Common Dog Symptoms

You know you’re a dedicated dog owner when the only thing that will soothe your poor pooch’s pain is your loving touch. Sometimes, though, the source of the problem can be difficult to identify. Your dog may not be able to communicate his or her discomfort with words, but he almost certainly has ways of letting you know something’s wrong. Familiarizing yourself with common symptoms that may indicate your dog is in pain can give you peace of mind and help prevent a little suffering from turning into more serious health issues down the line. Here are some indications that Fido might not be feeling himself—and what to do if you spot them:


Redness is a sign of inflammation, which can be caused by anything from a bacterial or viral infection to allergies and wounds. If you see redness in your pet’s eyes, nose, ears or mouth it could mean that they have an infection. If your pet has red skin around their anus or penis then they are probably suffering from an ear infection (otitis externa). It is also possible that your pet has cancer if they have red patches on their skin as this could be related to malignant melanoma.

Weakness or Lethargy

Weakness or lethargy can be a sign of a more serious problem. To determine if this symptom is serious, check for redness, swelling, or discharge around the eyes. Check for wounds, cuts and lumps on the skin. Lastly, check for fevers as this can be a sign of infection.

Increased thirst and urination

It’s important to recognize the signs of increased thirst and urination because they can be a red flag for other underlying health problems. In dogs, these symptoms are common in cases of kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract infection (UTI) and liver disease. If you notice that your dog is drinking more than usual or urinating more frequently than normal—especially if they do so at night—you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Diarrhea is a common sign of many illnesses, including those caused by bacterial infections and parasites. If your dog has diarrhea, be sure to take a look at this list to see what might be causing it:

  • Excessive water intake
  • An obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract (e.g., from consuming errant toys)
  • Food allergy or intolerance (typically seen as soft stools)

Discomfort or pain

  • Discomfort or pain is a common symptom. In fact, it’s one of the most common symptoms that people experience.
  • That’s because pain can be a sign of an underlying condition and/or serious illness, as well as minor illnesses and injuries—and that makes it hard for health care providers to rule out all possibilities when you come in for medical attention.
  • While this may sound scary (and it should), there are things you can do to help protect yourself from potentially dangerous conditions like heart disease or stroke. If your doctor suspects that your discomfort or pain could mean something more serious than just a bad stomachache, they’ll likely order tests such as blood work and ultrasounds before making any recommendations on treatment options.


You don’t have to be a veterinarian to know that vomiting is a sign of illness. If your dog vomits, it’s important to find out the underlying cause so you can treat it and get your pup feeling better.

Vomiting can be caused by many health conditions, including:

  • Anemia (lack of red blood cells)
  • Cancer in the stomach or intestines
  • Constipation/bloat (gas build-up in the belly)
  • Dehydration due to diarrhea or vomiting

Loss of appetite

If your dog loses their appetite, they may become underweight. A lack of nutrients can lead to a lowered immune system as well as many other issues. In order to keep your dog healthy and prevent disease, you need to ensure that they are eating a balanced diet. If your dog does not eat enough food, it could be an indication that something is wrong with them.

Make sure that the food you feed your dog has all the necessary nutrients in it for good health. You should also check how much food is being consumed by the animal so you know if they are getting what they need or not.

Coughing or sneezing

Coughing and sneezing are common symptoms in dogs. If your dog is coughing, you may notice that it sounds wet or like he’s trying to cough up something. Sneezing is when your dog’s nasal passages become congested, causing him to expel mucus through his nose. This type of coughing or sneezing could be a sign of a respiratory infection.

If your dog exhibits signs of a respiratory infection, make sure to take him to the vet as soon as possible so she can perform proper diagnostics on him and recommend treatment options if necessary. To prevent these symptoms from reoccurring, be sure not only to watch out for them but also maintain good hygiene practices in order for your home environment not cause any additional irritation inside his body system (such as dust mites).


These are all common signs of illness in dogs. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, always consult your veterinarian to find out more about treatment options and prevention strategies. This guide is not intended as medical advice but rather a resource for pet owners to be aware of some common conditions so they can seek appropriate care for their loved ones!