Dog Illnesses: When Should You Take Your Pet to a Vet?

A small dog is lying on the exam table, with the dog's owner holding him, while the Vet is listening to his heart - Hampton Park Veterinary - Charleston, SCSince the beginning of the pandemic, 9 million dogs have been acquired by households. Even though bringing home a new puppy or adopting a senior dog can be exciting, it’s essential to look after pets correctly.

But, sometimes, we can overlook symptoms in our dogs because of a lack of knowledge or simply not paying attention to small changes that can lead to dog illnesses.

Going to a vet should be at the top of your priority list when your dog starts acting differently.

It’s better to visit a Charleston vet as soon as possible if your dog becomes lethargic, starts vomiting, or has sudden weight loss.

In this article, you’ll find more symptoms to look out for so you can keep your dog happy and healthy for many years.

Watch Out for These Signs of Dog Illnesses

Dog illnesses can vary in severity, but the symptoms are often similar in every pet. You can’t always tell immediately if there’s something wrong with your dog until the problem develops.

For instance, if your dog is sleeping more than usual, it might be because of a change in weather or a long walk the day before.

Although if you can’t identify a reason for behavioral changes, something else might be wrong with your furry friend.

Eating Differently

Like humans, food is a strong indicator of a dog’s health, so you should take action if they start eating less than usual. It’s also a bad sign if your dog starts skipping meals during the day.

Generally, a dog should never go without food for more than two days. So, if you notice the dog food bowl is full for days, it’s time to go to a Charleston veterinary clinic for an appointment.

Your vet in Charleston SC will be able to determine the root cause of the change in eating patterns and help you figure out if there’s a more severe issue with their health.

Increase in Thirst

Sometimes when the weather changes, a dog can crave more water, just like us, but if it’s not warm and your dog drinks excessively, you should take action.

For example, increased thirst can signify another health problem, such as kidney infections or diabetes. You should observe your dog for a few days and see if their drinking habits have changed.

If you think your dog is consuming too much water or not enough liquids, visiting a veterinarian in Charleston SC, is a reasonable safety precaution.

Eye Changes

There’s nothing like your dog’s big eyes staring at you while they rest their head on your lap, but if their eyes look cloudy or red, it can be a sign of a health complication.

You should also look for discharge, swelling, or scratching around the eye. If you catch the eye infection quickly, you can get treatment and stop it from spreading and worsening.

Therefore, it’s always advised that you check their eye problems when you see any signs of infection or inflammation. And, if you’re concerned, you can schedule a health check.


Being sick is another sign of dog illnesses in your pets that is a cause for concern. Vomiting is a common indicator that your pet has eaten something wrong or has a health problem.

If your dog has eaten something rotten, it will likely vomit for a few hours and then recover. But if they keep vomiting over a few days, it’s probably not just because of food.

Allow your dog to rest and see if they improve; if not, you should get a professional to look at them and rule out any other issues.

Unexpected Weight Loss

Your dog should maintain a healthy weight if they follow a balanced diet and get plenty of daily exercise in their life.

Although, if your dog is eating the same as always and going on regular walks but starts losing weight, it could be a problem.

Losing weight might not be a negative sign for young puppies, but it could be serious for seniors. Therefore, it’s a good idea to rule out other factors by visiting the vet so you can calm your worries.

These signs are common symptoms of further health problems, so it’s vital that you keep an eye out for them when cuddling or feeding your pet. Here are some emergency symptoms that need instant attention:

  • Stopped breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth, or eyes
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Unable to stand
  • Constant whining and shaking
  • Pale gums
  • Not urinating

These symptoms can’t be left for a few days; they need to be seen immediately by a veterinarian.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Hopefully, your dog will never experience severe health complications, but it’s normal for them to have phases of sickness. The main thing is that your pet gets the treatment they need to recover and stay healthy.

To give your dog a good life, you must take them on frequent daily walks and monitor their weight gain. If there are no apparent issues with your pet, a yearly checkup should be fine for them.

Otherwise, you can schedule an appointment when they show these signs of sickness.

Plus, you should vaccinate your dog with the right medicine to prevent them from becoming unhealthy. But, above all else, you should give them lots of love and care.

Their mental health is just as important as their physical health.

Look After Your Dog With a Vet Check

As a dog owner, it’s essential that you take responsibility for the health of your pet. You need to organize a health appointment if you think they have lost weight without reason, have swelling, or vomited for several days.

You should also be aware of emergency signs of dog illnesses and act as soon as you notice them. Even though there are various veterinarians, they don’t all offer the same friendly service.

Our veterinarian team has years of experience looking after dogs, so you’ll be safe with us. Contact us to discuss our treatment plans and how we can help your dog stay healthy.