one likes to think of that cute puppy of yours being sick, but it’s important to know the signs. Unlike adult dogs, whose bigger bodies can take a bit more stress, puppies are fairly delicate and need prompt care if something is going on.

Here are five things to watch for:

One – Your pup stops eating or eats very little. If your pup is new, it may be that he’s nervous about being in a new environment. Or perhaps he has been getting too many treats and now your pup doesn’t want to eat his regular food.

Now’s the time to try to coax him to eat. If this doesn’t work, something is not right and it’s time for a vet consult.

Two – Your pup is lethargic. Depending on how old your pup is, she may just be exhibiting normal behavior if she is sleeping a lot. But when she’s not asleep, she should be wide awake and full of energy. If she’s generally lethargic, even after a good long nap, and isn’t playful and curious, again it’s time for a veterinary consult.

Three – Your pup is vomiting and/or has diarrhea. Both of these symptoms could possibly be from nervousness but be cautious here, as a pup’s little body can’t take too much of either of these before getting into serious trouble from a depletion of fluids and electrolytes. With vomiting, it may be that your pup is eating too rapidly, in which case you should consider smaller portions fed more frequently. For diarrhea, consider taking a stool sample to your vet for analysis. 

Four – Your pup constantly licks or scratches himself. Licking and scratching are just part of being a dog. But if your pup is going after a particular spot and just won’t stop, he might have allergies or a skin condition. Again, a vet consult is in order here. 

Five – Your pup constantly whimpers. Your pup might just be trying to get your attention, but if the whimpering persists, your pup might be in pain or be injured in some way. Off to the vet! 

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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