Most dog owners want their dog to be healthy and happy. But how can a dog owner know if you have a healthy dog without going to the vet? Here are 6 easy ways to check to see if yourdog or puppy is healthy and happy.
1. Check Your Dog’s Hair, Coat and Skin
One of the most important things about your dog is their coat! A healthy coat of hair should be shiny, glossy and pliable to the touch – no dry and brittle hairs. The hair should also be free from any dandruff while the overall coat should be complete; no bald spots or places where the hair is thinning excessively.
While checking your dog’s hair coat, it should be free from ticks, fleas, lice or any other parasite. While looking at your dog’s coat, be sure and move the hair and look at the skin. Check for any bumps, rashes, scabs or anything out of the ordinary. Often, the coat may look ok while the skin underneath does not. It’s always great to give your dog a bath, and we recommend Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo And Conditioner – 20oz Medicated Clinical Vet Formula Wash For All Pets Puppy & Cats. It works great!
Be sure and take your dog to the vet if if find an issue or problem with your dog’s hair, coat or skin.According to most vets, problems with a dog’s skin or coat is the number one reason for most vet visits!
2. Check Your Dog’s Paws
A dog’s paws are like their owners feet. Happy feet make a person (and a dog) smile! Dogs love taking walks.
When checking your dog’s paws, check the nails and pads. If your dog’s nails make a noise when they hit the floor, then they probably need to be clipped. When clipping a dog’s nails, they should barely touch the ground. In addition, if your furry friend has hair between the pads, that should be clean and cut and trimmed as well.
Next, check your dog’s pads, A dog’s pads should be generally clean and free of debris, sores and serious cracks. Keep in mind, that, just like if you walked around barefoot all day, a dog’s pads can be rough and hard to the touch. However, pads can burn in the Summer on hot cement or pavement. Pads not only burn, but they can also crack and bleed.
It’s best to not use a human moisturizer, but one specifically made for a dog. We recommend Warren London – Hydrating Butter For Dogs Skin & Coat. It works on all types of dog coats and even smells good too.
3. Check Your Dog’s Eyes
This is one part of your best friend that you don’t need reminding to look at, your dog’s eyes. And just like our own eyes, a healthy dogs eyes should be clear and generally free of mucus and eye discharge. The area around the eyes should not be swollen or inflamed. While the whites of your dogs eye should not be red or yellow.
Though sometimes, your dogs eyes can be aggravated by play in fields, mud or water. So be sure and check your dogs eyes AFTER playtime, to get a correct view of how your dogs eyes normally look. Should you find something wrong with your dogs eyes, the reasons could be several; infections, sickness or several other reasons. Be sure if you do see a problem, to have your dog’s eyes checked by a vet.
4. Check Your Dog’s Ears
Just like us, dogs ears create ear wax to help keep your dog’s ear canal clean. The inside of your dogs ear (but not the canal) should be generally light pink and clean of earwax and debris. The skin inside your dog’s healthy ears should be light pink and clean. Inside the ear, within the ear canal, it should also be generally clean and not red or swollen. Also watch and make sure that your furry friend isn’t always scratching or rubbing their ears – this could be a trouble sign. Sometimes dogs also need a little help in cleaning their ears, so we recommend EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner Infection Formula. It’s all-natural and helps break down wax and crust in your dog’s ears and then helps get rid of any ear parasites.
5. Check Your Dog’s Nose, Mouth, Teeth and Gums
Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of talking to someone with bad breath? Bad breath often is a sign of bad health or hygiene. In a dog’s case, bad breath usually means canine periodontal disease – which over 70% of adult dogs have. Periodontal disease not only affects the teeth, but also the gums and the bone structures that hold the teeth in place. If your dog has periodontal disease, it’s best to have the vet check her out. And if your vet okays it, regular brushing can help keep periodontal disease at bay. Here are some tips on how to clean and brush your dog’s teeth.
6. Check your Dog’s Weight and Energy Level
And lastly, check the health of dog by checking their weight and general activity level. Though we, as dog owners, can be overweight, dogs should not be. However, just like in the human world, overweight dogs are a problem. Overweight or obese dogs may suffer the same types of heart and other diseases that humans get as the result of being overweight.
A dog that is a healthy weight lives longer and is happier. Dogs should not only get lots of exercise, they should also eat healthy and nutritious food. They should also be fed at regular intervals. Leaving treats out, or giving treats to a dog for no reason often add to a dogs over weight issues.
To see if your dog might be over weight, is to look at and feel around the rib cage area. With a proper weight, a dogs rib cage should be felt or seen easily, without much effort. If you cannot feel your dogs ribcage, then it would be best to take the dog to the vet. The vet can then determine how much, if at all, the dog is overweight and help develop a plan for weight loss.
Lastly, one of the easiest and best ways to check the health of your dog is its energy level. If your best friend is lively, vibrant and always ready to go play, then more than likely, your dog feels great. However, if your activity level is low, and your dog doesn’t want to go outside and play, then he should be checked by a vet. Sometimes, giving your dog hip and joint supplements will also aid in increasing your dogs activity level.
Determining if our best friend is healthy or sick is fairly straight-forward. A quick check of your dogs hair, paws, eyes, ears, nose and weight, will quickly give you an idea of how healthy or unhealthy your dog is.