We were recently asked for hints and tips on checking a dogs general health. Whilst we are unable to give specific information we have listed below a few basic things you can look for to ensure your pooch is in good condition. Prevention is always better than cure and doing these basic checks monthly will help to keep your pet a healthy and happy family member.
- Body condition- running your hands over your dog you should be able to feel, and sometimes see the ribs with a slight covering of fat, see an hour glass shape at the waist and see the chest slope upwards towards the hind legs. By regularly checking your dog you will be able to notice any changes sooner rather than later
- Ears- your dog’s ears should always be clean without any thick or discoloured discharge. Make sure there are no signs of itchiness, redness or any odd smells.
- Eyes- The eyes should be bright and clear without any signs of runniness, redness or soreness. If you notice your dog walking into things you should get them to the vets as soon as possible as there could be a more serious problem.
- Nose- If the nose is healthy there shouldn’t be any signs of crusting and there should be no runny or thickened discharge. Also, it’s worth noting that a healthy nose does not have to be cold and wet.
- Mouth- bad breath can indicate underlying problems from digestive, kidney or bacterial infection. However, in a lot cases it could be a build of tartar or plaque which, if left, can build up and cause tooth decay and gum disease.
- Skin and coat- your dog’s coat should be free of crusting, itching, scaling, infection, hot or inflamed areas. There should be no bald patches, dandruff or fleas.
- Nails-should be smooth – if brittle and break easily they may need attention. Remember their dew claws if they have them
- Digestion- always keep an eye on your dog’s appetite and what you are feeding them.
- Waste – If you notice your dog’s toilet habits change or the consistency, this may indicate a problem.
- Thirst- if your dog starts showing signs of increased thirst without exercise it may suggest an underlying problem.
- Attitude- your dog’s general attitude and behaviour is always a sure sign as to how they are feeling. If their head and tail are low and they seem quieter than normal then it could mean they are not feeling 100%
If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health please call us at the clinic or leave us a message on our Facebook page.