Puppy health issues and symptoms

Puppies are more susceptible to health problems than adult dogs due to their immature immune system.

Common signs of illness

The following symptoms are potential indicators that your puppy may have an illness, if you spot any issues early it’s worth consulting your vet.

1.Eyes, mouth and nose

Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, heavy panting or difficulty breathing can all be a sign of illness. Keep an eye out for bad breath, increased drooling, and dry, cloudy or red eyes.


You may notice lower activity levels in your puppy, or less interest in their usual activities. This may include increased sleep or other behavioural changes.

3.Skin changes

Pay close attention to any changes in your puppy's skin, such as dryness, lesions or redness.

4.Eating and digestion

Your puppy may exhibit reduced appetite or weight loss, digestive upsets or stools that contain blood, mucus, worms or undigested food. You may also notice excessive drinking or urinating.

5.Joint stiffness

Joint stiffness or difficulty getting up or climbing stairs can often be a sign of illness in puppies

Common puppy illnesses

Here, we look at some of the health issues and common illnesses your puppy might encounter in more detail.