It's not always easy to detect illness in your dog, so you'll need to look for a range of subtle signs that may indicate a potential problem. If you do notice anything out of the ordinary, don't rely on books or websites for a diagnosis. Contact your vet immediately!
If your dog has persistent constipation or diarrhoea that lasts for longer than 48 hours, visit your vet, and, if possible, take a fresh stool sample with you.
Persistent sickness or choking when eating is a concern. Vomiting can be a sign of a developing allergy, or a more serious infection, particularly in older dogs. Kennel cough can also be a serious illness. For a range of reasons your dog's eating patterns may occasionally become irregular. But if your dog refuses food for a day or more, consult your vet. If for any reason your dog just isn't his or her normal, healthy, active self, it's worth taking a closer look. Like humans, dogs can just look unwell, and even if there are no obvious clues to what's wrong, a trip to the vet is a good idea if symptoms persist.