How Do I Know If My Dog is Sick?

sick dog
sick dog

We often talk about specific illnesses but what about general signs that your dog might be sick? These symptoms are important to know so you can keep your dog safe and take the appropriate actions.

Danger Signs


If your dog has diarrhea that lasts for more than 2 days there is a problem. If there is blood in their diarrhea you should call the vet immediately. If you see mucus in their diarrhea you should call the vet.


If your dog is vomiting repeatedly you need to take them to the vet. If they are gagging a lot there could be a problem.

Sneezing or Coughing

Sneezing or coughing could be seasonal allergies or signs of an infection. If the cough is hacking or causing them to gag or vomit, there is a problem. If they are sneezing and coughing for more than a week, you may want to call your vet. If the sneezing or coughing is happening along with other symptoms you need to take him to the vet.

Not Eating

Your dog’s appetite is a big signpost for how they are feeling. If it has been more than 24 hours since your dog has eaten, you need to call the vet.

Excessive Thirst

If your dog is drinking way more than usual this could be a sign of kidney failure or a serious infection.

Excessive Urination

If your dog is peeing way more than usual, they need to see the vet.

Red or swollen gums

Red or swollen gums can be caused by gum disease but can also be associated with other illness and should be evaluated.

Difficulty urinating

If your dog yelps when peeing, is peeing with a hunched back or there is blood in the urine there is likely an infection.

Runny eyes or nose
Many dogs have runny eyes and noses but these can be a sign of respiratory problems. Pay attention for gasping or shortness of breath.

Itchy, flaking skin

Itchy and flaky skin can be a sign of fleas, allergies, or infection. The big risk is that the itching can become sores. You may want to speak to your doctor about the source of this itching and treat that before it becomes a bigger health problem.

Weight Loss or Weight Gain

If your dog has sudden drastic weight loss, or weight loss consistently over two to four weeks they need to see the vet. Sudden or consistent weight loss or gain, when nothing else is changing in their diet or exercise, is a big flag of a health issue.


Not all issues are clear cut. Sometimes your dog just gets tired or starts not acting like themselves. Sometimes they just look unwell. If this persists, then you will want to bring your dog to the vet.

If at any time you are concerned about your dogs well being it is a good idea to call your vet. Better safe than sorry!

Preparing for Thanksgiving with Your Dog

dog thanksgiving
dog thanksgiving

This year Thanksgiving may be a little different. For some it means smaller meals, or instead of a table full family members you have your iPad at a place setting with people on Zoom. But many people are still doing up a turkey day dinner. There are some important safety tips for keeping your pooch in good health on Thanksgiving.

Doggie Do’s

1. Give your dog well-cooked Turkey meat– Do not give them any skin, or bones, or any part with any spice. Giving them plain white meat is the best for them. What is even better is cooking them up some of their own turkey breasts with no spices.

2. Give your dog some nice (un-spiced) vegetables! They will love it! As you are chopping carrots and broccoli, toss Fido a couple of pieces. You will wish your kids ate up those vegetables as fast as your dog does.

3. Let your pup join in the feast. When it is time to eat, stuff their kong with bits of turkey, kibble and vegetables (un-spiced). Feeding your dog at the same time can help reduce some begging on their part and helps them feel a part of the activities.

Doggie Don’ts

4. Don’t give your dog turkey bones or any part of the carcass.  The bones are brittle and can break off into small pieces causing damage to their mouth, throat, and stomach. If you want to give them bones as a treat, talk to your butcher about bones that will be ok for your dog.

5. No cranberries, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, or anything with herbs – Many of our Thanksgiving foods have great tasting things in them like onions, raisins, grapes, and herbs that are super delicious to us but toxic for your pup. So better to be safe than sorry, and just don’t share.

6. Don’t share your beer or wine. They might like it but it can cause them serious health complications that can cause them to go into a coma. So put your glass on the table instead of the floor.

7. No dessert for doggie! Chocolate is toxic for dogs and most other deserts will give them an upset stomach and you may end up cleaning up more than just dishes.

8. No raw dough! If you are baking bread, make sure that your dog doesn’t get into the bow. The dough can rise in their stomach causing big issues. Honestly, it is good advice for people too.

Some Turkey Tips

9. Keep the garbage can secure. Another good reason to feed your dog at the same time you are eating, it will keep them out of the trash! Right now your trash can smells especially delicious and is likely filled with lots of delicious foods that will give your dog diarrhea and cause them to vomit. If your dog won’t leave the trashcan alone, you may want to take it out before your meal.

10. Guard your plate! Some sneaky dogs may try to steal food off your plate while you are not looking.

11. Guard your centerpiece! It isnt just your food that is at risk, many dogs like to eat the flowers out of your centerpiece. So make sure that pup is staying away from the table.

12. Get her pooped! If you spend some extra time exercising before the big dinner starts, your dog will be more likely to run out of energy during the dinner instead of getting hyper.

13. Give your dog an escape. Not all dogs like crowds of people and he may not want to be social. So give him a quiet place to go where people won’t bother him.

Dog Vaccines in Albuquerque

Dog vaccinations
Dog vaccinations

A big part of being a pet owner is making sure your dog is getting regular veterinary care to keep them healthy so they can live a long and happy life with you and your family. Though some vaccines, like Rabies, are required by law, vaccinations are vital to keeping your dog safe for common diseases. Albuquerque Vetco offers the lowest cost vaccinations in New Mexico and since we offer a daily walk-in shot clinic we are also the easiest and fastest place to get your shots.

What Dog Diseases?

Most of us simply don’t know about the most common dog diseases. Here is a list of common dog illnesses from which vaccines will keep your dog safe.

  • Bordatella – aka. Kennel Cough. This is a highly contagious illness that can be uncomfortable all the way to very serious. This vaccine is required if your dog is going to be in public and is highly recommended if your dog is going to be in contact with any other dog.
  • Distemper– A highly contagious and untreatable disease that can cause severe gastrointestinal issues.
  • Parvovirus– A highly contagious virus that can cause life long issues. This is also known as the puppy killer.
  • Parainfluenza– This affects their breathing and can lead to pneumonia.

What is the Recommended Vaccination Schedule?

Puppies have a different schedule than grown adult dogs. Starting at 6 weeks old they will need their puppy boosters (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza) and get a booster every 3 weeks until they are 20 weeks old. After that, they will get annual vaccinations, though at Vetco we offer a 3 years Rabies shot. Some vaccines, like bordetella, is only needed if your dog is being boarded. We also offer the canine coronavirus vaccine. This is not the same as the coronavirus that is affecting people and the vaccine is not the same. But is is a virus that can be very unpleasant for your dog.

Pet licenses are not longer required by the City of Albuquerque.