It is no secret that the UK is a nation of animal lovers. According to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) 2022 Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, 27% of UK adults own a dog. Dogs are important members of many households, acting as loyal companions and boosting home safety. However, unlike a human being, your canine friend lacks the luxury of verbal communication when something is wrong. Therefore, it is up to you as an owner to monitor them closely for telltale signs that they may need help. Here are three common signs that there is something wrong with your dog.
- Laboured breathing
Laboured breathing is a popular distressing sign that your dog could be in trouble. These breathing difficulties can occur during breathing in and breathing out. The most common symptoms of laboured breathing in dogs include noisy breathing, nostrils flaring open when breathing, and the chest wall and belly moving more than usual when breathing. In addition, dogs that breathe with open mouths when not panting and breathe with elbows sticking out from their bodies could be in distress. There are many causes of laboured breathing, like a chest infection or the aspiration of food or objects. However, difficulty breathing can also be a symptom of cardiac arrest, and having pet CPR certification may come in handy for saving your furry friend’s life in this instance.
- Poor eating habits
People in the UK spend a whopping £3.2 billion on pet food annually, which is slowly rising yearly. As a concerned pet owner willing to spend on your dog’s nutrition, it is always worrying when your canine friend suddenly loses its appetite. According to experts, it is best to check if any other behavioural changes accompany your dog’s sudden dislike of food. For example, your pet may be sick if it is drinking less water or in pain in addition to avoiding food, so it would be best to take them to the vet. However, your dog’s poor eating habits could also be down to a problem with the food. Perhaps you have switched to another brand of dog food your dog isn’t thrilled about. If you suspect this might be the case, try giving your dog a different kind of food to see if they are interested.
- Rough or dry coat
A dog’s coat is one of the most reliable indicators of its overall health. Indeed, a thick, soft, and shiny coat is a common sign of healthy dogs, while a dull and dry coat usually indicates illness. There are numerous potential causes of poor hair coats, like dehydration, nutrition deficiencies, and allergies. Only a veterinarian can determine the cause of your dog’s poor hair coat and offer the best treatment. Therefore, consider taking your dog to the vet if it has a rough, dry, dull or patchy coat. However, you can do a lot at home to improve your dog’s coat in the meantime. For example, brush your dog often to eliminate dead or loose hair and use a conditioner to keep their coat healthy and shiny.
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*This is a collaborative article