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Which Puppy Symptoms Warrant a Vet Visit?

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Running… playing… napping… cuddling…

It’s all part of a normal day for puppies.

But if your puppy ever acts differently than usual—if they have an upset tummy or seem less energetic—you may be wondering what it means.

We’re sure your furry bundle of joy is doing just great! But, it never hurts to learn more about which behaviors are normal, and which are a reason to call your vet.

Read on to learn more…

How to Tell if Your Puppy Isn’t Feeling Well: 6 Signs to Look For

Puppies can’t talk, so it may take time to learn your new puppy’s “puppy language” and signals.

Some signals are obvious… like a wagging tail when they’re happy or a wistful look at the food bowl when they’re hungry.

On the other hand, some behaviors may leave you wondering, What is my new puppy trying to tell me?

For example, surprisingly, it can be a challenge to know when a pup is feeling ill or experiencing pain. 

That’s because pets don’t complain the way we humans do—instead, they have an instinct to hide their discomfort.

With that in mind, here are some symptoms or “clues” that may indicate your pup isn’t feeling their best…

1. Vomiting or Diarrhea 

There are many possible reasons for puppies to have an upset tummy, ranging from a diet change to parasites and viral infections, or even just the stress of moving to a new home (a home they’ll grow to love quickly, but at first it’s a big change for them).

Since puppies’ immune systems are still developing, they’re more prone to severe infections than adult dogs are. So, it’s best to be proactive with upset stomachs—when in doubt, err on the side of caution and call your vet.

Your veterinary professional may recommend something simple such as a change in feeding schedule. Or, they may recommend coming for a doctor visit. Either way, your puppy will get what they need to feel better.

Also, it’s best to bring your pup to a vet right away if their symptoms include…

  • Severe, watery, or bloody diarrhea or vomit
  • Lethargy, listlessness, or a big loss of energy (outside of their usual deep napping, which is normal for pups so long as they’re back to playing later in the day!)
  • A loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • A swollen, bloated, or painful belly

The above symptoms could be signs of a very serious infection, so it’s best to seek care right away.

2. Limping

Puppies are enthusiastic, inquisitive explorers. And during their playtime, they may get a few mild bumps and scrapes.

However, if your puppy is holding up one of their paws and not wanting to put weight on it, that might warrant a vet visit—especially if your puppy also seems depressed and doesn’t want to play anymore, or if the limping goes on for more than a day.

3. Crying or Yelping 

It’s normal for pups to whine to get our attention.

However, if your pup continues whimpering even when they’re resting, that could be a symptom of pain.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, so a vet visit can provide more information (and hopefully peace of mind!).

4. Wobbly Walking or Disorientation

This could indicate an illness. It’s also a symptom of low blood sugar—a common issue for small and toy breed pups.

5. Coughing or Sneezing 

An occasional sneeze is nothing to worry about…

But frequent sneezing—especially if accompanied by coughing, a runny nose, red or goopy eyes, lethargy, or any other symptoms—could mean an infection or other condition that needs treatment from a veterinarian.

6. Excessive Scratching or Licking

This could indicate a skin or ear problem. Having your puppy checked by a veterinarian will help ensure there are no parasites or ear infections.

When to Visit the Vet?

When in doubt, it’s always best to call a veterinarian’s office for more information, or to take your pup for a vet visit.

If there’s any infection or other cause for concern, earlier treatment is much, much better than waiting…

Or, if all is well, you’ll get peace of mind sooner rather than later!

Don’t worry—most dogs have puppyhoods full of fun, bonding with their new human family, and a sense of wonder from exploring the world around them!

Of course, as the guardian of your new puppy, you play a vital role in helping to keep your pup happy and in good health.

Here are some tips for a thriving and healthy puppy…

  • Stay up to date on all recommended veterinary care and puppy visits.
  • Puppy proof your home to prevent accidents and keep your pup from eating anything they shouldn’t (use a playpen or crate when you can’t supervise them directly).
  • Focus on good nutrition and a balanced diet for optimal growth and development.

Just like a human toddler, puppies need love, attention, and guidance to stay safe and happy.

With your help, they’re sure to do just fine—even when their curiosity calls them to explore everything their little nose can reach!

By safeguarding their health, you’ll enjoy your puppy’s puppyhood to the fullest—and make plenty of fond memories you’ll cherish well into your pup’s adulthood.


From our family to yours,
Fromm Family Pet Food