When to call the Veterinarian ChecklistWhen to Call the Veterinarian in Addition to Regular Checkups

Our dogs have regular Veterinary appointments throughout their life and the schedule varies depending on age and the Vet’s recommendation. In addition to these routine check-ups and procedures (vaccinations for example) we are observant of each of our dogs to identify signs we need to make additional checkup appointments. This article will explore some of the signs and symptoms however it is important to ask your pet’s veterinarian to review this list and recommend any additional guidance as needed.

When to Call the Veterinarian Checklist

  1. Changes in weight (gain or loss): When you notice a weight change, which is not ordinary for the dog’s age , these may be signs of a potential problem.
  2. Changes in appetite. It is important to limit any changes in a dog’s meal plan, however at some times, such as changing to Life’s Abundance or changing life cycle food for example, changes are important, yet they should be made gradually to not upset the dog’s digestive system. When no change has been made in diet but the dog’s appetite changes (eating less or showing signs of being hungrier than usual) a call to the Vet may help clarify the reason for the change.
  3. Increased Thirst or Urination
  4. Increase or decrease in energy levels.
    1. It is common to have a relative shift in energy level at the beginning or end of daily routines, but, if your dog appears sluggish during a time when he/she is regularly active or seems hyperactive when she is commonly relaxing with the family for movie night, this could be a sign the veterinarian can be helpful exploring with you.
  5. Increase in Hair Loss. Remember our dogs will shed when it gets warmer, but, this is usually not to the extent of depleting the coat. Natural shedding is expected. However if hair loss appears increased a call a visit to the vet can help identify the cause.
  6. Vomiting and/or diarrhea are potentially serious signs justifying an immediate call to the Veterinarian. In many cases the cause may be simply nervousness or colic, however, if the symptoms are associated with an illness the sooner you have a diagnosis the best overall recovery is possible.
  7. Changes in behavior or temperament. Discomfort from symptoms can cause change in temperament and/or behavior. When our pets aren’t feeling well (which is true for Pet Parents as well) they aren’t as happy to see their people, may not seem as interested in play as usual, or have a generally avoiding attitude about an established otherwise enjoyable daily routine. If there aren’t apparent reasons your dog is ‘just having a bad day because______’ (fill in the blank) you can (and should) expect the signs to pass quickly. If they don’t contact the vet to ask for guidance.
  8. Changes in Sleep Routine. The ‘normal’ sleep routine of a dog will vary with breed, activity level, and age. When a ‘normal’ is established for your dog watch for changes (which are predictable due to lifestyle or lifecycle changes). When a pet sleeps less (or more) than normal this could indicate a sign to call the vet in-between regular checkups.

As Pet Parents We are Advocates:
Being observant of our dogs on a daily basis is an important part of being a Pet Parent. We make eye contact, communicate, establish a regular routine (feeding, exercise, grooming, training, and playtime), keep notes when things seem ‘a little off’ so we can clearly communicate our observations to the Veterinarian if those ‘a little off’ things become signs to Call the Veterinarian in Addition to Regular Checkups.

References and Related Posts:

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