Signs Your Dog Needs Extra Care

As the weather gets colder, our furry friends can also feel under the weather. While cold temperatures themselves don’t cause viral infections, they can exacerbate aches and pains in dogs, making their discomfort more noticeable. It’s essential to pay attention to your dog’s health, regardless of their age or temperament. Since dogs can’t verbally communicate their symptoms, they rely on physical displays of illness. If you notice any unusual behaviors or symptoms in your pup, it’s always best to seek veterinary guidance. Trust your instincts because you know your dog better than anyone.

Excessive drooling or panting

Excessive drooling or panting in dogs can indicate pain, anxiety, tummy upsets, or fever. Although heatstroke is unlikely during the colder months, it’s crucial to investigate your dog’s health if you notice these signs. Poison or snake bites could be potential risks that require immediate attention. If you can’t find any reasonable explanations for your dog’s excessive drooling or panting, don’t hesitate to consult your vet.

Decrease in physical activity or changed sleeping patterns

Lethargy and changes in sleeping patterns can be signs of various infections, including basic tummy upsets, fever-inducing diseases, and more serious conditions like heart disease and arthritis. If your dog is behaving differently and showing a lack of interest in their usual playful activities, it’s a clear indication that they are unwell.

Decreased appetite

While changes in appetite are not always cause for concern, significant decreases accompanied by other symptoms should be noted. If your dog suddenly refuses to eat or shows a loss of appetite alongside other signs, it could be a simple gastrointestinal infection or a more severe condition like systemic infections, liver problems, kidney failure, or even cancer. Pay attention to any alarming changes in their eating habits.

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Increased thirst or urination

If you observe excessive drinking or accidents in the house, it may indicate a bladder infection, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or adrenal gland disease. On the common-sense side, consider whether you recently changed your dog’s food, as some cheaper options may have high salt content. Conversely, drinking a lot but not urinating much could signal bladder stones or a urinary tract issue, both of which require medical attention. Monitor your dog’s drinking and urination patterns for any irregularities.

Bad breath or change in gum color

While dogs are not known for having minty fresh breath, a sudden change in odor or an increase in foul-smelling breath could be a sign of underlying health issues. Persistent bad breath may indicate problems with the mouth, teeth, gut, kidneys, or other internal organs. Additionally, any change in gum color or slow refill when pressure is applied could suggest infection, anemia, or poor blood pressure. Pay attention to their oral health as it can provide valuable insights into their overall well-being.

Red or dry eyes

Red or goopy eyes in dogs can be caused by various issues, including conjunctivitis, allergies, glaucoma, foreign objects, dry eyes, or entropion (rolled-in eyelids). Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial to investigate and treat the underlying cause to prevent irreversible damage. Take note of any changes in your dog’s eye appearance or behavior.

Upset tummy – vomiting or diarrhea

While occasional vomiting may not be a cause for concern, persistent or excessive vomiting, along with diarrhea, indicates an underlying issue. Gastrointestinal infections or parasitic infections like hookworm or roundworm could be the culprits. If your dog continues to vomit or have loose stools, it’s essential to seek further medical investigation. Look out for any changes in their bowel movements.

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Cold symptoms

Dogs can contract different viruses than humans when they have “colds.” These viruses are spread through contact with other infected dogs. Kennel cough, a fairly treatable illness for healthy dogs, can cause discomfort and worry for puppies or breeds with short snouts like Boxers and Pugs. Persistent sneezing and coughing should be investigated to ensure your pet’s comfort. Respiratory diseases in dogs can have various causes, including viruses, bacteria, allergens, and chemical irritants.


Stiffness and general aches and pains can be expected in older dogs or those spending time outdoors in colder weather. However, it’s vital not to dismiss clear signs of arthritis. If your pet has difficulty moving, reduced activity levels, or whimpers when they move, it’s important to assess their symptoms. Identifying arthritis in dogs can be challenging, but addressing their discomfort early can lead to a positive outcome. Remember that arthritis can affect young dogs too, so don’t delay seeking medical advice if you suspect this condition.

While one or two of these symptoms may be attributed to simple explanations like aging or dietary changes, it’s always best to analyze your pet’s health with an objective perspective. If you have concerns about your dog’s well-being this winter, consider making an appointment at Katten TrimSalon. Our experienced professionals can provide the necessary care and guidance for your furry friend. Book your appointment here or give us a call at 03 9369 1822. Take care of your dog’s health and ensure they receive the attention they deserve.