Since your dog can't talk, it's not always easy to know how they are feeling. As such, telling when they need to go to the animal hospital can be a little tough. When in doubt, you should take your dog to the vet; you're better off safe than sorry. But there are also some more specific symptoms you can watch out for, many of which involve your dog's eating habits.
Sometimes a dog will go off their food if they are stressed out, or if something changes in their home. If they do this for a day or two and then start eating again, you shouldn't be too worried. But if your dog goes more than a couple of days without eating — especially if they won't eat their favorite treats — then they may have something like an intestinal blockage, a gastrointestinal illness, or a serious dental problem. Take them to the animal hospital so the vet can look them over before they start being affected by malnutrition.
Whining While Eating
Your dog may continue eating, but they may begin to whine and even groan when they eat. The noises may happen when they chew, specifically. Usually, this means your dog has some sort of dental pain. They could have some tooth decay that is making chewing painful, or they may have something more sinister going on — like a dental abscess or a chipped tooth. At the animal hospital, the vet can sedate them and get a good look at their mouth. Your dog may need to have a tooth extracted, or they might need to have antibiotics to treat an infection.
Vomiting After Eating
Sometimes you have to watch your dog closely to know whether they are doing this. As gross as it sounds, dogs who vomit after eating will sometimes eat the vomit, and then their owners do not realize that they vomited. If your dog is vomiting after eating — whether or not they are consuming it afterward — this could mean they have a GI illness or an intestinal blockage. They may even be dealing with anxiety. A vet can look them over and figure out what's amiss. Repeated vomiting is not good for your dog, so make sure you get this sorted out promptly.
Pay attention to your dog's eating habits. If your dog stops eating, starts vomiting after eating, or whines when they eat, take them to the vet. These are generally signs that something is not quite right.
For more information, contact an animal hospital like Marquette Animal Hospital.