Keeping your dog at their healthiest is your responsibility as they rely on you to look after them.
There are many ways in which you can know if they are happy and healthy, and we are going to help you achieve this by listing what you should be on the lookout for!
Signs Of A Healthy Dog
There are many signs your dog will show when they are feeling happy and healthy, and it is recommended that you know these early indicators.
Shiny Coat & Clear Skin
Their coat is a big sign they can show you and if they have a sleek and shiny coat which has no patches, this is a sign that they are healthy. Also, along with their coat, their skin can also play a huge part in showing that they are healthy.
If your dog’s skin has areas of redness, flaky, dry skin, or growths anywhere, this can be a sign they are not 100% healthy.
Whilst some of these signs don’t require for you to panic and rush straight to the vets, they do still need treatment to ensure they stay healthy.
Some instances may just require a bath with medicated shampoo, however, others, like growths or continuous bald spots require further investigation by your vet.
By giving them a groom every once In a while, more often in shedding season, this will keep on top of their loose hair and help keep that natural, lustrous, healthy shine.
If your dog doesn’t have fresh breath, this can be an indication of a dental problem. Plaque and tartar build up, root abscesses, or broken teeth are all issues your pooch can get in their mouth which may give them smelly breath next time they go to give you that slobbery kiss.
Whilst their mouths aren’t supposed to smell like roses, they certainly shouldn’t make you feel queasy up close.
Age, breed, poor hygiene, and diet can all factor in as reasons for your dog’s bad breath, but don’t worry, these problems are usually easy to fix and easier to keep on top of.
Brushing your canines’ teeth is a great way to help prevent any problems in the future as you reduce the chance of them developing gum disease. Always use dog friendly toothpaste and ideally a dog toothbrush…but a child’s toothbrush can perform the same job if you’re unable to source a dog toothbrush.
If you start brushing their teeth as a puppy, this will make it easier for you in the future. Always ask for your vet to show you how to brush their teeth as certain breeds have poor conformed jaws and may require a specific way to brush them.
Your dog’s usual behaviour is a great sign of good health. If they are starting to show uncharacteristic traits and become uninterested in things they once enjoyed, this can be a huge indicator that they are unwell.
Conversely, being alert and engaged to their owners and people they know is usually a very positive indicator. However, you should be aware that this may not be the case for all dogs as there are some dogs, especially rescue dogs, which may not be known to engage with others in the same way as standard dogs.
But if they lose interest in anything which usually gets their attention, this is a sign that there may be something not quite right with your loving pooch.
As previously mentioned above, lack of appetite can be a sign of more far serious problems…especially if they usually devour their food and become excited at the very thought of feeding time.
Our dogs are very smart at knowing when they usually get fed, becoming excited, talking, pawing, and waiting by their food bowl when it is time. If there are any changes in this usual behaviour, they may have potentially lost their appetite.
There can be many reasons as to why they have lost their appetite. Age, illness, or stress can be signs and each one of these needs addressing sooner rather than later before they lead to bigger problems.
Whilst it may start off as a one off where they are skipping mealtimes, their weight will soon start to drop off and this can spiral. One reason for loss of appetite which isn’t as concerning, is the food you are feeding them.
Suppliers sometimes can change their products in certain feeds or change where they source the ingredients which can slightly change the taste. For fussy dogs, this is enough to put them off and they may look like they have lost their appetite, when it comes down to food preference.
Your dog’s eyes should be bright, clear with no swelling in or around them. You want both of their pupils to be the same size and without any excessive tearing or crustiness. The lining of their eye and third eyelid should be lightly pink and not red.
If your dog’s eye looks yellow, swollen, crusting around, or has discharge, this can be a sign that there is an issue within the eye which should be addressed immediately.
Eye conditions can be extremely painful, uncomfortable, and can sometimes lead to blindness or even the loss of the eye if it is left untreated. If your dog’s eyes are healthy, this will lead to a healthy dog.
Regular Toilet Movements
One major sign of a healthy dog is going to the toilet at a normal rate. As well as going to the toilet frequently, their urine and droppings should be of a healthy and normal consistency.
If your dog is passing blood or mucus in either movement, it may require veterinary attention.
The colour of your dog’s urine can be very important to their overall health and suggests whether they are healthy or not. Dark or bright yellow urine can be a strong indicator of dehydration.
If it is orange, this can be jaundice or gallbladder problems or liver disease. Again, this will require veterinary advice. However, more concerning is blood in their urine or cloudiness. This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, trauma, or cancer.
Diarrhoea can be a sign of bad diet, stress, or a more serious condition. It is important to get to the bottom of this quickly and address it before it gets worse. Long term diarrhoea can cause serious dehydration. If you are unable to get to the root of the problem, speak with your vet promptly.
Our dogs look to us for help and safety. Whilst they are not able to come to us and speak about what is wrong and how they are feeling, they can show many signs and symptoms which can help us put the pieces together and deduce what’s wrong.
We hope that this has enlightened you about the signs our canines will not only show us if they are feeling healthy, but also the signs they may show if they are feeling under the weather.
Remember…a healthy dog is a happy dog, and a healthy and happy dog makes a happy owner!