Having a healthy dog is very important. They rely on us to help them be that way through a proper diet, exercise, veterinary check-ups and grooming. Dogs like to have a routine, so getting to know their habits is important. If you notice a change, it can be a sign that he isn’t feeling well.
There are signs that let us know if we have a healthy dog :
- Eyes – they should be shiny and bright. Make sure the pink lining of the eyelids are not swollen or have a discharge. The white of their eyes should be white, not yellowish.
- Coat – A healthy dog should have a glossy coat weather their hair is short or long. No excessive oiliness, dandruff or bald spots.
- Ears – look for light pink and clean ears. A little wax is normal but large amounts of is not. Check for redness or swelling and excessive scratching of the ears.
- Skin – it should be smooth and flexible. Some skin problems can be scabs, flaky skin, red or bleeding areas. Don’t forget to check for ticks and fleas.
- Mouth, Teeth and Gums – Healthy dog gums are pink, black or spotted, depending on the dog’s breed. Not foul smelling or white. Their teeth should be checked for tartar which is that brownish or yellow matter that forms on their teeth and should be brushed away. Also, look for any mouth infection.
- Nose – a dog should have a moist and cool nose. Any nasal discharge should be clear and not yellowish, thick or foul smelling.
- Elimination – Urine is a good indicator of a dog’s health, and should be clear yellow. Most adult dogs have one or two bowel movements a day. Stools should be brown and firm. Runny, watery, or bloody stools, straining, or too much or too little urination warrant a call to the veterinarian.
- Weight – A healthy dog needs a good balance between diet and exercise. The best way to tell if your dog is overweight is to feel his rib-cage area. You should be able to feel the ribs below the surface of the skin without much padding. Provide him with nutritious and healthy dog food, plenty of exercise and healthy snacks.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms or exhibits unusual behavior you should seek medical attention – Vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, difficulty breathing, white gums, thick discharge from nose, ears or eyes, weight loss, limping, excessive water drinking, constipation, excessive urination, protecting a part of their body, persistent scratching, whining for no apparent reason and loss of balance.