Dogs are often seen as sociable, energy-fueled, fun, and loving creatures that God sent to make humans’ life a lot easier. But because of these adorable traits, it is really hard to distinguish whether your dog is healthy or if something needs to be checked.
One of the most common signs that a dog is experiencing something is when they have a loss of energy or appetite. But what if your dog has the same high spirit? What will be the indication that can show your dog’s health condition?
Signs of a healthy puppy
1. Every Dog should have a great eating habit
Dog owners should know their pet’s eating routine and daily food capacity. If you notice that your dog has been skipping meals or doesn’t drink enough water almost the entire day, then this can be one indication that something is going on.
Loss of appetite may be caused by a lot of different things; it may be because of an upset stomach due to a foreign object or food that your dog ate or worse, it could be caused by parasites.
2. Observe your Dog’s movements
Do you notice any limping? Or do you feel that there’s some kind of weight when your dog tries to move?
Limping or any signs of stiffness may be a cause of an injury or sore muscle. Since dogs are known to be playful and pretty much reckless especially in their early days, it’s really difficult to watch their every move and pinpoint where they got injured.
Although when something hurts, you might hear soft whimpering or panting when your dog tries to walk or move. It will be better to do a body check when you can’t figure out where the injured part is. Try to gently move your hands on your dog’s body and check if you’ll see any bumps and for the possible injured muscles, carefully move your dog’s legs in a proper motion to see which leg has torn a muscle or even a broken bone.
3. A fresh breath is a must
If you smell something rotten in your dog’s mouth, it’s definitely a sign that something needs to be checked.
A lot of dog owners don’t pay close attention to their dog’s dental care. A tartar buildup or even a simple gum disease can be a sign that there’s something wrong with your dog’s vital organs.
As a dog owner, you’ll know the difference between a healthy breath smell and a rotten smell. This kind of signals should be taken seriously. The rotten smell can indicate that your dog might have tooth decay or worse, it is also a common sign of a form of cancer called oral melanoma.
4. Check on your dog’s coat
A common indication that a dog is healthy is when their coat is as shiny as it can be. But other than that, your dog should not experience any excessive shedding or discoloration on its coat.
Keeping your dog’s locks healthy is not that hard, regular bathing is not required not unless your dog rolled over a puddle of mud or already has that distinct dog musk smell.
If you think that bathing your dog multiple times a week will help him become healthier or away from any forms of illness, well, you’re wrong; regular bathing can disrupt the production of the coat’s natural oils and lack of moisture can cause dryness which can lead to skin irritation or skin allergies.
If you notice that your dog scratches uncontrollably or does excessive licking or biting of its coat, such act may indicate that your dog might’ve formed an allergy, irritation or could even be caused by fleas or insect bite.
5. Make sure your dog’s ears are squeaky clean
Since dogs tend to move around a lot, it is hard to keep almost every part of their body clean. While it is not advisable to clean your dog’s ears regularly, but if you notice that it’s kind of dirty, it will be better to clean it out because ignoring a buildup on your dog’s ears might cause infection in the future.
If you see excessive wax buildup, any form of liquid discharge coming out of your dog’s ears or an awful smell which is the kind of smell similar to yeast, then it’s a clear sign that your dog’s ears need to be checked.
6. Pay close attention to your dog’s weight
Like humans, dogs also face a lot of issues with their weight. It is reported that a very common issue that pets usually face is Obesity.
Obesity in pets can cause a lot of health issues which are also experienced by humans such as diabetes, heart failure, weak lungs or even issues with muscles and bones.
Your dog’s weight should not be fluctuating; it shouldn’t change a lot and needs to be monitored closely. As dogs age, they tend to move slowly and become less active and because of this, most dogs usually blow up or get big during this time.
Monitoring your dog’s weight and watching their food intake can help avoid obesity or even malnourishment.
7. Normal Bowel and Bladder Movement
This is not a pleasant topic but dog owners should be more observant with their dog’s defecation. It is not normal to have a greasy consistency, any traces of blood, chalk-like discoloration, any forms of mucus or worms in your dog’s stool.
You will be able to distinguish if there’s something wrong with your dog’s stomach based on the stool that the dog secretes. If you notice any irregularities such as the characteristics mentioned above, it can be a sign of early stages of diarrhea, intake of a toxic substance or even a form of cancer in the pancreas.
When it comes to a dog’s urine, it shouldn’t have a dark orangey color. An indication that there’s nothing wrong with your dog’s urine is when it’s transparent yellow, light gold or clear in color.
However, if your dog’s urine tends to be darker, it can be a sign of severe dehydration or something serious such as the presence of stones in the gallbladder or damage in blood cells.
8. Your dog should be full of positive energy
Owner’s first instinct that something is off about their dog is when their energy level is too low or they don’t want to come near you at all.
Dogs are very sociable; they are very much in need of attention and affection. If you notice any huge changes with your dog’s behavior such as lack of interest, seclusion or if your dog tends to sleep more, then this can indicate that something is going on.
Pay close attention to the sudden change of behavior and when it comes to the point where your dog seems to not recover or seems tired even without doing anything, then its time to schedule an appointment with your vet.
Common signs or red flags that indicates your dog needs to be checked
A very common sign that something is going on, this usually happens when a dog digests foreign or any toxic substance with led them to get sick.
Like vomiting, diarrhea is also caused by something that your dog might’ve eaten. In serious cases, this can also be an indication of the presence of parasites in your dog’s digestive system.
Loss of energy or changes in behavior is the easiest way for owners to tell that something odd is happening. It can also be signs of a more alarming issue such as heart failure or worse, early signs of cancer.
4. Dry nose
This is a common sign that a dog is heavily dehydrated but other than that, it is also a common indication that a dog is experiencing an allergic reaction, commonly caused by newly introduced food.
5. Aggression and Seclusion
Most dogs are agitated when they are hurt. If you notice that your dog is being more aggressive than he usually is, it’s better to observe if there are any injuries that are causing severe pain. But other than that, sudden aggression can also be an early sign of rabies.
Another indication that there’s something wrong is when your dog starts rejecting affection and is no longer seeking attention from you. Since dogs are known as Man’s best friend, it is very unlikely for dogs to isolate themselves from their owners not unless something unusual is going on.
Since dogs are sociable in nature, its really hard to see their health status because they tend to show their love to their owners regardless of something hurting or if they don’t feel right. In order to properly distinguish your dog’s health status, you will need to allow time and effort to observe your dog’s behavior, memorize its routines, and know the signs which can indicate that something’s not right.
Once you become a dog owner, you should go past seeing your dog as a pet but more of a family member. As a part of the family, your dog’s health should be important and should always be a priority.