As a dog owner, you know your dog the best. If you think it needs to see a vet, then for your own peace of mind, you should take them. That being said, new pet owners, similarly to new parents, tend to get overly stressed and worried, and they end up visiting the vets far more often than they really need to, and vet bills can be expensive too. This is why we have put together the following guidelines to advise you when you should make a visit to your vet.
The Ingestion of Objects, Substances or Foods
First things first, dogs are naturally inquisitive. They are like children in that respect; they are both willing to put pretty much anything in their mouths. Dogs lack self-preservation when it comes to not eating things that could kill them. If your dog has ingested any foreign object, it will need to be taken to the vet. Most of the time, smaller objects do tend to pass through on their own without intervention, but some objects, especially if they are larger or more awkwardly shaped, can cause blockages which will require surgery to remove.
Sometimes dogs can also get a hold of foods or substances that they shouldn’t. Some foods are perfectly fine for humans to consume but toxic or poisonous for dogs; for example, onions, chocolate, raisins, or grapes are all bad for dogs, although a small amount likely won’t do much if your dog has eaten a lot then you should take them to the vets. If your dog ingests any sort of substance, whether that means cleaning supplies, drugs, alcohol, et cetera, they should be taken to the vet immediately without delay because they will likely need medical intervention.
Dogs tend to be quite rambunctious, especially when they are younger, which can lead to injuries. If your dog manages to injure itself, then you should make an appointment with the vet, especially if they seem to be hurt or uncomfortable. In all likelihood, they will have only done minor damage to the soft tissues, but this needs to be verified by a professional. It is always better to be overly cautious because without seeing a vet, you or your dog could potentially exacerbate their injury leading to more problems.
Episodic Sickness or Diarrhea
If your dog has a prolonged episode of sickness or diarrhea, then you should make an appointment with your vet to determine the cause. Usually, sickness or diarrhea tends to be a symptom of a number of health issues which is why you need to have your dog assessed. Alongside these symptoms, you might also see a lack of appetite or fatigue. Conversely, constipation is not always worth a vet visit unless you have tried other remedies first. For example, this advice from Native Pet has a few home remedies that you can try. If they fail or if the constipation goes on for an extended period of time, then it might still be worth a visit to the vet.
Spotting skin issues on your dog can be indicative of a larger issue. If you see any sort of swelling, notice any lumps, or if your dog has a rash or is itching a lot, then you should make an appointment with your vet. These skin issues could be anything from an allergy to a bit to something more insidious, which is why it is important to have a vet see your dog and share their expert opinion.
If your dog doesn’t seem themselves, if they start exhibiting aggression, indicate a pain response or even if you simply feel like something isn’t quite right with them, then again, you should take your dog to the vet. Again, there could be anything behind this sudden personality change, from having eaten something that didn’t agree with them to a pulled muscle. Having a trained professional take a look at your dog can help to assuage your fears and make sure that your dog is in peak health.
Don’t worry about bothering your vet or looking silly if there isn’t anything wrong; you know your dog better than anyone, and if you feel like something is off, then it is definitely worth exploring. After all, you pay your vet to deliver a service, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed for using that service. All dogs are different but by and large, they tend to have a higher tolerance for pain, and they just get on with it. Obviously, your dog can’t communicate with you when something isn’t right, so it is down to you to advocate for your dog. If you are unsure, then it is always better to be safe than sorry.