It’s hard to tell when your dog needs to go to the vet. Is it that serious? Can you handle it at home? Sometimes the vet is the safest answer. Here are 4 signs your dog needs to go to the vet.

If your dog is showing serious symptoms, it needs to go to the vet.
If your dog is showing serious symptoms, it needs to go to the vet.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

1. Vomiting

If your dog is repeatedly vomiting, it’s a clear sign they need to go to the vet. With vomiting, various things could be wrong. You don’t want to assume that you know what’s happening when it very well might be something worse- something, deadlier.

If your dog only vomits once or twice in a brief span of time, it’s probably okay. Dogs vomit occasionally to clear out their system. It’s when the vomiting doesn’t stop that you have to become concerned and think about contacting a vet. If you want to know more about vomiting in dogs, visit Washington State University.

2. Lethargy

When your dog seems weaker than usual and acts out of character, something might be wrong. Infection, Heartworm, and even Organic diseases like heart or liver disease can be linked to lethargy. It’s a sign in your dog you do not want to ignore.

Organic disease is the term used to describe any health condition in which there is an observable and measurable disease process, such as inflammation or tissue damage.

Very Well Health

verywellhealth.com/organic-disease-1944921(opens in a new tab)

If you notice your dog acting weaker than usual, call your vet. Fetch by WebMD can offer you more information on what signs to look for if your dog is acting lethargic.


If your dog has any of the following emergency symptoms, take it to the vet immediately

  • Open Wounds
  • Labored breathing
  • Inability to Stand
  • Pale Color of Gums
  • Ingestion of Toxic Foods
  • Seizure
  • Serious Bleeding
  • Extreme Pain
  • Swollen Abdomen
  • Inability to Pass Urine

For more information on emergency symptoms, visit the American Kennel Club.

There are clear signs your dog should go to the vet, if you know what to look for.
There are clear signs your dog should go to the vet, if you know what to look for.
Photo by Ivan Rojas Urrea on Unsplash

3. Severe Weight Loss

If you’ve noticed that your dog is losing weight at a rapid pace, you need to contact your vet. According to VCA Hospitals, weight loss can be a sign of eating disorders or diseases involving major organs. Weight loss in your dog is a very serious sign. If you notice it, you need to call your vet.

Through blood tests, urine tests and an abdominal ultrasound, your vet can look for the best treatment for your dog. It’s better to bring your dog to the vet before the signs become serious enough that your dog’s life is at risk.

4. Increased Thirst in your Dog

If you’ve noticed your dog drinking much more water than usual, it might be a sign that something’s wrong. Diabetes, kidney failure, liver failure, and Cushing’s disease are all associated with increased thirst. This sign might be the hardest to notice, but you need to look out for it.

If you notice your dog drinking more water than usual, bring them in to the vet for testing. It’s better to get checked and find out nothing’s wrong than to stay home too long before realizing your dog is sick. For more information on increased thirst in dogs, visit Bethayres Veterinary.

Any signs we missed? Let us know what signs you think dog owners should look out for in the comments below!