Did you know that dogs will intentionally hide signs of illness from their owners? Spotting illness in your pet is a huge part of caring for it. We love our animals, we choose the best dog foods and most of us want to be responsible for them. But, how do you know that your dog is happy and healthy? The good news that there are signs that tell you when is your dog is happy and healthy.
If you’re not sure whether your dog is in good health or not, here are ten signs of a healthy dog.
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How to Know if your Dog is Healthy
1. Clean, fresh-smelling breath
Dental disease is one of the most common dog illnesses affecting pets. Over 80% of all dogs will have some kind of periodontal disease by the time they reach 3 years of age.
Dental disease is preventable through regular maintenance of the teeth, but it often slips by owners. A quick way to tell if your dog’s mouth is in good shape is to smell his breath. If it is fresh and clean, your dog likely doesn’t have any problems. Does it smell terrible? Then it is signs of an unhealthy dog. Most probably a dental issue may be lurking.
Even if your dog’s teeth look clean and shiny, or you get regular dental, bad breath can be a sign of a serious disease. If the dog’s mouth looks good, but the breath is still stinky, it may be a sign of gastric reflux.
This disease not only makes for terrible breath, but it can also lead to belching, puking, and even gastric ulcers. Talk to your vet if you notice the foul breath, and get to the bottom of that funky odor for your dog’s safety.
2. Good weight
A healthy weight is one of the best possible signs of health in a dog. Dogs with tucked in waists and slim figures are much less likely to come down with other serious health issues such as diabetes and heart problems.
Dogs that are too thin can also suffer, with no fat reserves to help them overcome times of illness. How to tell if your dog is a healthy weight? Well, If you’re not sure where your dog falls weight-wise, ask your vet to do a body scale. Many will do this service for free.
3. Clean, scent-free ears
Most of us don’t think too much about our dog’s ears, unless we’re thinking about how cute they are when they perk at the word, “Treat!”
Healthy ears are clean, free of discharge, and they don’t stink. They should also have a normal, healthy look to the skin, and not feel hot or swollen to the touch. Healthy ears are pink or black (depending on your dog’s skin color) and free of debris. It’s good to check your dog’s ears regularly so that any problems can be resolved before they become big ones.
4. Smooth skin
Your healthy dog’s skin should be free of lumps and bumps, abrasions, and swelling. Your dog’s skin is a window into its internal health, and skin that is smooth, clear, and free of injury is a great sign for your pet. If you notice problems such as dry skin, tumors, or hot spots, it may be a sign that there is a problem with your dog’s health.
5. Bright eyes
They say that the eyes are the window to your soul. We might certainly think that when we look into the loving gaze of our pets. It’s also a great chance to monitor your dog’s health.
A healthy and happy dog will have bright, clear eyes. They should be free of cloudiness, deviations in the lens, or discharge from the corners of the eyes.
In some breeds, tear staining is unavoidable but should be monitored carefully to ensure the stains don’t turn into infections. If you notice any changes, however small, in your dog’s eyes get them checked by a vet quickly. It could be a symptom of a serious disease.
6. Active interest in the world
How to tell if your dog is happy or sad? Well, healthy and happy dogs care about the world around them. They are very interested in the food you happen to be eating, the ball you might be willing to throw, or simply the fact that you are home for the day.
While dog’s personalities do vary, if your dog starts behaving out of the ordinary, or suddenly doesn’t seem to care that his favorite things exist, it’s definitely time to get him checked out by a vet.
Dogs almost universally have great appetites. Often times, people think their dog is a picky eater, only to later discover after a dental or the discovery of a hidden illness the dog isn’t picky at all.
A healthy dog eats well and eagerly, and drinks plenty but not excessively. If you notice a change in how your dog drinks or eats, get him checked out by your vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause.
8. Smooth gait
When you take your dog out for a walk or to play a game of ball, he should be able to get around without any hitch in his gait. A healthy dog should be able to move without any obvious limping, dragging his feet, or showing weakness in the back end.
If your dog has had a leg amputated or some other problem, a little bump in step is probably something you are aware of. Otherwise, any limping or changes in how your dog moves could be a sign that your dog is hurting. So, consider it a sign of an unhealthy dog.
9. Regular bowel movements
While looking at your dog’s poop may not be your favorite part of dog ownership, it can tell you a lot about your dog’s health. Healthy poops should be regular, firm, and not too large.
Huge poops are a sign that your dog is not digesting his food well, and dry, hard poops are a sign of an unhealthy dog. The longer you have your dog, the more familiar you will become with what is normal for your pet, any abnormalities should be watched, and if they don’t resolve with appropriate care, a vet trip may be needed.
10. Cool, moist nose
The nose is probably the best way to tell if your dog is feeling sick or not. A nose should be cool and moist to the touch, without any chapping or strange colors. If your dog’s snout is warm and dry, it may be an indicator that he is feeling under the weather.
These signs can all tell you whether your dog is healthy or not. Keep them in mind when you look after your pet, so you can know what’s healthy and what isn’t.