7 Signs That Your Pet is Sick

Holistic Nutrition |

Our pets can't say what's wrong, so it's up to us as pet parents to keep an eye out.

As pet parents and animal lovers, there's nothing more difficult than seeing your pet sick. What makes it especially difficult is that our pets can't speak up for themselves. If they're in pain or not feeling well, it's not as though they can tap us on the shoulder and let us know. As owners, it's our duty to pay attention to our pet's behaviour and keep an eye out for symptoms of sickness or injury. Despite verbal communication not being an option, an owner will know when things seem off with their beloved pet - call it a sixth sense. Here are 7 signs of sickness to look out for. 


A pet becoming lethargic is a rather vague symptom, but a sign nonetheless that something may be wrong. If your pet's energy levels have decreased, and they become lethargic for no apparent reason, a trip to the vet should be scheduled. Other symptoms such as weakness, collapse, or loss of consciousness could follow, and could be a sign of a major issue, such as heart disease.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Pets may have these issues every now and again, but if the issues persist, especially several times within a short period of time, this is a sign that something is wrong. A pet that is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea could have swallowed a foreign object, or come down with some sort of gastrointestinal illness. Both causes require a trip to the vet. If you notice blood in the vomit or stool, this symptom should be taken very seriously.

Lack of Appetite

Pets are typically quite keen to down their dinner, so if their enthusiasm for food has dropped significantly there could be an issue. Your pet could not be eating for a number of reasons, such as fever, pain, or stress. If your pet doesn't eat for more than 24 hours they should be brought to the vet, especially if your pet is an overweight cat. If your cat is overweight, and stops eating for even a couple days, a serious condition known as fatty liver could develop. This condition can be fatal, and should be treated immediately.

Change in Urination

If your pet is exhibiting excessive thirst or increased urination this could be a sign of diabetes, as well as liver, kideny, or adrenal gland disease. With increased urination you may notice that your pet is either finishing their water very quickly, require night time bathroom trips, or are wetting inside the house. Decreased or strained urination could be due to a urinary tract problem or a bladder stone, which are very serious conditions (especially in male cats), and must be treated immediately.

Excessive Drooling

While dogs are prone to be droolers, excessive drooling is considered abnormal. This symptom could be a sign that your pet isn't feeling well. It could mean a foreign object is stuck in your pet's gum, tongue, or between their teeth. Excessive Drooling, or bad breath, could also be a sign of gum or dental disease, an injury, or something more serious, such as a tumour. The causes of this symptom could be numerous, so bring your pet to the vet to get it checked out and be sure. 

Hair Loss or Itchy Skin

A host of pests, such as fleas, ticks, or eart mites could be the cause behind hair loss or itchy skin around the ears of your pet. These symptoms could also be a sign of an endocrine issue, a yeast infection, or any other number of conditions. To be certain of the cause, a sample or your pet's hair or skin will need to be tested.

Stiffness or Difficulty with Movement

If your pet seems to have a problem rising or bearing weight, this could be a sign of arthritis, disc disease, or an injury. While these symptoms are often just a sign that your pet is getting older, they can be managed with glucosamine or other treatments, so a vet assessment is a good idea. 

If you notice any of these signs in your pet then your best bet is to make an appointment to see your vet. It could be a sign that there's something missing from their diet and your vet will work with you to help find the best solution for the health and wellness of your pet.