It’s always advisable to be on the lookout for these signs of an unhealthy dog, many of which can be fatal if they – and their cause – are not treated quickly!

A dog’s health and wellbeing can be quite like that of people. Some signs of an unhealthy dog can be obvious – like vomiting – but others can be more subtle and easy to overlook (think depression or lethargy).

And because dogs can’t tell us what’s bothering them in words we understand, dog owners need to keep an eye out for things that are not quite right. Being vigilant could even save their life! If you’re concerned about your dog displaying any of the symptoms outlined below, contact your vet or nearest animal hospital as soon as possible.

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Being overweight or obese is an increasingly common problem in Australian dogs. But – just like in people – this type of weight gain usually happens over longer periods. And it tends to be caused by poor diet and lack of exercise.

Sudden weight fluctuations, whether they be rapid weight loss or gain, can be much more serious in the short term.

There are a huge number of causes, such as dehydration, excessive vomiting or diarrhea, cancer, tumors, bloat, bowel obstruction, or injury.

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Sometimes skin irritation in dogs can be obvious, such as a skin rash, fur loss, or relentless scratching. Like most dog health concerns, there can be a range of causes.

Be sure to check for fleas and mites. Some dogs are allergic to flea bites, making them even more itchy and painful, and prone to excessive scratching.

Also check your yard for possible irritants – grass seeds, wandering dew, and other irritating plants.

Washing your dog too often can also cause skin irritation, as can the type of shampoo you use. Never use human shampoo on your dog: their skin is different from ours, which is why specialist pet shampoos exist.

Rashes can also be a sign of allergies to food or medications, so again, it may be wise to have a consult with your vet.

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An upset stomach can manifest itself by way of vomiting or diarrhea – or both – and there are several possible causes.

Vomiting or diarrhea in dogs is among the most common symptoms of poisoning – usually the result of them eating something toxic to pets.

Many common garden plants are poisonous to dogs, and also several foods that people readily eat but are also toxic to our canine friends.

Other toxic things that can eat and then suffer from vomiting and/or diarrhea include snail pellets, rat/mice poison, household chemicals such as cleaners, or garden chemicals – even some natural/organic ones.

Then of course bites from poisonous animals, such as by a snake or a paralysis tick, can also cause vomiting.

The good news, however, is that vomiting and diarrhea in dogs is not necessarily the result of poisoning. It can also be something less severe and more easily treatable, such as an infection, an allergy

Some dog owners have also seen their dogs temporarily get an upset stomach from eating various types of animal poo.

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Like their owners, dogs are at risk of developing abnormal enlargements of the heart, but that doesn’t mean your puppy won’t live a normal life. The most common reason your dog may develop heart disease is aging, but heartworms and other health problems may also play a role.

Heart disease is important to consult as soon as possible simply because we want to try to slow down this process. If your dog has heart disease try to do fewer activities when it’s hot and humid outside.



All dogs pant and some drool were a lot more than others. But if you notice your pup is panting or drooling a lot more than usual, it can be a sign that something serious is wrong!

But finding out exactly what is wrong can be difficult, as many things can cause this.

The most obvious is something stuck in their mouth or throat. Bones can break apart and become lodged in the gums or stuck between teeth. As well as excess drool, your dog may be pawing at their mouth and/or twitching their lips in discomfort.

But if something is lodged further down their throat, your dog may need urgent veterinary treatment.

It’s a good idea to check with your vet whenever there is no obvious cause for excessive drooling or panting, as it can also be a sign of poisoning, obstruction, mouth tumors, or other health concerns.

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