Signs of Illness in Dogs

Dogs have been our friends and companions for thousands of years. We’ve gotten to know Fido pretty well in that time! Our canine pals have gotten pretty good at communicating with us. Your furry friend can probably get his point across when he wants to let you know he’s ready for a walk or is hoping you’ll share your burger. However, Man’s Best Friend isn’t as clear about letting on that he isn’t feeling well. Here, a Columbia, MD vet lists some common signs of illness in dogs.

Loss Of Appetite

If there’s one thing we know about Fido, it’s that he has a very healthy appetite. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement: most dogs will eat pretty much anything and everything. It’s always a red flag when a pooch isn’t interested in dinner.

Tummy Troubles

While an occasional bout of vomiting or diarrhea isn’t unusual, if your canine companion often has issues, there may be more going on than an upset tummy.


Just like people, dogs often get a bit grumpy when they are sick. If your usually-perky pup seems uncharacteristically grouchy, he may be ill.


If Fido isn’t feeling well, he may pace back and forth. Or, he may keep standing up and laying down, trying to get comfortable.

Unusual Vocalizations

Dogs all have their own personalities, and their own vocalization habits. If your canine buddy suddenly starts sounding different than he usually does, he may be ill. For example, if Fido normally is quiet, but then begins barking, howling, or whining incessantly, he could be sick.

Lack of Interest In Play

This one is kind of depends on how playful Fido usually is. If your pet is a senior and/or just a couch potato by nature, he may naturally be more interested in napping than playing Fetch. However, if Fido is usually frisky, but has recently shown little interest in playing, there may be something going on.


These are just a few common signs of sickness in dogs. Other ones include breathing difficulty, lethargy, fever, limping, stiffness, and trembling. You may also notice skin issues, bumps, fur problems, or discharge from the eyes, ears, or nose. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these issues, or any other uncharacteristic behavior.

Please reach out to us, your Columbia, MD vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Comments are closed.