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Is It Normal for a Puppy to Be Sick?

Is It Normal for a Puppy to Be Sick?

What symptoms should you watch for if your puppy gets sick? Dr. Marty Greer discusses common signs of illness in puppies and their possible causes, including car sickness.

Common Symptoms in Puppies

One of the most frequent concerns is diarrhea. It's very common in puppies and usually not serious, but it can be messy and uncomfortable for both the puppy and their owners. Diarrhea is typically more concerning than vomiting, which can indicate a possible obstruction or foreign body, a more serious issue.

At What Age Should Puppy Diarrhea Be a Concern?

Puppy diarrhea is a significant concern after puppies have left their breeder or rescue group and are in their new homes. Breeders usually manage groups of puppies, but individual puppies in new homes can have different issues, often related to diet changes or stress.

Causes of Common Puppy Illnesses

Younger puppies have fewer resources to recover from illnesses, so their symptoms are taken more seriously. Diarrhea, vomiting, fever, respiratory signs (coughing, sneezing, runny eyes or nose), lethargy, and lack of appetite or thirst are all symptoms to watch for. A rectal temperature above 102.5°F is concerning, and anything over 103°F warrants a vet visit.

How to Help a Puppy with Car Sickness

Puppy motion sickness can be managed by getting them used to car rides from a young age. Short, frequent trips help puppies adapt. Feeding ginger snap cookies an hour or two before travel can also help, as ginger can soothe nausea. Keep the puppy from looking out the side window by covering the crate or window to minimize motion disturbance.

If these measures don't work, consult your vet about using Cerenia, a prescription medication for motion sickness in dogs. Avoid human medications like Bonine or Meclizine, and do not use anti-anxiety medications like Acepromazine.

Symptoms of Puppy Motion Sickness

Severe motion sickness can cause vomiting, but many puppies drool excessively due to nausea. Wet mouths, lips, and tongues are early signs of motion sickness. If you notice these signs, pull over, give the puppy a break, and consider ginger snaps or consulting your vet for medication before your next trip.

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Sick Puppy
Sick Puppy


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