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We love our animals, and we always want them to have the best care possible. However, every once in a while, our puppies will run into some health problems that may require a trip to the vet. This has a lot of people wondering: what are some signs to look out for that I need to take my puppy to the vet?

There’s no straightforward answer as to what sign or behaviour you need to look out for that will tell you whether your puppy needs the attention of a veterinarian or not. In truth, there are several signs and symptoms that your puppy could display that would lead you to believe they may need medical attention. 

Not every dog behaves the same way or will have typical symptoms, but we’ve compiled a concise list of the most common symptoms displayed by dogs who need to visit a vet. 

Warning Signs

Damaged, Dry, or Rough Fur

Typically, a dog’s coat should be shiny and smooth. If it feels out of the ordinary or suddenly different, you should take note of that and get to the bottom of it. The cause of this could be anything from allergies to more severe illnesses. Sometimes, dogs get into something that makes them sick and causes this kind of reaction. Here’s a list of common houseplants that are poisonous to dogs, for example. This isn’t limited to plants, though. It could be anything. 

Unusual Behaviour

Sometimes the warning signs of illness or allergic reactions manifest themselves in different ways other than what can be seen. You typically know how your dog behaves around you and what their general mood is. That means that you can easily detect if something is off and if they might not be feeling well. If your dog isn’t acting like they usually do and they seem sluggish, tired, or something else that’s unusual, they may need some medical attention. Our furry friends aren’t always good at telling us what’s wrong, so we need to be attentive and keep an eye on their behaviour to see if anything is off. 

Vomiting/Unusual Discharge

While some signs are subtle, some are also very clear. If your puppy is vomiting or has an unusual stool, that is definitely a sign that something might be off and your puppy might need to be taken in to see the veterinarian. Remember to take photos or notes on what happens right away so that you don’t forget it and you can accurately describe it to your veterinarian. 

Tips In Case of Emergency

If you have a puppy, you should have the number of a reliable emergency vet on hand at all times. It would be a good idea to store it in your phone or even write it on a note and put it on the refrigerator. 

You should also keep an emergency first aid kit in the home or in the car to help stabilise extreme situations. 


Though your puppy’s symptoms might not be on the list, these are some of the most common symptoms that something is wrong with a dog. There are countless other symptoms that your puppy might experience when they are ill, so pay close attention if you see anything out of the ordinary and always err on the side of caution. 


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