Five Signs Your Dog Needs to Go to the Vet

Updated On: Friday, December 8, 2023 13:08:15 PM America/Los_Angeles

Not sure if your fur baby needs a trip to the vet? Here are five common signs that your pup may be in need of professional care. 

Photo by Karsten Winegeart

Change in eating or drinking habits

If your pup exhibits any unusual changes in their eating or drinking patterns, you may want to keep a closer eye on their intake, as it could signal a deeper issue. Generally speaking, canines are innately able to regulate their intake and if there’s a sudden change of appetite or increased water intake, it could hint at a medical issue. 

Consistent change in bowel movement

The occasional loose stool or diarrhea isn’t cause for alarm, but if there’s a consistent or increasing deterioration in bowel movements, it could signal a variety of underlying causes that warrant a trip to the vet. Some common reasons are internal parasites, allergies, and gastrointestinal disease. 

Aggressive or unusual behavior

While humans can go to a doctor and explain their symptoms, dogs have to rely on their behavior to communicate. If a peppy pooch suddenly isolates or a calm doggo becomes aggressive, there may be a medical or behavioral reason. Sometimes, it’s easier to discern the root cause -- a big move or a new pet are reason enough for such behavioral shifts. Other times, the reason may be less visible to the human eye and may be related to a medical issue. Whichever the case, if the behavior is becoming progressively worse, it’s time to check in with your veterinarian.

Skin or coat changes

Changes to your dog’s skin or coat are likely associated with allergies. Though allergies aren't generally a life or death concern, they can be incredibly irritating and lead to other more severe symptoms if left untreated. Having a vet help figure out the culprit means reducing the amount of time your pup has to suffer with itchy skin, weepy eyes, or irregular bowel movements. 


As humans, we know that even a slight cold is enough to zap us of our energy and want to crawl into bed for the day. Canines are more resilient and can hide their pain, however, so if they exhibit lethargy you’ll want to pay attention. If the reason isn’t evident, you may need a vet to examine your pup and see whether the lack of energy is due to something like depression or if they’re struggling with a medical problem.


TAGS: veterinarian