Fevers, aches, chills…there’s no shortage of symptoms when we get sick. If our stomach aches, we can take some medicine and get some rest. It’s not quite that easy for our dogs. In fact, it can be rather tough to tell when your dog isn’t feeling quite right even if you’re attuned to his body language and habits.

Is your dog sleeping more than normal? Has he stopped scarfing down his food? If so, the chances that he is experiencing some discomfort are likely. Dogs have a different way of communicating when they’re sick and it’s up to us to pay attention and get them the care they need – whether that’s at-home remedies or veterinary care.

Here are some signs to watch for if you think your dog may not be feeling well:

Increased sleeping and depression

Much like us, dogs will rest more when they aren’t feeling well. If you’ve noticed that your dog is sleeping more than usual (remember dogs sleep a lot during the day) during waking hours, he may be feeling off. This symptom usually coincides with depression – meaning your dog is acting and looking a bit down or sick. This can manifest in reduced or no interest in playtime, not responding when called and keeping their eyes mostly closed when interacting.

Disinterested in food

Most dogs love nothing more than mealtime. So, if your dog is suddenly slow to get to his food bowl or barely eating for more than a day, alarm bells should be going off in your head. Not eating can be a sign of an upset stomach which can resolve on its own, but it’s also a symptom of much more serious complications like bloat or intestinal obstruction. Either way, it’s worth placing a call to the vet for an exam.

Vomiting and diarrhea

You can’t mistake a sick dog when he has vomiting and/or diarrhea. Sometimes this is a natural occurrence when they are stressed or eat something they shouldn’t have, but it can quickly become dangerous. Excessive or prolonged vomiting and diarrhea in a short amount of time can cause dehydration. Be sure to offer your dog plenty of water, maybe even adding a packet of electrolytes to help them retain fluids. In emergency situations, a vet will administer subcutaneous fluids – which is just a fancy way of saying they inject fluid under the skin (usually between the shoulders) for the body to absorb.

Hunched back and runny eyes/nose

Weepy eyes and a runny nose can indicate your dog is fighting a virus of some kind. Additionally, if your dog is standing and walking with his back hunched, he is likely experiencing internal discomfort. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian to receive any needed medication or intervention.