Thursday, July 22, 2021

How To Know When Your Pooch Isn't In Top Form (And What To Do About It)

Few things are quite as stressful as finding your favorite fur-baby at less than top form.  

Sometimes, it’s obvious and they just don’t have their usual “spring in their step”, but how do you spot the less obvious signs and when is it time to take action?


Smelly breath and drooling (certainly pay attention if this falls into the “more than usual” category).

Unexplained loss of appetite and as a result noticeable weight changes (in either direction).

Are they less active than they usually are?

How about their tummy movements? Are their stools “runny” or is it hard for them to poop?

Coughing? Sneezing? Excessive panting or difficulty breathing?

Have you noticed a new skin condition? Lumps, dry patches, itchy patches?

Have you seen a change in their eyes? Dry eyes, red eyes or shaking their head back and forth?

Have they been sleeping more than usual or are they overly grumpy and acting out of character?

Are they drinking much more water than usual and urinating more frequently?

What about your usual star stair climber?  Are they stiff and unable to climb stairs or play?


Well, if any combination of these symptoms (or even just one) persists for longer than a couple of days, it’s time to get your furball to the vet.  In times of financial difficulty, you might want to put it off for a few days, but just like in humans the earlier you start treatment the better.  This might be a good time to check out pet insurance too.


Always, always follow the directions of your vet first and ask their advice for home care too and if there isn’t anything overly specialist about the care that’s needed at home then here are a few things that you can do to help soothe and spoil your dog so they know you love them.

Everyone's favorite of chicken and rice for a sick dog is the perpetual crowd pleaser. Take care not to overfeed your dog though and if they’ve been vomiting excessively, always follow your vet’s advice.

Shredded chicken is easy on the tummy and will also “motivate” dogs that might not have the biggest appetite when feeling ill.

Pumpkin (mashed up), broth and baby food all rank high up on the list for gentle and “easy on the tummy” care.


It is especially important to keep an eye out when your dog has been dehydrated through vomiting or diarrhea.  Make sure that they have swallowed whatever medication they have to take and if this keeps coming back, you may have to ask your vet for a suppository.  Always make sure that you have enough petroleum jelly as a lubricant at hand and as unpleasant as it may seem, make sure that you have inserted the suppository all the way in...or...well, you know.

It’s never easy to have a sick dog at home.  Or any pet for that matter but keeping a keen eye out for these signs and knowing what to do when things are not looking up goes a long way to creating some peace of mind and with loads of love and some downtime, your happy hound will be back as good as new.


  1. Some good, common sense advice for dog-owners. I have a cat and these things more or less apply to them also.
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  2. This is some great info. I hope everyone pays attention and sees when their doggies need some extra help and care.

  3. Great points on what to look for! I appreciate the information.

  4. This is good information especially for new pet owners.

  5. Thank you for the information.

  6. This helpful information for people with dogs

  7. Thankyou for all the information wish they could talk for sure

  8. i get so sad that i don't speak dog and cannot help my dog when she is sad. this is good info!

  9. Thanks for the informative article. Sometimes we overlook our pets in many ways as we try to keep up with daily life. Time to slow down and appreciate the smaller things in life. Including our furry friends.

  10. Thanks for the helpful information. I feel so bad for my dog when he isn't feeling great.

  11. I appreciate the heads up. This is very helpful information.

  12. Going to remember, Shredded chicken is easy on the tummy and will also “motivate” dogs that might not have the biggest appetite when feeling ill.

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  14. I have two great boys who I am always keeping an eye out for any unusual behavior from them. I just found out that one of my dogs has allergies so he is now taking Apoquel to help with his itching. It is working great.

  15. This article is a little difficult to read as we are dealing with a dog that is not in top shape currently. Thank you for all the useful tips to monitor your dogs health.

  16. Great information appreciate it

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  18. Thanks so much for the great information that you wrote about the signs to watch for to know when our furry babies are sick!


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