Owning a dog means joy, fun and loyal companionship, but it also means responsibility and worry. If you’re worried about your dog, it can be hard to relax, and if you don’t know what you can do to help, that anxiety can skyrocket to levels it’s difficult to control. Today we’re taking a look when you’re worried about your pet, whether your dog has diarrhea and vomiting, is refusing food, or any other of the symptoms that a dog can present you with at short notice.
The first and most important thing you can do is be prepared. Research common problems, not just for dogs in general, but for the breed – for example bulldogs, pugs and other breeds with that distinctive flat-faced look are prone to respiratory problems precisely because of their smaller nostrils, narrowed trachea and other adaptions. Because dogs cool down primarily by panting, this can also make them vulnerable to overheating, so if you learn about the needs of the breed, you’ll be ready with extra supplies of cool water on the hottest days.
You can also prepare by ensuring your dog is registered at your local vet. This means you have somewhere to bring your pet in an emergency, one that’s familiar with their medical history and can deal with the injuries and sudden acute illnesses online vets are less directly useful for. A vet can also register and microchip your pet, so if they go missing, you can be reunited with the minimum of worry!
To help control your worries about what to do if your dog is sick, it’s worth understanding the different common symptoms your dog may show and what you can do to help – whether that’s providing care and comfort while they recover, or rushing them to a vet without delay
Vomiting and diarrhea are, unfortunately, some of the most common symptoms of dog sickness you can encounter. While they might be indicators of serious illness, in most cases they’ll pass by themselves in hours, evidence of nothing more than your dog’s exploratory, scavenging tendencies. In the meantime, it’s worthwhile knowing you can help your suffering pet with an easily digestible diet – boiled chicken and rice is one of the most common options. This helps to keep your pet nourished while the symptoms abate – and if they don’t, it’s time for an emergency appointment at the vet!
More immediately concerning symptoms are any problems breathing, changes in behaviour like sudden, uncharacteristic aggression, and retching. Continued retching without vomiting could be a symptom of the serious issue called ‘bloat’, in which a dog’s digestive system can become twisted. This can be quickly fatal, so if you notice this symptom, you shouldn’t delay – get your dog to the vet immediately!