How do you know that a dog is ill?

If something is wrong with your dog, you will see a change in his behavior.

Although you believe that you know your dog well and also know how to interpret his body language, sometimes it is not so easy to determine if the four-legged friend has a physical or emotional problem. But how do you know if a dog is ill?

Dogs and pain

Our four-legged friends usually do not express their pain as openly as we do. The reasons for this are diverse:

  • They do not speak our language to tell us with more or less details what happens to them.
  • They are more resistant to pain than humans.
  • They try not to show it, to ensure their survival, what they have inherited from their ancestors.

Then we list various signs that you should observe to know if your dog is ill.

Signs indicating that your dog is ill

If something is wrong with your dog, you will see a change in his behavior. He will not do things that are normally part of his daily routine.

Pay attention to:

  • Watch for moans, growls, barks or whines. If your dog’s behavior is unusual, you should be vigilant.
  • Constant licking at a specific body site. If the dog has no visible wound, he may be in pain internally and therefore lick himself in a very specific place.
  • When the animal sleeps more. A dog that does not feel well needs more rest. Maybe it’s hard for him to move.

More evidence that your dog is not feeling well

Although it seems obvious, you should memorize these signs that are sure to show your dog is sick:

  • He has no appetite.
  • He drinks a lot or no water.
  • He breathes very fast even though he has not done excessive physical activity.
  • He does not want to play or go for a walk.
  • He has difficulty getting to bed, sitting, getting up or moving.
  • It is restless.
  • He takes unusual attitudes.
  • It hides or isolates itself.
  • He is cuddlier than usual.
  • He is irritable and even shows aggressive behavior.
  • Quantity and appearance of the urine or stool are changed.
  • He is constantly vomiting.
  • He is powerless.

Less obvious signs that your pet has a physical or emotional problem

Some complaints only show up at an advanced stage. Certain symptoms are very difficult to recognize.


  • When a dog often closes its eyes and its pupils become smaller, it probably suffers from eye pain.
  • Dilated pupils are often a sign of pain in another part of the body.
  • Swelling may be harmless, but may also indicate a more serious condition. They do not necessarily have to be painful. The veterinarian can determine the causes.

Otitis is difficult to recognize. Make sure the dog is constantly tilting its head.

Whitish gums generally indicate anemia.

Even if the dog emits a strange or unpleasant odor, it is very likely that he is ill.

The animal must be examined by a veterinarian.

If the suspicion that something is wrong with your dog is more and more substantiated, try to find out where it hurts. Gently push his entire body, as the pain can trigger an aggressive reaction.

Keep in mind that changes in your dog’s behavior do not have to be a physical problem. He may also be suffering from stress, anxiety or other emotional disorders.

Take your dog to the veterinarian and have him examined so that he can be treated properly as soon as possible.

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