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Article by Dimitri Michel

When should you worry about your dog’s health?

Updated on 24 October 2023.

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You think there’s something strange going on with your dog. For a few days now, he hasn’t been eating or playing, he’s had diarrhea or worms… but why? What’s the reason for this sudden change in behavior?

Your dog doesn’t really know how to complain when he’s got a problem, so it’s up to you to take the necessary steps and be attentive enough to discover what’s behind your dog’s abnormal behavior.

We’re going to answer that question and, above all, find out whether or not you should be worried and call the vet.

Disorders, reasons and solutions

Here are the most common disorders among our dog friends, their most likely explanations and how to react depending on the case.

Behavior : Your dog has stopped eating, playing or moving… This shouldn’t necessarily alarm you too much, but it’s not harmless or to be taken lightly. In fact, your dog may just need a few days to recover from a small injury or other problem, but it could also be a psychological disorder or an internal illness.

Dogs are very sensitive animals, and can quickly feel unwell or depressed. This can lead to a hunger strike, behavioral problems or even to the dog hardly wanting to move at all. In the event of a psychological disorder, take the time to play with him as often as possible, and also to take him for walks. The important thing is for him to see the countryside and get his mind off things, and to get him out of the environment that’s oppressing him and making him depressed. He should soon regain a taste for life and be able to run around again in peace and quiet.

If the change in behavior persists, a visit to the vet will be necessary to carry out tests to see if your dog is suffering from an illness.

Diarrhoea: Transient diarrhea is not uncommon in dogs, and a change in diet or too many leftovers are the most frequent causes. If diarrhea persists and you haven’t changed your dog’s diet or force-fed him, he may be suffering from a virus or parasitic disease. For parasites, there’s nothing like a good dewormer. For viruses, it all depends on what your dog is suffering from. Visit your vet then, so you can give your dog the right care.

Injury : Your dog has injured himself, is limping, has a small sore, licks his paw pads incessantly or suffers during certain movements. As a general rule, everything should be back to normal in 2 or 3 days, but if the pain is too severe or persists for more than 5 days, it will be necessary to contact your vet.

Constipation: Dogs, like people, sometimes suffer from constipation. This problem is generally related to diet. It may be due to a sudden change in his diet, or to a food given in too large quantities. For example: bones give dogs constipation problems. So if you give your dog too much bone, he’ll suffer from constipation. The best prevention against constipation is a healthy, varied diet. If your dog is constipated, the best thing you can do is give him a large spoonful of edible oil (cooking oil). This will grease the intestine and help your dog to pass faeces. If the problem persists, you can also give him kerosene oil, a very good product to help dogs get rid of their constipation problems. However, if after a few days you see no improvement (and you’ve made sure he’s not eating bones or anything unusual), you’ll need to take him to the vet. Your vet will be able to provide him with the appropriate care, including a laxative product.

Excessive thirst: If your dog drinks a lot (more than usual), he’s bound to have to urinate more frequently, so it’s important that you take extra care as he could accidentally urinate inside. Firstly, if your dog drinks a lot after strenuous exercise (a long walk or a run in the woods) or excessive heat, this is perfectly normal. On the other hand, if your dog drinks a lot more than usual when it’s not too hot and he hasn’t made any unusual effort, there may be several reasons for this:

– a change of food (from pate to dry food will undoubtedly make him drink more), so there’s no need to worry.

– A bladder infection, in which case you’ll need to consult a vet.

– If he’s older, his kidneys may simply not be working as well, so a visit to the vet is in order.

– There are also a number of illnesses that can cause this type of problem, so it’s important to seek advice from your vet as soon as possible.

In any case, whether you consult a vet or not, it’s important that you don’t deprive your dog of the water his body needs. So don’t ever decide to limit the amount of water he drinks, and if he does drink more than usual, make sure you provide him with enough until the problem is resolved. And, don’t take this disorder lightly either, as your dog could be the victim of an illness that needs to be treated fairly quickly.


Whatever the problem you encounter with your dog, the most important thing is always to use common sense. After all, your dog can’t complain and tell you what he’s suffering from. It’s up to you to find out from his behavior.

And if a problem persists for no apparent reason, it’s always worth a visit to the vet for a routine check-up.

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