Your dog may not always tell you when she feels a little bloated, has dry skin, or feels nauseasous. It’s not always easy to read your pet’s well-being. There are signs of illness such as lethargy, excessive drooling, appetite changes, or energy level differences but we see our pets everyday and a gradual decrease isn’t easy to detect.
But, today, while your pup is happy, healthy, and wagging the tail so hard it might knock over a lamp there are signs of health that you can observe and monitor.
The Six Signs of Dog Health
- Body Condition: Your dog should appear healthy and not show signs of obesity or muscle loss. Your dog should have a waistline and muscle tone that you can feel.
- Skin, Coat, Eyes: The skin should be smooth and clean, the coat should be shiny or soft depending on the breed. Grooming removes dead fur and helps the oil travel down the fur from the skin. Your dog’s eyes should be clear and bright without any discharge or cloudiness. Red eyes, weepy eyes, or yellow/green discharge can mean an infection or injury.
- Mouth: The teeth and gums should be free of tartar and plaque. Healthy gums should not be too pink or puffy and very pale gums can be a sign of illness.
- Immune System: The immune system works on the inside but shows on the outside in a healthy, vibrant dog that has a clean coat, good muscles and endurance, and is alert and lively.
- Bones and Joints: Your dog should be able to move easily without pain or stiffness. Good posture, a light gait (depends on the breed), and interest in playing and romping can be signs of a healthy bone structure.
- Digestion: Check your dog’s digestion by looking at the stool when you clean up. The size, quality, and color can indicate good health or a digestive problem.
Remember, yearly vet checks, high quality food, and preventatives that repel fleas, ticks, and other parasites all contribute to a healthy long life for your pup!
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