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When Should I Bring My Dog to the Vet?

{CityDog Global} Many dog owners get so anxious that they waited too long or went to the vet to soon. So the question is, when is the right time to visit the vet?


Let’s get this straight. Animals are good at pretending to be well. Dogs, in particular, can only show a few subtle signs that something is wrong with them. This is where things become tricky. If you’re not good at reading signs, you’ll somehow be at fault if Fido has any issues.

So what should you do? Be wary of these common symptoms or signs that you shouldn’t ignore among dogs, and bring them to the vet immediately.

Loss of Appetite

hungry dog with dog bowl

If your dog suddenly stops eating or drinking, this should tell you that something is wrong. This is more common among senior dogs, that’s why you typically get asked about their food and water consumption level. It can be a sign of a digestive issue that affects your dog’s appetite, so seek help from the vet as soon as possible.


Child hand and lonely homeless dog

This is a no-brainer. A dog that vomits a few times, no matter the color is, should be taken to the vet. Two to three times in more or less eight hours can cause dehydration. Don’t wait until things get worse!

Breathing Difficulties

Adorable dog heavily breathing on grass

Every dog pants on a warm, sunny day after a walk or exercise in the park. But seeing your dog breathe the same way even after a few hours is never okay. Dogs are not supposed to make weird noises or puff lips when they breathe.

Sudden Weight Loss

Weighting a big dog at the vet

This is why it’s important to track your pet’s weight regularly. A sudden weight loss is a sign of an underlying health issue. If your pup lost at least 10% of their weight even with proper eating, don’t wait any further. Call your vet and schedule an appointment.


Dog lying, sleeping on the dark sofa. Canine background

Do you notice that your dog has been lethargic lately? And by definition, is your dog sleeping more than usual, playing less, and being tired without any reason? These are not good signs. You should go to the vet to get a proper diagnosis.

Eye Discharge or Discoloration

dog's eye

Ever watched a video of a cute dog crying in real tears? You might find it too adorable until you look closer and find out it’s an infection. Watch out for red eyes too. It can progress quickly so don’t wait until it gets worse. Bring your lovely pup to the vet as soon as possible.

Skin or Coat Changes

dogs with fur and coat

Allergies are easy to spot. Dry skin and dull coats are some of the most common symptoms to watch out for. So if your dog has one or both of these, call your vet and you’ll get some medications to make your dog feel better.

Lumps or Bumps

owner petting dog

If you touched any lump or swelling part in your dog’s body that wasn’t there before, your vet should have a closer look at it. They will examine and run some tests to give you an idea of what the lump or bump might be. In general, lumps are harmless but if left untreated, they can turn out into something else.


chihuahua showing off her limp

Limping is an obvious sign of a joint, muscle or bone issue. This might have to do with your pet’s age, breed and other factors, which means that only a vet can diagnose and advise the best treatment for it.

Urine or Defecation Changes

A small white Chihuahua pees on a metal pole at the dog beach

There are a few ways to tell that your pup is having some bowel movement issues. First, pee or poop’s color has changed, your dog is urinating or defecating in unusual places, or worse, there’s blood in the urine or feces. These signs should tell you that a trip to the vet is necessary.

Considering these signs, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your vet to diagnose and treat your dog.

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about the author

Audrey Cabrera

Audrey Cabrera is the assistant editor of CityDog Magazine. She has a background in copywriting, copyediting and SEO. When she's not digging up the best places to sit, stay and play with your pooch, she's dog mom to Danger and Caramel.

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