Sleeping all day, a sudden loss of appetite, wanting to be left alone, dogs, just like us, don’t always feel too well. Although our dogs can’t talk and explain how they feel in words, they can communicate nonverbally through their body language and behavior. A sudden change in dog behavior should be enough to consider a trip to the vet.

This article will explore what abnormal dog behavior is, symptoms to look for, and when you should visit the vet.

What is abnormal dog behavior?

Whether your dog is rummaging through the trash, climbing onto furniture, or running around the house, it may be hard to tell if something isn’t quite right. Many people wonder when a dog’s behavior is considered abnormal. As a dog owner, you may already know when your dog is being silly and when they seem unhealthy. You may even know your dog well enough to be familiar with his or her particular warning signs of something concerning. There are two different categories of behavior that should result in a follow up with your vet.

Unmissable changes in Dog Behavior

The following list is made up of physical changes your dog may experience. Often, the physical symptoms can be visible right away. This list includes vomiting or other sickness, lumps or bumps, limping, poor dental hygiene such as bad breath, swollen eyes or ears, and skin rashes or other irritation. Typically, when a dog owner arrives home for the day, a dog will happily welcome them. If a dog acts significantly different upon your arrival, you may be looking at a physical behavior concern. Since you interact with your dog on a day to day basis, it may be quite evident when something is not right. The second group of behavior may be a little harder to spot.

Subtle changes in Dog Behavior

Subtle behavior changes may not be as apparent as physical bumps appearing on your dog, but they are something to look for. A slight fluctuation in behavior would be considered a subtle change. This list includes hostile behavior, a change in your dog’s eating habits, alone time, a loss of energy, fluctuations in weight, and excessive panting. Just like animals, humans have a range of emotions. Your significant other or coworker may be mad or act differently on a particular day depending on what’s going on in their life, same with your dog. When the behavior continues for multiple days, something may be wrong. If your dog is hiding under your bed when you come home or not finishing a full meal, it can be more difficult to address that behavior as a serious issue than if your dog does something like vomiting. There is a time, however, when you should share concerns with your vet.

When should I visit a vet?

Although they can’t put their feeling into words, body language and behavior changes in dogs can help with communicating nonverbally. Just like a concerned parent of a child too young to speak, understanding behavior changes for them is important. If you’re not sure that your dog’s behavior should result in a trip to the vet, you can always give a call first. Animal Medical Center of Somerset County’s caring staff is here to help with your pet concerns. It’s always better to be on the safe side with your loved ones.