When to Take Your Dog to the Vet

Taking care of a dog is typically pretty straight forward. You have to make sure that they eat a healthy diet every day, have a safe environment to live in, and receive the love and attention they deserve as a furry member of your family. But dealing with a sick dog may become tricky -- not to mention stressful.

This is why it is important to know some common signs that your dog is sick and when to take your dog to the vet so that they can get the care they need before things get too serious. Following are some signs to look for that indicate it's time to see your veterinarian right away:

Lethargy Gif of dog who does not want to walk on leash

If your dog is sleeping or laying around more than usual or does not seem to have the same amount of spunk, it might be a good idea to have them checked out by your veterinarian. Lethargy is a symptom of many different illnesses or even an injury.   Your veterinary team will help you investigate just what could be the underlying issue.

Not Eating

A day of not eating may be nothing to worry about.  But if your dog is not interested in eating for two or more days, or their appetite seems to go up and down consistently,  it is time to take them to the vet. Just like with lethargy, reduced eating can signal many different potential problems, from mouth pain to an intestinal blockage, and anything in between. A thorough exam is vital to getting your best friend feeling better.

Consistent Ear Scratching

If your dog starts to scratch at their ears or shake their head throughout the day, it is a good idea to have them checked for an ear infection. Some dogs tend to whine or whimper while scratching at their ears, which is a sure sign of infection or other ailment. Untreated infections can lead to serious problems. Injury, bruising, or an aural hematoma (think of a giant, painful blood blister), may occur. Plus, ear infections are extremely uncomfortable for your pet.  The sooner you seek treatment for an ear infection , the sooner your pup will feel better and will less likely experience any further damage.

Persistant Vomiting or Diarrhea

Dogs may occasionally vomit or have loose stools. But if these symptoms recur, it may be a sign of something serious. Manty conditions can cause vomiting, ranging from dietary indescretions to liver and kidney disease. Diarrhea can cause dehydration and can be caused by diet changes, parasites and many other conditions. It is best to contact us if these occur. 


Persistant coughing can be a sign of infectious diseases like kennel cough or heart or lung disease. It is always wise to have a cough checked out by your veterinarian, because it is very difficult to tell the cause without listening to the lungs. Sometimes radiographs are needed as well. 


Illustration of a sad or sick dog

These are just five of the many reasons you may need to bring your dog to the vet. You know your pet best. When something doesn't seem right, that is a good time to pay attention. Catching a problem before your pet has lost weight or shows outward signs of disease often results in fewer treatments and less distress for your pet. If something seems out of the ordinary, call us to schedule an appointment today!


Blog Category: