How to recognize when my dog is sick

Your dog is less motivated about going for a walk, does not want to eat, drinks and/or urinates much more than usual, coughs, vomits, licks, scratches or chews constantly in one spot? These are indeed symptoms that can mean that your dog is sick.

Depending on the symptom, you should try to put the situation into perspective and analyze the reasons why your dog would have this behavior.

To help you in your analysis, here are some questions you might ask yourself:

  • What unusual things have I noticed?
  • How long has he had this symptom?
  • Does he have a fever in addition to other symptoms?

The normal rectal temperature of a dog is between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. This should be taken with a rectal thermometer. Dr. Capozzi from the veterinary office de La Fonderie proposes us an interesting information:


The dog's nose is not a reliable indicator of his body temperature.

We also put you below the reaction times (i.e., call your veterinarian) for the main symptoms:

To react immediately:

  • He has difficulty breathing
  • He she tries to vomit but is unable to do it
  • He has blood in his urine or vomit
  • He has one eye closed
  • He is drooling abnormally

After 24 hours:

  • He is not eating
  • He has diarrhea or constipation
  • He vomits
  • He has runny eyes
  • He coughs

After 48 hours:

  • He drinks excessively
  • He licks a part of his body in an abnormal way
  • He is itchy
  • He has a runny nose
  • A lump forms on the body
  • He has difficulty moving around

In the end, you know your dog better than anyone, so if you think he's reacting in an unusual way it's better to call your vet. Prevention is better than cure 😉


PS: Our "Emergency" and " Intoxication guide" pages may also interest you!