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Animal Friends Blog


How do I know if my dog needs the vet?

a dog with a ball in its mouth

You should take your dog to the vet if you see any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Vomiting and Diarrhoea
  • Limping
  • Change in appetite or extreme thirst
  • Problems with eyes or ears
  • Hair loss or itchiness

Whether you’re a new dog owner or your dog’s been part of the family for a few years it can be quite worrying when they start to display irregular behaviour. There are signs or symptoms that you need to keep an eye out for that might be hinting that something’s not quite right.

So, how do you know if your dog needs the vet?

Breathing and Coughing

Obviously, our dogs will pant if they’re hot or just after a walk or exercise, but if they’re having difficulty breathing otherwise, especially in cool temperatures, it’s something to keep an eye on. They might just have a cold but a vet can determine if there’s something more serious involved.

Your dog might cough for a variety of reasons, but if it doesn’t resolve on their own, which they tend not to, you might need to make a visit to the vet.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Our dogs will throw up once in a while, and their stools will change for a variety of reasons, but if your dog continues to vomit or have diarrhoea then it might be a good idea to seek veterinary attention. It’s important to make sure your dog remains hydrated during this time.


Limping could suggest that your dog is in pain when it walks and could mean it’s hurt a joint, muscle or bone. Your dog might be suffering from some soreness and the limp might disappear in a day or two, but it could be a result of arthritis, or even a fractured bone.

You’ll need to make a note of some key information that you might need to supply to your vet, including how long your dog has been limping.

Change in Appetite or Thirst

You might notice your dog turn its nose to a meal or two, and that can be normal, just think of all the times you might have skipped a meal just because. Then again, if this continues for more than a couple of days it might mean your dog needs an examination by the vet.

a dog drinking water

If your dog starts drinking more water than usual your dog could be developing a disease or illness, and you might want to consider a visit to the vets.

Drinking more might also lead to an excessive amount of urine and accidents in the house, if this happens do not punish your dog.

Problems with eyes or ears

Eyes that are red, watery or swollen will need to be attended to, as well as ears that seem irritated, have an unpleasant odour or unusual discharge. Even if it’s not a serious issue, taking your dog to the vet to seek treatment to ensure that your dog is comfortable and pain-free again.

Hair loss and itchiness

There are many common reasons as to why your dog might be scratching constantly, especially around the ears. From fleas to mites, it could be something easily treated by the vet, but hair loss could also be a sign for much serious problems that are harder to diagnose.

Certain illnesses and diseases will often have more than one symptom, and one symptom can have numerous causes, so it can be a scary time when your dog falls ill. A veterinary professional will be able to help you when the worse happens and reassure you when you need it most.

If these symptoms occur before purchasing an insurance policy with us or within our 14 day waiting period, they will be excluded from your policy, as they will be classed as pre-existing conditions.


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Hello, lovely readers, I'm Catrin George. I'm a treat dispenser and walk giver to Marvel, the border collie. I'm here to give you the latest updates and low downs on anything and everything pet related, whether they miaow, woof, or neigh. The blogs will be filled with news, reviews, and charity visits with some discounts and giveaways squeezed in-between. So, keep your eyes peeled here!

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